One of the most common questions I get from my followers is “how to study poker?”. It’s an important question, given the extensive knowledge required for success in the game. To reach your full potential as a player, dedicating time and effort to the study is essential, but it’s not just about putting in the time to study—it’s about how and what you study.
If you do not take studying seriously then there are no consequences besides your failure as a poker player. It’s up to you.
Best Ways to Study Poker in 2024
Explore the most effective ways to study poker in 2024. From basics to advanced strategies, this guide has you covered for a winning poker approach. Enjoy!
Watch Training Videos
I’ve chosen to add watching training videos as the first method for studying poker, mainly because it’s my personal favorite. Being a visual learner, I find this approach to be the most accessible and effective for my learning and improvement.
When players begin their poker study journey, they often start with free resources such as YouTube videos, watching live poker hands, or poker streams. This serves as an excellent starting point, offering entertaining content while helping beginners familiarize themselves with poker terminology and strategy.
As you get better, it’s a good idea to move on to more detailed poker courses and paid training sites that keep up with modern poker theory. These resources give you the structure and guidance you need to understand the game better.
For a detailed breakdown of various training sites, our friends at Beastsofpoker have compiled a useful guide – check it out here!
Review Your Hands
Examining the hands you’ve played and analyzing your own decisions stands out as one of the most beneficial activities for self-improvement between sessions.
This isn’t a passive approach where you simply lament a bad beat; it’s an active poker study session. During these sessions, you delve into the specifics of your exact hands and explore related lines. This thorough examination provides a comprehensive understanding of situations that influence your overall win rate.
For online players, it’s easy—just use software like PokerTracker or Holdem Manager. But if you play live, take detailed notes on each hand, noting as much as you can.
During the hand review, if you can’t explain why you made certain moves or chose specific bet sizes in a poker hand, it’s a signal that you need to work on that part of your game.
Take a moment to analyze each play, action, and bet size, and ask yourself questions such as:
- Do I believe the action I took is the best, and why?
- Could a different bet size be more effective? Would a larger size generate more value or apply additional pressure in the case of a bluff? •
- Would a more aggressive move be more profitable in this situation? •
- If I lost the hand, was there anything I could have done differently, or was it an unavoidable loss?
- If I won the hand, did I play it perfectly, or could adjustments in strategy or bet sizing have made it more profitable?
These types of questions guide you toward evaluating your decisions effectively. Take notes during the hand review to measure and track improvements in your poker game over time.
Use Poker Solvers
The world of poker has evolved significantly from its early days when players relied on guesswork for making decisions. The introduction of poker solvers has revolutionized our understanding of optimal plays in different scenarios.
These programs contribute to ‘solving’ poker by offering optimal solutions for gameplay. Taking the crucial step of familiarizing yourself with poker solvers is essential for mastering how to balance your poker strategy.
This approach stands out as one of the most effective ways to study poker in 2024.
”So what separates the average high stakes poker player from the top players in the world? There are plenty of talented solver users who can mathematically tell you what to do in every spot and what bet size to use.
Intuition in general about how the player field plays certain spots – when you can combine that intuition with what the solver would do, it’s a pretty killer combo.”
Discuss Hands with Friends or on Poker Forums
Improving your poker strategy extends beyond individual efforts; having poker friends or participating in a study group can prove invaluable. Collaborating with others brings a fresh perspective, as fellow players might identify weaknesses in your game that may have gone unnoticed. Moreover, the mutual support within a poker community fosters motivation and resilience during downswings.
Getting involved in discussions, sharing your hands for feedback, and analyzing how others play are key to getting better at poker. This active participation helps a lot in improving your strategy.
In conclusion, poker groups and forums are still a great way to study poker in 2024.
Hire a Coach
Going for private poker coaching might cost more, but it’s the most effective and quickest way to get better at the game. The investment in a private coach pays off manifold as they can play a pivotal role in carefully examining your poker strategies and identifying subtle yet crucial mistakes.
For some students, having someone else hold them accountable for their work is the optimal way to improve. A coach not only serves as a source of motivation and inspiration but also ensures that students stay committed to their learning journey. The guidance and encouragement from a coach can be a powerful driving force, propelling students to achieve their best and stay on track with their poker study goals.
In your pursuit of becoming a great poker player, deliberate practice stands out from routine training. To be effective, it must possess the following three characteristics:
Deliberate practice mandates a focused approach, honing in on precise aspects for improvement, setting concrete goals for each study session (one specific poker topic or situation at a time).
While studying, challenge yourself beyond your current skill level. People often gravitate towards tasks that feel easy, but true improvement comes from pushing your limits. Despite feeling uncomfortable, stepping out of your comfort zone disrupts the pleasant psychological state known as ‘flow.’ Embrace the discomfort for genuine progress.
Repetition is key for fluency. Master a skill through countless repetitions until it becomes automatic. Achieving this level allows standard strategies to become instinctive, enabling you to explore and adjust with ease.
Devoting yourself to deliberate practice consistently over time will significantly enhance your skills, making you a much better poker player.
Armed with insights on how to study poker in 2024, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dive into the work ahead.
Remember: 5 years from now, are you going to regret not watching enough tv or not spending enough time on social media, or are you going to regret that you didn’t put in the work and you didn’t spend those daily 2 hours studying, which would’ve got you closer to your dream of becoming a successful poker player.