The Why’s and How’s of Studying in Poker

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Studying in Poker

Whether you are experienced or novice, most enthusiasts of poker recognise that study is an important part. Unlike other forms of gambling, poker, and Texas Hold’em in particular is a complex game which cannot be mastered quickly. It takes time, experience and a good deal of study hours to become a proficient poker player. In this article we are going to explain why its important to study poker strategy and also share how you can do study too.

Why Study Poker Strategy?

Some of you may have never studied before or think experience is enough to become a shark. Sadly, you are mistaken. UK poker coaching website Texas Hold’em Questions say state study is essential to becoming, and staying a winner. Here are some reasons why.

Increase Edge

By studying poker strategy regularly, you will increase the gap in knowledge and expertise between you and other players. Increasing your increase means you are less likely to suffer bad runs and therefore handle variance better. It’s widely accepted that the bigger the edge you have, the less volatile your swings are likely to be. You will also find poker more enjoyable when you have a greater edge on your opponents.

Improve Win Rate

A by-product of studying poker and increasing your edge is the positive impact it will have on your win rate. Consider a player who makes $10 per hour playing low stakes cash games. If they devote a few hours of study a week and improve their play by 20%, they can expect to make $12 per hour. Let’s assume they play 20 hours a week and extrapolate over the course of a year. This improved win rate translates to $2,080 extra income per year. Not bad, eh?

How to Study Poker?

We understand that a general “you must study poker” is not going to help those of you who have never dedicated study time to poker. Fortunately for you, we’re going to share the easiest and effective methods of study below.


Like most part-time interests and hobbies which offer online courses, poker does too. A quick google search will show that there are plenty of online courses you can take. These will range from mastering the fundamentals to high level game theory optimal. Whatever stage of your poker journey, there should be an online poker course for you. Naturally, they are not free but the cost should be treated as an investment in yourself as the learnings should help you in the long-run


A tried and tested method of studying poker concepts is to read books. We suggest looking on Amazon for one that fits your need. Be sure to read the reviews first and some books are outdated or obsolete in the modern era. Here are some of our favourite poker books for people starting out:

  • Ace on the River (Barry Greenstein)
  • Super System (Doyle Brunson)
  • Mastering Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’em (Jonathan Little)

Analyse Your Hand History

Our final method of studying poker is free. Watching back your own hands and assessing what you did well and not so well is a vital way to improve. Most online poker sites grant you the chance to download hands you’ve played. See here for a guide on how to download hand histories from GGPoker.  You can download and analyse the hands that made you the most money and cost you the most. By watching them back you can see whether you made any errors or if there are adjustments you can make in the future to improve your play.

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