The Best Poker Training Sites
Training to Be a Pro But Need Help
Hey, there, fledgling poker player! So you’re tired of not winning at the tables, you’re looking to improve your game, and you’ve heard a lot about these online poker training sites. Lots of your opponents seem to be subscribing to them and improving their games. Can joining one or several of these sites improve your game as well? And if so, which sites give you the best bang for your buck? Here’s a few of the best and most well-known poker training sites, and what they offer:
A top-tier site for those players seeking ways to improve their cash-game play. DeucesCracked’s videos are better edited than many of the site’s competitors, and with a library now in excess of 1,200 videos, there’s plenty to choose from. Cash-game action is the site’s focus, though tournament play and other poker variants in addition to Texas Hold’em also receive some attention. Site instructors include noted online pros Emil “whitelime” Patel, Dani “ansky” Stern, Vanessa Selbst, Ariel Schneller and many others. See more details about Deuces Cracked and if its worth it.
By consensus CardRunners is the largest of all online poker training sites, having also merged with former competitor StoxPoker and signed a pact to work with major online site Full Tilt Poker. CardRunners serves up an extensive library of thousands of poker training videos, with a heavy focus on cash-game play. The site’s professional tutors include Cole South, Michael “timex” McDonald, Brian “sbrugby” Hastings, Taylor “greenplastic” Caby and many others. The massive library needs better organization, but the overall quality of the videos are among the best in this category. See more details about Cardrunners and if its worth it.
With PokerSavvy being more popular overseas, in fact they just stopped accepting players from the US, they are not the biggest player. Instead, PokerSavvy has taken on more of a incentive based poker theme but there is still solid information to be found on the site. I wouldn’t say they are the best training site, but definitely not the worst. Now that poker has been legalized in the US, they will obtain a license and begin accepting students from the United States. Here are more details about how PokerSavvy works.
While many of the training sites listed here focus primarily on cash-game play, PokerXFactor’s focus is on tournament action instead. Led by the legendary online duo of Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy and Eric “Sheets” Haber (who are also among the largest backers of other players in the industry), the site also includes instructional offerings from Kevin “BeL0WaB0Ve” Saul, Eric “Rizen” Lynch, Scott “BigRissky” Clements and many others. The site offers a library of several hundred videos, and includes an interactive hand-history viewer allowing members to review and shar their own questionable or interesting plays. Here is the full review of PokerXfactor’s tournament training site.
Cash-game action is the exclusive offering at new site BlueFire Poker, anchored by leading online pro Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond. The site’s fortunes rest on Galfond’s continued success and commitment, though he has been joined by site instructors Niman “Samoleus” Kenkre, Martin Fournier Giguere (a/k/a “Giggy”) and others in assembling a smallish but high-quality video library nearing 300 titles to date. The guys that run that coach on the site have some interesting reads that most pros follow. Read more about Bluefire the training site.
Here’s a poker-training site where the focus is on interactive training tools rather than videos, videos, and more videos. Sure, you’ll find videos at Poker VT, but the site is more of an interactive, concept-based tutoring center. The site is anchored around poker megastar Daniel Negreanu, but also includes many othernotables such as Paul Wasicka, Annette Obrestad, Bryan Devonshire, Adam Junglen and JC Alvarado. The site’s Flash-based, module-driven approach feels more like an interactive school than any of its competitors, though cutting through the pomp and ceremony to get to the meat of the schooling available here is one of the site’s minor cons. Overall, it’s a solid site with plenty of focus on tournament action. See more about if PokerVT is worth the money.
More geared to beginning and intermediate players, Grinder School is a newer site centered on several hundred videos that emphasize the core concepts of basic play, with a target audience of micro-, low- and mid-stakes players. The site offers both cash-game and tournament tutorials but focuses heavily on NLHE action, though other games and topics are showing signs of receiving attention. I think this will be a great site for when the US is legalized. Read our full review about our featured best site for low stakes training.
PokerStars Poker School (Poker School Online / PSO)
Several of the largest poker sites now offer their own basic tutorial packages, free of charge, with PokerStars among the sites doing so. Stars’ PSO offerings are free (account registration required), though they are geared toward beginners; intermediate and advanced players won’t pick up much new here. Still, the groundwork covered here is a solid start for playing poker. Please note that PokerStars now owns Full Tilt Poker Academy, but they are two separate entities. You can read more on the Pokerstars School here.
Another in-site offering, Full Tilt’s FTP Academy weds Full Tilt’s long-running “Play Like the Pros” approach to a smallish library of perhaps 200 videos and interactive learning lessons. The videos and interactive lessons cover a wide variety of topics, from core poker strategies to cash-game and tourney play. Many of Full Tilt’s big-name stars are represented, if sporadically: Chris Ferguson, Jen Harman, Howard Lederer, Erick Lindgren, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Gus Hansen and dozens of others. We rated this school as the best training site for beginners.