Learning Poker Online

Since I'm an underemployed genius, I think I want to try to make at least part of my living playing poker. I live not far from Atlantic City and am a veteran table game player. I have always, always done very well in blackjack and craps, if I should say so myself, and I believe that I could duplicate, at least on some small level, the success of people who make their living playing poker.

Got one small problem though....I don't know how to play poker! So I am asking the poker experts here where I can go online to learn poker. What are the best websites for online poker learning? No, I'm not going to actually play for money until I have the game down. I am also wondering if there are any books, etc, that might help as well.

Any advice from you would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

what kind of poker are you looking to play?

"I'm not going to actually play for money until I have the game down"

It's a totally different game when you have money on the line no matter how good you get

"what kind of poker are you looking to play?"

What kind is best to play? I guess Texas Hold 'Em is the kind played in casino tournaments, am I right or not. Like I said, I know very little about poker. I do care to make some money, however.

"It's a totally different game when you have money on the line no matter how good you get"

Right, I understand. But from my blackjack experience, I know how to manage money, and I know how to manage risk and my own adrenaline......I just don't know how to convert it to poker yet.......

most of the websites like partypoker.com have free games you can try

start by playing anywhere for free money. Get used to the actual rules of the game, but realize that playing for play money is nothing like real money. You will probably making a killing in play money, but it will not translate to success with real money.

The first thing you have to realise is that to make money at poker it will cost you money. I have not heard of anyone who started making a living playing poker right away. You will probably lose your entire bankroll several times before you start making good money. And what is good money? The experts and pros expect to make about one to two big bets an hour. so if you are playing at a $3/6 Holdem' tabble (That is a $3 Big blind and $6 big bet)you can expect to make about $6 an hour, if you are good. But here is the kicker, you need at least a bankroll of atleast $1800 to even play at this level.

Thanks guys. I basically have the bankroll, just need to get going on the rules and get experience.

As far as books go, for starting out with limit hold'em I really liked Lee Jones' Winning Low Limit Hold'em, it gave a great basis to start out on and put a lot of solid information into a pretty small book (might require re-reading a few times to pick up on all of it).

I also really liked Middle Limit Holdem Poker by Bob Ciaffone and Jim Brier, more good information about the game.

Once you start really understanding the game and feel you've got a solid grasp on the information in those books, then you really should read Sklansky's book: Theory of Poker. So much good information in that book, but it's not about how to play, it's about knowing more of the math and theories of playing poker.

I'm still very new to poker but I feel those three books were of great help to me. However, so much of them are about playing limit poker (set betting structure) and not about playing No Limit (no set betting structure, at any point you can raise as much as you want only limited by how many chips you have in front of you). I've read a bit about No Limit but I don't feel I've found anything that really covers the topic to a degree that I was happy with. But then again i've yet to read things like Super System.

Also, start playing online at places like partypoker.com or ultimatebet.com they let you play with play-money so you can get a feel for how the game is played, I also like ultimatebet.com because you can play in their freerolls which helps give you a little taste of what it's like playing in a tournament. However, you must never forget that there is a night and day difference between play-money games and real money games. Just cause you're doing good at play money doesn't mean a thing. And by the same right just cause you do alright in Freeroll tournaments (tournamens with no cost to enter) doesn't mean anything because usually half the people playing just throw the chips around for fun, freerolls are completely different then real money tournaments.

Also, with poker becoming more and more popular, chances are you know some people who play in a local game, even if it's for low values it's worth it to play cause you can have your friends help teach you the game.

Well like I said I'm still new to poker, but I'm having a lot of fun, I hope the above info helps but you might want to wait for some of the more experienced poker players on this forum to toss their 2 cents in too


3/6 are the bets...

The blinds for the 3/6 are usually 1/3...

opps. you are. I'll edit.

You have to lose some money while you get your poker education. Best way to learn to play IMO is playing in SNG (10 player mini tournaments), a good place to start is the $5 mini's. Get a book or 2 first and understand what hands you will be playing and in what position. Start by playing 10 $5 tournaments, with the goal of finishing in the top 3 spots. Track your wins and losses after every tournament. Fold ALOT, watch how badly the wreckless players do, don't be like them.

