Even the least academic of poker players recognise that studying poker is necessary to improving. Texas Hold’em is the most popular of poker variants in part due to its complexity. There are skills players possess naturally that can help them win but there are almost always multiple areas that require hard work and dedicated studying to ensure they generate a decent win rate.
Realising study is one thing but knowing how to study poker efficiently is another matter altogether. In this article, I hope to offer various ways of studying that should accelerate your learning. Provided you are willing to put in hard work and effort, you should expect to see positive results within weeks.
Schedule Study Time
People are creatures of habit. We like routines and schedules to keep to. Studying on a whim may seem fine but it’s not likely to see you putting in enough time. Furthermore, you are less likely to return. When we do things randomly, it seems productive at first but once we stop doing it for a while, it’s a chore and hard work getting back into the swing of it. This is especially true for studying poker.
In order to study poker properly, we need to set aside a block of time each week for this. It’s not terribly important how long, even 1 hour a week is a start. You can always add more time in due course. The key thing is to make studying part of your routine.
Pick One Focus Area at a Time
You won’t conquer poker in a few study sessions. In order to grasp a topic fully, I recommend picking one area to focus on at a time. Prioritise the areas you want to study and stick with each until you are satisfied you have a strong understanding of the key elements. Naturally, each area will be different, both in enjoyment and hours of study required. It’s not a race though so be prepared to stick with a topic.
The danger of casually moving from one to the other is that you are unlikely to understand either area in entirety. Bouncing from value betting to 4 betting is unproductive as you’ll probably end up confused.
Review Hand Histories
One of the most productive and effective ways of studying is to review how you’ve played. Most poker sites allow you to download hand histories. The more common method of extracting hands is using poker tracking software.
Reviewing your hands is a great way to find errors. The key is to understand why you are doing something wrong and find a solution. The fix can be as little as adjusting your flop c-bet percentage on dry boards.
Hand history review sessions is an excellent way to study but it’s even better if you are doing it with someone. Sometimes the other person will have another viewpoint or see something you miss that enables you to find a better way of playing that scenario. This is not a shameless plug for our hand history review service as you can do hand history reviews with poker friends freely.
If you want a specialised service though, we are here to help. Our hand history review sessions are charged at £90 per hour. We are flexible and can do it one of two ways:
1) You present the hands to us and we will record our analysis, or we can discuss it on the phone.
2) You record a session of poker with our screen recording software. Upload it to our portal. We review it with you on the phone or record our analysis.
Most players we coach have 1 or 2 hours a month hand history review time with us. If this is something you may be interested in, fill in the form below and we will be in touch, or visit our hand history review page for more information.
In order to study poker well, one needs to challenge themselves and those who are teaching. Asking questions is a great way to learn. Rather than parrot information back from a teacher, a good student is not afraid to ask questions, no matter how simple it may be.
Remember, you only need to ask a silly question once. A poor student will not ask the question and may continue to make the same mistakes. Joining a poker forum and asking questions is free and a decent way to study different aspects of poker. A small disclaimer is that the range of quality in posters answers will vary so take it with a pinch of salt.
Texas Hold’em Questions was founded on asking questions and we still offer our free question service. We even publish the best questions and our responses in our blog (subject to approval from the questioner).
Take a Course
Nowadays you can take a course in anything to master a subject. This has extended to online poker where there are various courses online. Taking a course is a fantastic way to absorb all of a subject area in full.
In 2020, I took a long time to dedicate myself to creating two fundamental poker courses. After many weeks of thought, content creation and hard work, we now have two online poker courses. They focus on continuation betting and bluffing, areas I consider essential to winning poker. They are content heavy, in PDF format with 9 and 6 modules and quizzes at the end of each. If this is something you may be interested in, visit our poker courses page for more information.
To become a strong player who consistently wins, you need to work at your game continuously. Players are evolving and changing based on new strategies and theories. In order to exploit them, you need to set time to study, otherwise you may fall behind your rivals. This is true all over the world, on UK, Australian and Indian poker sites.
If you need support, we are here to help. Our poker mentor service is a great way to get introduced to coaching and can be trialled at only £50 for month 1. You get unlimited communication and it’s all done via email. If this is of interest, visit our poker mentor page. There is sometimes a waiting list but if there are spots available, we’d love to help you ASAP. Alternatively, you can book in a free 30 minute consultation call if you like? Click below to do this.
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