So You Want To Get Better At Poker?

Learn how to get better at poker for free with this strategy article

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is always an exciting time for poker players, even those not competing in Las Vegas. Seeing the most prominent names and rank outsiders win WSOP bracelets and vast sums of money urges us to get better at poker. But exactly how do you do that?

Everyone wants to get better at poker, even the game’s elite. Michael Addamo recently won his third WSOP bracelet and said he had put a lot of hours in away from the table to get better at poker. Improving your skills gives you an edge, and any advantage results in long-term profit, which is what we strive for.

Get Better At Poker For Free

Playing any game is the best way to improve your skills, especially if you want to get better at poker. There is no substitute for putting yourself among other players and trying different strategies. This is the best way to discover what works well and what does not.

New players do not like investing much money when they are learning the ropes. The good news is you do not have to. All the online poker sites listed in our reviews section offer freeroll tournaments. These tournaments, as the name suggests, are free to enter. Their prize pools are small, and the fact they have no buy-in means the action is often fast and loose, but playing for a monetary prize means many of the players take freeroll seriously.

Try approaching freerolls as you would a tournament you buy into. Pretend you have bought in for $22 or so, and play like you have money invested. This way, you get better at poker by making plays and folds you would if you invested money.

Get Better At Poker By Keeping Notes

Learning from our mistakes and from what does not work is one of the reasons humans have developed as quickly as they have. They say insanity is performing the same action over and over and expecting a different outcome.

Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Every poker player makes mistakes at the table, even the legendary 16-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. Use any errors as a reason to learn and improve.

Make use of online poker sites’ hand history files. Either go through them manually or use tracking software such as Poker Tracker or Holdem Manager. Both those pieces of software cost around $100, but they pay for themselves quickly.

Look at the top ten most expensive hands and the top ten biggest winning hands to start with. Could you have lost less or won more? Were you lucky or unlucky? Make notes, keep a journal, do anything to keep you thinking about poker hands.

Take Advantage of Poker Streams

Watching the best players in action is a great way to get better at poker. Gone are the days when a subscription to an expensive training site was required. Hundreds of poker’s top talent stream their play daily. Watching and studying players who are more skillful than yourself is a sure-fire way to improve.

The best streamers are happy to answer any questions about specific hands; they love sharing knowledge. Make notes during the stream to ask about or investigate later. Why did the player three-bet fold? Why did they not defend their blinds? How do they play a short-stack? Remember, these top players are top players for a reason. Every performed action is done for a legitimate reason.

Study Everything You Do Not Know About

The best players get better at poker by continually studying the ins and outs of the game. Poker constantly changes, meaning effective strategies one year are obsolete the next. For example, the standard raise in tournaments and cash games was three to four times the big blind. This fell to 2.5 big blinds, and min-raises are not commonplace.

Learn more about what you do not know. Examples include Independent Chip Modelling (ICM), hand equities, and how your hand performs against a range of hands. Never be afraid to ask questions; every superstar started at the bottom, too.

Brad Johnson

You name the game, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Brad has either played it or placed a wager on it! Brad calls himself a natural gambler, and someone who gains as much enjoyment from writing about the crazy game of poker as he does playing it.


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