The Book of Bluffs

The Book of Bluffs

Title: The Book of Bluffs - How to Bluff and Win at Poker

Author: Matt Lessinger

To quote the author from an interview he did with

“…there are a zillion poker books out there. And half of them are exactly the same.”

Well, folks, this is not one of them.  I mean, it is a poker book, but it is not the same as all the rest.  Whereas most take a high-level approach to Texas hold’em strategy, The Book of Bluffs by Matt Lessinger drills down to a very specific aspect of poker and explores it in as much detail as possible, while still allowing for the book to remain portable.

The uniqueness of The Book of Bluffs would normally be enough to make it stand out from the crowd, but Lessinger takes great care to write an extremely well thought out and educational lesson plan.  Even in a sea of bluffing books, this one would more than likely rise to the top.  And guess what, games other than hold’em are covered!

Lessinger organized the book in an interesting way.  Considering he covers hold’em, stud, and Omaha, one would think it would be natural to have a section on each game type.  Instead, he groups types of bluffs together, mixing in the different games.  When asked why he did it this way, Lessinger had this to say:

“Originally, I had tried to do it the way you described [by game]. When I first started writing it, I had separate stud bluffs, hold’em bluffs, and it just didn’t work as well. I’m very happy with the way I settled on the structure of book because, you know, if I had a hold’em bluff and an Omaha bluff that demonstrated the same principles, then it would’ve seemed very redundant to have one early in the book and then one later in the book. People would be like, ‘Didn’t I just read about that fifty pages ago?’”

Good point.  And the structure works.  While in no way does the reader need to study the bluffs in the order they are presented, they do build on each other well.  The first couple chapters should definitely be read first, as they serve as a foundation for what is to come.  The chapters focus primarily on live play, but there is a chapter on bluffs that are specific to the online game.  While many bluffs are the same live and online, Lessinger points out several that can only be made from the safety of one’s computer.  The book concludes with a discussion of some famous bluffs, as well as interviews with those involved.

Lessinger also combats a weakness of many poker strategy books – this work is surprisingly entertaining.  The hands he presents, some invented and some real, suck you in, making it feel like you are the one making the moves.  A book about bluffing may actually lend itself well to being more engrossing than the run-of-the-mill poker book, considering the bluff, next to the all-in, is the most adrenaline pumping move one can make at the poker table.

Matt Lessinger’s The Book of Bluffs, makes the short list of “must-have” components of any poker player’s book shelf.  It is a welcomed bit of flavor in a mostly vanilla genre.