Poker Training Sites: Worth the Investment?


If you’re just getting into poker, you may already be asking yourself whether it’s a good idea to join a poker training site. There are plenty of them to choose from – CardRunners, PokerXFactor, Deuces Cracked, and Deepstacks University, just to name a few – so how do you know whether it’s worth your time to price shop and start watching videos all day long? Read on to find out.

You can only take your game so far on your own. Whether it’s due to your intellectual limitations or frame of reference, your own poker know-how can only take you so far. There comes a time when in order to advance to the next level, you need to seek outside help. That’s where a training site comes in. You’ll be able to discover strategies and concepts you could not think of on your own. From watching the dozens of videos you’ll have access to or reading pro blogs, a light bulb could very well go off in your head.

Of course, if you have the limited attention span that many poker players do, spending an hour watching a training video and then absorbing the information in it may not be the optimal solution. Maybe something exciting is happening on Facebook or a brand new episode of “Man Versus Food” just came on. Regardless, the likelihood that you’ll stay focused on the video at hand is slim to none.

If struggling to focus is a way of life, then being a poker pro won’t be for you. However, if you just want to improve your game, talking with your peers may be a more effective strategy. Head to a major online poker forum like or and make a few new friends. Chat about hands, submit your feedback on strategic questions, and interact with your fellow players. Although this isn’t necessarily a substitute for online poker training, it’s definitely one way to get better.

Many poker training sites can take your game from marginal to good, but very few offer the resources needed to turn you into a champion. That extra step really comes from having a core group of poker playing friends to confide in and lots and lots of practice. However, if you’re a low-stakes player looking to move up to the mid-stakes, poker training sites may be just what the doctor ordered.

The core of sites like CardRunners, for example, is their forum, which you can visit around-the-clock to solicit feedback from students and coaches alike. However, paying $30 per month to read forums hardly sounds like a good investment, so make sure to watch every video you can get your hands on. Watch out for the subtleties in how players act in videos compared to what you do.

If you can splurge, we’d highly recommend one-on-one poker training with a qualified coach. Most sites offer the opportunity to learn from their pros in private sessions. Although they’re far from affordable, they’re well worth it if your bankroll allows. The poker coach you pick is up to you, but remember to vet them extensively. If you’re interested in learning Omaha, make sure your coach is well versed in that genre. Don’t just take his word for it either. Instead, use database sites to verify your coach’s credibility.

Each poker training site specializes in different areas of the game, from low-stakes to high-stakes to cash games to tournaments. Scope out each one extensively and then utilize any free trials that are available in order to select the one that fits you best. With any luck, we’ll be writing about your success right here on


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