How Do You Improve Your Poker Skills?

Learn how to improve your poker skills in a way to suit every budget.

Poker is a game combining luck and skill. There is sadly nothing you can do to improve your luck but you can improve your poker skills.

The best poker players in the world spend as much time studying the game as they do playing it. Poker continually evolves and constant studying is required to maintain an edge in the game you play. It’s vitally important at the highest level because those edges are so small. Even boosting an edge by only 0.5% can be the difference between winning and losing tens of thousands of dollars.

You should strive to improve your poker skills even if you play for the lowest stakes possible. Being better skilled than your opponents is one of the best ways to win more money at poker. Lesser skilled players make more mistakes and we profit from every mistake, even if not immediately.

How do you improve your poker skills? It all depends on how much money you’re prepared to spend. Some methods are free, others cost $1,000 per hour or more. We’re going to cover the most popular ways to improve your poker skills in the following few hundred words.

The Cheapest Way To Improve Your Poker Skills: Discussing Hands

Discussing hands with like-minded friends or on a forum is the cheapest way to improve your poker skills. They say talk is cheap and they’re correct because talking strategy with friends costs nothing but your time.

It’s worthwhile talking through hands with your friends even if you play higher stakes than them. The opposite way around also works. Getting a different perspective and seeing the world through another pair of eyes works well outside of poker too.

Poker forums aren’t as popular as they once were, but they contain some golden information. Two Plus Two is the biggest and most active poker forum. It has more than its fair share of trolls, yet it’s a great place to improve your poker skills.

Tracking and Analyzing Your Hands Will Improve Your Poker Skills

There’s a lot of software out there that promises to improve your poker skills to previously unseen heights. They’re not lying although some of the available software is super complicated. Not knowing how to interpret the plethora of data can do you game more harm than good.

Poker Tracker and Holdem Manager are two amazing tool that also won’t break the bank. They take the data found in an online poker site’s hand history files and builds a database. You can go through individual hands, run various reports, and analyse your play.

Setting time aside to go through hands that troubled you is a starting point. Sort by hands by the top 10 biggest winning then losing and go from there. You may find you got lucky or unlucky, or could have played differently to change the outcome of the hand.

Joining a Training Site Is A Great Way to Improve Your Poker Skills

Poker training sites are still popular even if some of the previously best ones have fallen off the radar. Run It Once is one of the best all-round poker training sites out there. Elite poker pro Phil Galfond started Run It Once and it now boasts of some impressive coaches.

Run It Once has a subscription model that starts with a free version. This is limited, as you’d expect, but a good place to start to improve your poker skills. The Essential package is designed for low stakes players and comes in at $24.99 per month. Higher stakes players, or those wanting access to elite pros, need to find $99.99 a month for the Elite package.

It’s not cheap but definitely worth the investment. The training you receive could easily win you back the $24.99 or $99.99 fee in a single session.

Hire A Poker Coach

Learn from the best to become the best by hiring your own personal poker coach. Prices for coaches vary greatly, but expect to pay upwards of $250 per hour for the better players. Some of the game’s superstars sometimes offer coaching but this will set you back four-figures per hour!

Always look for a coach that can back up their claims with references. Spend some time chatting with several coaches to ensure their teaching style works for you. Every coach is different so find one that ticks all the boxes you require. You’re paying them a small fortune to improve your poker skills after all.

Practice, Practice, Practice

I’ve interviewed hundreds of poker players over the years and they all agree on thing. Practice makes perfect. There’s no substitute for putting yourself out there and playing hands. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes, plug any leaks, and continue improving!

Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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