4 Top Learning Methods For Aspiring Poker Players

4 Top Learning Methods For Aspiring Poker Players

It is estimated that there are around 10,000 professional poker players around the world, and plenty more who consistently perform well in tournaments and cash games. While there are never any guarantees, and luck does play a part, skill is also a part of poker. Those who put the time in and learn the skills are more likely to have regular success in the game.

So, where can users find crucial information about poker? What should be the priorities for learning about the game and trying to boost poker skills? We explore all of this and more in our poker guide.

Master the Basics First

Some poker players set out to learn how to play the game with ambitions of becoming the very best in the world or mastering a specific skill like bluffing. Actually, without the basic level of poker knowledge that every player needs, there is no point in focusing on advanced methods.

The advice for a newcomer is to learn the very basics. This means learning the rules first and foremost. New players should understand how the dealing works, and what the hierarchy of cards is. It is very hard to judge a game of poker without understanding which hands beat the others or knowing the specific rules of the variety of poker being played. Texas Hold’em is the most common variety, but there are plenty of others, too.

Beginners can also learn from the errors of others. Checking out these common beginner poker mistakes can help players understand the typical slip-ups people make, such as bluffing too much or simply not understanding the cards and the way the hands are ranked.

There is a famous quote: “Poker takes five minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master.” This is undeniably true, and every poker player can continue to get better throughout their life. However, nobody should go into a tournament or gamble on the game without a decent level of knowledge.

Always Be Watching

One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways for beginners to learn about the game is to watch poker. Those who enjoy playing often enjoy watching it too, whether they watch the huge global tournaments or head to their local card game and see how the locals are doing it, there are lessons to be learned. Remember, players can learn from the errors of others as well as from their better plays.

Poker is an incredibly popular game with around 100 million players around the world. The game is very much in fashion, as proven by hit fictional shows such as the recent Peacock show Poker Face starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Simon Helberg. Though you won’t learn anything about actually playing poker from fiction, these kinds of shows are fuelling the demand for live streaming when it comes to the real thing. Tournaments such as the World Series of Poker can be seen online, and there are even popular Twitch streamers showing poker games. The World Poker Tour also has a YouTube channel featuring old streams of some of their matchups, and aspiring players can watch hour after hour of tournament play, learning more about the game in the process.

Learn From the Best

The poker community is vibrant, and a lot of great players are willing to share tips. There are hundreds of different blogs and it can be hard to know who to listen to and which information to take on board.

For those players who can’t necessarily find a mentor in person, there are ways to soak up the knowledge of the pros online. Amazing players like Dan Negreanu have even made courses online. His course is available on Masterclass and features over seven hours of video lessons.

There are certain things in the world of poker that can only be learned by playing. The knowledge of those who have earned millions of dollars from the game can be a great resource for newcomers.

Becoming More Self Aware

A huge percentage of the game of poker is mental, and as already explained, players will always continue to learn more about the psychological side of the game. However, one of the things beginners should definitely focus on is self-awareness.

This includes trying to understand things like when tiredness is setting in, and being able to recognize the signs that emotions are playing a part in decisions. Caution and responsible gambling are always recommended. Poker players tend to make the best decisions when they are fresh and thinking clearly, and they need to be self-aware to know when they are in peak condition to play.

Dan Negreanu himself spoke about the importance of the mental side of the game: “Where your mental state is at, I think is super-important. So how are you going to succeed at poker if you are doing a lot of things that are causing emotional distress away from the table?”


Those who want to improve their abilities in the world of poker need to know where to start. It is a long journey from beginner to professional, or even to get to a decent level of poker skill, but by avoiding some of the simpler mistakes and knowing which sources are worth listening to, newcomers to the game can start to hone their skills.