1. Free Content
First and foremost, there is a ton of free content available on the internet that will help you get started. Especially if you’ve only been playing poker for a year or so, this could be a fantastic way to level up your game without spending a single cent.
(check out our free discord group with over 3,000 active members)
YouTube is a great resource, as there are tons of channels that will help you develop a winning poker strategy for free. There are content creators for pretty much every stake and game type that can get you well on your way to winning money playing poker.
The Raise Your Edge YouTube Channel is a great place to start! Check out this video on how to start studying poker.
The most important thing when learning on YouTube is that you pay attention and take notes, just as you would if you’d invested in a paid course. Often it can be instinctual to passively watch YouTube instruction videos in the same way that you would watch a video for pure entertainment, but this is NOT going to teach you anything.
Pause the video, take notes, and ask yourself how the lessons you’re learning can be reflected in your own game. If the instructor is showing a hand review, pause the video and think to yourself “how would I play this spot?” Then once the hand is completed, note your thoughts and how you’ll apply what you’ve learned in your own game. This is an absolutely vital part of your poker learning, without it you’ll learn nothing, get frustrated, and possibly quit the game eventually.
If you feel like you’ve exhausted the free information on YouTube, or if you already are a winning player and want more detailed, nitty gritty information, you can check out the free courses available on several poker training sites. These courses will typically be more in depth and structured than YouTube videos, and you’ll be able to get a taste of what each site’s training style is like. Whether you’re ready to invest in a poker course or not, these free training videos are a great place to start, since you’ll be able to assess how the instruction works with your learning style.
Check out the Tournament Masterclass Starter – a 100% free poker course that will teach you important preflop and postflop concepts, vital bankroll management skills, ICM theory and much more!
2. How Do I Learn Best?
Whether you’re ready to invest in a poker course, or you’re simply watching free videos online.. Your learning style will play a big part in how much value you get from your study.
Everyone has a slightly different way of doing things, but there are a few common ways that people learn. Here, we’ll take a moment to address each of them.
If historically you’ve learned things fastest when listening, there are several ways you can implement this in your poker study:
Poker videos and courses are a great starting point, since you can listen to the instructor the whole time
If you’re reading a book, highlight the important parts by reading them out loud. This will help you internalize what you’re learning
Private poker coaching could be a good option, especially if you find it difficult to focus while watching videos
If you prefer to be able to see what you’re learning, you can try these methods:
Poker books will work, just make sure that they’re up to date
Poker quizzes will be a great place to start as well, check out our free one here
Take notes actively while studying (this is very important)
Use a visual program like ICMIZER to study (if you play tournaments)
If you find yourself struggling to take in information that you can’t physically touch, online learning can be a challenge. However, that doesn’t mean all is lost, just try these techniques:
Get a poker coach (if you can afford it and are at the right place in your poker journey)
Take lots of poker quizzes (free one here)
Write your notes on a piece of paper while studying. Draw diagrams and physically “connect the dots”
Use a hand replayer like ICMIZER and change different aspects of the hand while learning
Knowing how you intake information best will allow you to study much more effectively and will aid you in choosing a course. Many poker courses are just slideshows, some have interactive quizzes, some include real hand examples, and some mainly focus on GTO theory.
Knowing how you like to learn will help you to decide which course is likely the best one for you.
3. How Much Can I Invest?
This question will have a big effect on what course you’re ready for. Unless you’ve got a lot of money already, you should make this decision based on how big your bankroll is.
For example, it wouldn’t make much sense to buy a $1,000 poker course if you’ve only got $200 in your bankroll. Make sure that you’re not taking too big of a percentage of the money you’ll actually play with to study, unless you feel like your game is truly broken and you want to take a few months off just to study. (If this is the case for you, it might be best to start with free material and learn the basics of poker by watching YouTube videos, taking free courses, and engaging with peers in a group chat or discord).
If you’ve got a large enough bankroll where buying a poker course would only take around 25% or less out of it, it could be a good investment long term.
The right poker course can be absolutely revolutionary for your poker game, but it will take time for your investment to pay off so make sure that you’re not parting with too much capital before you’re ready.