That's the cheapest way to learn IMO. Stay off the cash tables until you understand the game. Don't play the play money games either, it creates a bad habit of throwing chips at the pot constantly. Good luck.

There's a lot of well meaning but misguided info in this thread. I am by no means an expert, but I did learn how to play just 15 months ago, had a mentor, and now have played professionally for six months.

Also, I have guided friends and even my sister from knowing nothing about Hold 'Em, to being winners of varying success.

1 - Join any poker site and play for play money. Dont worry about your results. Here you are just learning the rules of the game (how every thing works: the betting, the blinds, hand rankings, etc) and reading the board (i.e identifying pairs, flushes, straights, and how the board can affect the opponents hands). DO NOT WORRY ABOUT RESULTS. WINNING OR LOSING AT PLAY MONEY MEANS NOTHING. Although try to play as if you are playing for real money - i.e. try to win.

2 - Get Texas Hold Em by Sklansky or Winning Low Limit Hold Em. I reccommend the short Sklansky book. Even though it is a small book, trust me it has a TON of info. Start reading the book and try to apply the concepts within. Read ONLY one section then play.

This step is crucial for success. Studying -> playing -> studying, etc. Although you may not understand concepts about pot odds or position, you will after
being aware of the concept and then playing.

The above steps are good for AT LEAST 2 months of play.

Although I think bkstrap has had success with the SNG route, stick to cash games for now. The SNG adds a layer of complexity to regular poker.

Oh, and more importantly, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOSE MONEY WHEN LEARNING HOW TO PLAY POKER. This is critical!!! You win or lose based on your skill level in relation to those you play! It's not like you have to lose 2k before you magically start winning.

I started with $240 ($200 of mine and $40 bonus), and made another $50 deposit. At my lowest point I was -$258 in the hole. Since then I havent looked back... broke even a couple months later and now just over a year later I am up to +75,000.

By the way, I am not trying to brag, I am just trying to make the point that if you practice and study hard, and learn from your mistakes you can win a ton of money in online poker.

God knows how much money I burned to a crisp making hundreds of errors playing poker. And I still suck today! I am sure wreccker would be able to earn much more than I do, playing the same tables as me.

Good posts PR. I agree with most of what you said in theory. It takes alot of discipline to sit around and play with play money. I could not have learned that way. To each his own.

"This step is crucial for success. Studying -> playing -> studying, etc. Although you may not understand concepts about pot odds or position, you will after being aware of the concept and then playing. "

Couldn't agree more. That's the only way to become an intermediate player without going broke in the process.

Yeah strap, I didnt play for play money for long. This reminds me of a point I should have made.

When you move to real money, play at the LOWEST POSSIBLE STAKES REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH YOU BUY IN FOR.

The key is to "buy" enough time to learn enough to become a winning player before going broke. This could take 4 months it could take a year.

If you deposit $50, don't go play the $1/$2, even an excellent player has a large chance of busting out through simple variance.

awesome advice from PR. hey man you haven't had a report on here lately.

PR i have a question i just started playing poker a month ago. up like 400 and started with 10. how do you know how much money you need to move up tables? i started on the .1/.2 tables but moved up to the .25/.5 tables a little over a week ago. i'm still learning at the moment but i think i'm playing well enough to move up again however i don't want to do so without the proper funds. how much bankroll should you have before you move up to a higher table is basically my question.


Poker is like kung fu......

Hey Mongrel... yeah I havent written a November Poker Report yet. Wasnt sure if any people really read them. Had an exciting month poker-wise, I'll have to write it.

As for bankroll, it is generally accepted that you need 300 Big Bets (BB) to survive the large downswings you can have even if you are a winning player - 300BB to not go broke because of a bad run.

That being said, if you are a losing player, no bankroll is large enough - you will eventually lose everything.

So for 0.25/0.50 you should have $150 so it looks like you are adewuately bankrolled at $400... continue to play the 0.25/0.50 until you feel like you can beat 0.50/1. Take a shot at the next level up and see how it goes. Good luck!