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HOME > NEWS > Poker News > Top 10 ways to quickly improve your poker game

Top 10 ways to quickly improve your poker game

22 June 2020

By Nathan Williams

People often ask me the best ways to improve your poker game. And the answer is multi-faceted.

There are a number of different strategies (both at the poker tables and away from them), that I recommend to help you quickly improve your poker game.

Here are the top 10 ways to improve your poker game and start seeing much better results.

One of the best ways to improve your poker game is to simply play more hands.

One of the best ways to improve your poker game is to simply play more hands. (photo by Wallpaper Flare)

10. Create a consistent playing schedule

One of the best ways to improve your poker game is to simply play more hands. We often learn some of our most valuable poker lessons through trial and error at the poker tables.

So, I recommend setting up a consistent playing schedule that works best for you. Maybe that’s eight hours a day or 20 minutes a day. It depends on your commitments.

But the key is to try and play consistently, every day if possible, because this is the best way to keep the game fresh on your mind and learn from your errors.

This will also help you consistently implement all of the off the poker table learning strategies that I am going to discuss in this article.

9. Build your poker network

One of the best ways I improved my poker game over the years is by surrounding myself with other high-level poker pros and serious amateurs. When you are able to consistently discuss poker hands and strategy with other good players, it is going to rub off on your own game.

I recommend finding the places where other diehard poker players hang out, or even getting in touch with them directly through social media. Form study groups, private Facebook or Discord groups and collectively help improve each other’s poker game.

8. Hire a poker coach

One of the absolute best ways to improve your poker game is to simply hire a personal coach to help you fix your leaks and work on your trouble spots.

There are tons of high-level poker pros these days who offer 1-on-1 coaching on the side. And they advertise their services usually on forums or their own website.

The main drawback to hiring a personal poker coach is the cost. Most good poker coaches these days will charge at least $200 per hour.

And so if you are a small-stakes poker player on a limited bankroll, this can be a bit of a problem. So, I typically only recommend hiring a poker coach if you play mid-stakes or high-stakes when the cost isn’t so important to you.

7. Study poker books

Never before have there been more high level poker strategy books available than today.

There are poker books available on online poker, live poker, GTO (game theory optimal) poker strategy, exploitative strategy, poker math, the mental game, tournament strategy and more.

The great thing about poker books is that they rarely cost more than about $20 or $30. This makes them much more cost effective, especially for small stakes players, when compared to hiring a poker coach.

Poker books also offer the most in-depth strategy possible, because the amount of information in a single poker book is far more than you could ever find in a poker training video or learn from a coach.

6. Watch poker on YouTube and Twitch

The last couple years have seen a huge rise in the amount of high quality poker content on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. There are many top level pros these days who regularly stream themselves playing poker or create instructional videos.

The best part is that almost all of this content is totally free. So one of the best ways to improve your poker game these days is simply to hop over to YouTube or Twitch and start learning from some good players.

5. Study your hand history

One of the absolute best ways to improve your poker game is to study your own poker hands and learn from your mistakes. This is why if you play online poker I highly recommend using a good poker tracking program.

This will allow you to review all of your most important hands after your poker session is over, and discover where you are having trouble.

I recommend only reviewing the hands where you lose a big pot because it is usually in the big pots that we lose where we make the most mistakes. Conversely, in the big pots we win, we tend to make fewer big mistakes.

Lastly, a good poker tracking program will also allow you to study your opponents and find the best strategies to beat them. This is an invaluable tool to have in today’s games if you want to stay one step ahead of the competition.

4. Post your hands for review online

Another way to improve your poker game is to post your hands online for review. There are tons of poker forums these days or reddit groups where you can get valuable feedback from other poker players.

Now, the one drawback to this strategy is that not all of the advice you will get in these places is from top pros, or even winning poker players. However, posting your poker hands on poker forums or reddit for review is still a reasonable way to get a wide variety of opinions on how you could improve your game.

You need to be prepared to make the best decisions in every single hand if you want to win big.

You need to be prepared to make the best decisions in every single hand if you want to win big. (photo by Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center)

3. Focus on the mental side

Something that a lot of poker players fail to address these days is the mental side of the game. And this is one of the biggest reason why they fail to see large scale success.

It is extremely important that you are actively working on your tilt control and focus at the poker tables. Because in today’s tougher environment you simply can’t afford to be playing well below your best anymore.

You need to be prepared to make the best decisions in every single hand if you want to win big. So, I recommend working away from the tables on the mental side of the game, whether that is meditation, visualization or breathing and relaxation strategies.

2. Learn from poker blogs

There are plenty of good poker blogs out there where you can learn a lot of advanced online poker tips.

This is one of the best ways to improve your poker game because most of these blogs are written by poker professionals who have a very high level of expertise in the game.

I have learned so much over the years, and improved my poker game tremendously, by simply reading the thoughts of other high level poker pros on their poker blog.

1. Learn from the pros

My last and most important tip for improving your poker game is to learn from the best poker players possible, specifically pros.

There is no point in getting advice from a player who is at the same level as you, or even worse, below you. You improve in poker by learning from (and playing against), much better poker players.

So whether it is at the poker tables, or in your study time away from them, make sure that you are learning from and studying the strategies of the very best players.

After all, they are winning big for a reason.

Nathan Williams
Nathan "BlackRain79" Williams has been a poker pro for more than 10 years with some of the highest winnings of all-time at the micro stakes.

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