4. What Stakes/Games Do I Play?
Especially when buying a course, this question is very important to answer. You’ll rarely find any courses that teach you how to play multiple game types, as they are typically very focused on mastering one game type.
You have to find a course that matches the stakes and games that you actually want to play.
For instance, a super in-depth, GTO theory course might not be best for you when just starting out with poker. It can teach you high level concepts, but you might find the content to be overwhelming if you’re still in the earlier stages of learning. Search out courses that have a more A-Z approach, strengthening your fundamentals first before applying advanced concepts to your game.
5. How Much Time Do I Have To Study?
If you have a full time job that already takes a ton of time out of your day, you’ve got to realize that investing in a massive 50+ hour course will take a ton of time to work through. Free content or smaller courses may be better building blocks if you play very recreationally, maybe just 1-2 times per week.
If you have time to invest, purchasing a larger, more in depth course may be perfect for you. Just make sure that you don’t buy a massive $1,000 course, just to have it sit on your computer for years while you watch 1 video per week.
Unless you have a lot of money, this is probably not the best investment of your capital as it will take a long time (if ever) to see tangible results. Another thing to remember if you have very little time in your day to study is that you have to choose a course that is perfect for the games that you do get to play.
If the only time you play poker is with your buddies on the weekends, make sure you buy a live cash game course that will teach you the specific strategies you need to beat that game. If you only play online poker tournaments, buy a course for that.
Don’t dabble in different games when you don’t play that often anyway, just pick one format and only study/play that game.
6. Which Raise Your Edge Course Would Be Right For Me?
There are lots of poker courses and instructors on the internet these days, and hopefully this article has provided you with some clarity and insight when it comes to choosing a course. Here at Raise Your Edge we specialize primarily with players who are truly invested in poker and wanting to quit their jobs, make tons of money playing, and are willing to invest a ton of time in order to improve.
If you’re a very casual player, our courses are probably not for you right now, and you’d be better off learning from the hundreds of informative videos on our YouTube channel, or checking out the Tournament Masterclass Starter.
If you are at the point in your poker career where you think a course is right for you, here are some of the courses we offer:
This course is for you IF:
You want to take poker very seriously, and are willing to invest 100+ hours into studying and improving your game You want to learn how to beat mid-high stakes tournaments, online or live You want to learn real, actionable exploits and strategies, not just random GTO theory that doesn’t apply to your games.
The Tournament Masterclass is our flagship course, instructed by RYE founder bencb. With over 50+ hours of in-depth content, it is widely regarded as one of the best tournament poker courses ever made.
The course takes you step by step through preflop (with hundreds of preflop ranges for every tournament scenario you will likely face), postflop strategy, ICM implications, mindset, bankroll management, and much, much more.
It is difficult to find a more complete course available on the market, and with consistent, lifetime updates it keeps getting better and better every year. For more information (and to watch a lesson from the course for free) check out our in-depth course page here.
Mastering Live Cash:
This course is for you IF:
You are a serious cash game player who is ready to put in the work in order to crush $1/$2, $2/$5 and $5/$10 live games.
You have the fundamentals down, but are break-even or struggling to make much money in your games
You have the time to invest in a longer cash game course
Mastering Live Cash is taught by FaLLout86 and Mariano5, who have both been crushers in the live cash game scene for years and years. They break apart your game and rebuild it from preflop forward, teaching you exploits and strategies that will transform your game and make you one of the best players at the table in almost any game you sit down at.
Follow and internalize what they have to teach in this 25+ hour course and your profits will skyrocket. You can check out more info regarding the course here.
Online Cash Apprentice:
This course is for you IF:
You mainly play online, low-mid stakes cash games
You have less time to study and need a quick, actionable gameplan with 0 fluff
Online Cash Apprentice is taught by FaLLout86 and Cold_Smile, who are both legends in the online cash game community. Both are full time professional cash game players with decades of experience between them.
The strategies taught in this course are simple, effective and applicable to most online cash formats you’ll see. Follow along as they teach you the exact ranges, exploits and strategies they use to crush 500 ZOOM and beyond. Check out the course here.
For a full list of the courses we have to offer, including a Bounty course, Sit’N’Go course, mindset course, German course, a masterclass with Bencb and Jaime Staples, and more, click here.