Improve Poker Skills for Real Money Game

To become a successful poker player, like anything, you need to work hard at your game and be looking to improve at any given opportunity. Throughout this article we will be looking at different ways in which you can hone in on your skills and as a result make money from the virtual (or live) felt.

If you are reading this then it’s likely you are already taking steps towards improving your game, which is great! Let’s look at some other ways in which you can improve poker skills.

Read Books to Improve Poker Skills

There are literally hundreds of poker books on the market to date, some better than others. All will give you an insight as to basic strategy in which to improve.

Be warned however that some books have now become outdated with some of the strategy they suggest no longer being as relevant as it once was. However, even though this may be true, if there’s something you read and decide that the information isn’t relative, you are questioning someone’s theory on the matter which is a good thing, as you are actively thinking about alternative theories that may be more relevant today.

Analyse Your Play

Taking time after each session to analyse how you have played can be a great way to see how you react in certain situations in game time.

Whilst in the heat of the battle you may think that you’ve played a hand well or thought that there were no alternative ways in which to play the hand, looking back over your session may portray alternative lines in which you could have taken that could have been more beneficial.

It’s often best to analyse sessions a little while after you have completed your session. This will allow you to have a totally un-biased opinion and give you time to re-group before your analysis.

Training Videos to Improve Poker Skills

Training videos are probably the most popular tool to improve poker skills. There are so many training sites available each offering different game styles, stakes and variants that will cater for every player’s needs.

One of the best things about training videos is that it gives you an insight as to how top players who have been consistent winners in the games for a number of years think and play, meaning you can take points from their game and adapt them to yours.

Whilst probably one of the most expensive options we will be looking at throughout this article, training videos are without doubt the most popular and most beneficial ways to improve your poker game. The money you make due to improvements in your game, will likely far out way the cost of the initial investment.

Poker Tools to Improve Poker Skills

Similarly to training videos, there’s a vast amount of poker tools readily available to every player no matter what their budget.

One of the most popular and arguably most important tool any serious poker player needs, is some sort of tracking software such as Holdem Manager or Poker Tracker. These programs will track all hands that you play and literally gives you thousands of filters for you to analyse your play and find leaks in your game.

Once a well established player and looking to play multiple tables, programs such as Table Ninja can be a god send. It allows you to customise hot keys on your keyboard and can almost totally eliminate the use (or need) of a mouse.

Watch Poker Forums

Staying active in a poker community can be a great way to continuously bounce ideas around and debate certain aspects of not only your own game, but that of your peers’.

Posting up hand histories of how you have played hands and commenting on that off other peoples hand histories can be good for improving your game and maybe seeing ways in which other people would play hands, before adapting it to your game.

Forums which boast a good community can also be great to help you through the inevitable hard times in which poker springs up on even the best of us. Gaining reassurance from people who play the game for a living can be a great comfort, likewise to that of earning praise when things go well.


Although a rather crude term, a sweat simply means where someone shadows your play or vice versa.

Having someone watch you in game time and comment on your play or offer up advice on alternative lines can be a great, and cheap, way to improve as a poker player.

It also allows you to talk with your partner and discuss which line they would take in a hand and why, then allowing you both to analyse each other’s play. It’s a similar concept to a training video in terms of watching someone else’s play, except it’s in a live environment.

Key Points

• Stay active in poker communities

• Don’t be afraid to challenge other peoples theories even if they are a more ‘established’ player than yourself

• The harder you work, the more rewards you will reap

• Spend your learning time wisely balancing it equally with your playing time

• Always look to improve poker skills no matter what level you play or how good/bad your results

Great poker rooms to practice your poker skills: Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars.

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