Online Poker Courses

Last Updated: 7 December 2022

Compare the Best Online Poker Courses

After looking through numerous poker courses and online poker schools, we have summarized the best poker training into categories by game type. Simply click the poker course name in the lists below to read the full description. If you are interested in learning more about a particular poker training course, simply click the red "Read More" button, or if you wish to order the course, click the green "Order Now" button.

Quickly compare the best online poker courses. Whether you are interested in becoming better at Texas Hold'em or Omaha, or prefer cash games, tournaments, or SNGs, we can help you find the right poker training course for you! Click to Tweet

If you do decide to order any of these excellent poker courses, we would love to hear your feedback so that we can further adjust our listings based on additional points of view. You may also want to check out our recommended best poker software, best poker books, or best poker training sites.

Texas Hold'em Poker Courses

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  • #1: The One Percent$199 to $399 +

    one percent poker course

    This video series from SplitSuit takes a deep-dive into what separates the high-stakes grinders from the $1/$2 try-hards. The entire series contains over 6 hours of 1080p video that you can immediately download and begin using. See the math behind the game and spot every place where your opponents are leaving heaps of chips on the table - and then capitalize by fighting more, folding less, and choosing more intelligent ranges with a true system for success.

    Everything discussed in this course applies to cash game players of any limit, at any venue, regardless of the number of players dealt in. All of the examples are from live $1/$2 and $2/$5 cash games, but the concepts are universal since the no-limit poker math is consistent throughout. Players looking to move up, and thus face a larger percentage of strong opponents, will get extra value from this series as protecting your own frequencies becomes a primary concern against strong players.

    A frequency-first approach builds the proper foundation for a correct strategy. Once you have this down, layering in tells & hand reading allows you to optimize and exploit with further precision. But frequencies come first!

    Some of things you will learn in this comprehensive video course include:

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    2. Your Frequencies: Are you betting enough? Do you fold too often against double barrels? Learn clear rules to ensure your frequencies are correct and how to exploit players who bluff too often (or too little) and fold too much (or not enough)
    3. Betting Ratios: How many bluffs should you double barrel the turn with? How many combos should you value bet the river with? Learn clear rules on value-to-bluff ratios in order to keep your opponents guessing!
    4. Refine your Ranges: Once you've got your frequencies correct, you will work on refining your ranges. Learn exactly which combos you should bluff with, which hands semi-bluff best, how to play Ace-high, and how to protect your checking ranges.
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    2. Basic Edition$199Order
    3. PURE Edition$399Order

    This course has been one of the most defining experiences in my 7 years of ongoing poker education. This is a must if you want to be the first red corpuscle on the tip of the strategic spear of poker. James Sweeney will challenge you to question your own game and take you to a new level of cognition.

    Robert S., live poker player
  • #2: Ace Poker Drills$24.99 to $39.99 +

    ace poker drills poker training software

    Ace Poker Drills are a series of online poker videos and quizzes designed to help you instantly recognize which pre-flop Texas Hold'em hands you can play profitably, and will strengthen your ability to calculate hand equity, odds, and outs. Become an expert at the most important part of Texas Holdem: solid pre-flop decision-making!

    This simple and intuitive poker training software is aimed primarily at beginner to small stakes poker players. You are shown common pre-flop and post-flop situations in a quiz-style format and given feedback about how to improve your poker game. Ace Poker Drills also teaches you how to properly count outs (including backdoor draws) and convert those outs to odds.

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    2. Learn which pre-flop starting hands to play profitably
    3. Increase your understanding of your opponents' hand ranges
    4. Receive full explanations on the most optimal EV play and why
    5. Practice sample hands until you can intuitively calculate your equity in each hand
    6. Multiple choice format quiz lets you to quickly study using repetitive learning situations

    There are two separate Ace Poker Drills courses. Order both and save 20%:

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    2. Preflop Trainer$24.99
    3. Equity Trainer$24.99
    4. Combo Pack$49.98   $39.99

    Each of the online poker training software courses also includes a free Odds/Out & Equity Calculator software.

  • #3: Red Chip Poker PRO$50/month +

    redchip pro poker training

    Playing stronger poker means studying the right stuff, the right way. Grab your Red Chip Poker PRO Membership today and see how iterative study sessions will boost your confidence, aggression, and ability to optimize lines at the table. Transform your game by studying smarter so that you can grind harder!

    For just $50/month, get access to a phenomenal collection of poker training from Red Chip Poker:

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    2. Instant 24/7 access to hundreds of in-depth poker training videos that teach the latest poker strategies
    3. Training materials specific to the poker games you play
    4. Complete access to CORE poker training program ($260/year value)
    5. All 5 Crash Courses (value of $268.84)
    6. A community of serious poker players with whom you can share ideas and discuss tactics and specific hands
    7. VIP service & guidance from the Red Chip Poker team
    8. Monthly group coaching webinars where members of the RCP team answer your questions

    For just $50/month, you get unlimited access to a HUGE library of poker training videos, articles, poker courses, and poker coaching. Best of all, you can cancel at any time!

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    2. Get Started$50/monthOrder
    3. Annual Plan$600/year  $495/yearOrder
  • #4: The Hand Reading Lab$497 +

    hand reading lab poker coaching videos

    Putting your opponent on the right range at the right time allows you to run every +EV bluff and find every bit of value. Stop guessing what your opponents are playing, and start knowing their range in every hand.

    The Hand Reading Lab from SplitSuit is a complete course focused on one thing: making you a hand-reading expert! Stop guessing what your opponents have and start narrowing down their range so you can bluff, value bet thinner, and increase your confidence (plus winrate!) at the tables. It doesn't matter if you are trying to 3bet more often, double barrel more bluffs, or just trying to sniff-out monsters...every play you want to run requires hand reading.

    I finished the Lab and it helped me a lot. This was exactly what I’ve been searching for. I read books about this stuff but it never really sank in. With [these] videos it was much easier and [The Lab] explains it in a very good and simple way.

    Roman L., live poker player

    This fantastic poker coaching video series includes:

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    2. Over 7 hours of HD poker training videos
    3. A 2 hour Hand Reading Webinar ($60 value)
    4. Lifetime Flopzilla license ($25 value)
    5. The popular Hand Readin Live TAGs video from Red Chip Poker ($35 value)
    6. SplitSuit's custom Flopzilla ranges ($40 value)
    7. Powerful guides and exercises for off-table study

    Instead of paying hundreds of dollars per hour for 1-on-1 coaching, invest less and get a COMPLETE hand-reading skill set!

  • #5: Poker Zion$7.00 +

    test poker zion training course

    I know what you're thinking, "How good can a course be if it only costs $7?". Well, apparently the answer is very good indeed! Although Poker Zion is not a complete beginner's poker course in that you do need to have some online poker experience, it will teach you how to win if you already understand the basics!

    Don't believe what you see in the movies! Profitable poker isn't about knowing exactly what your opponent has, or even about always making the perfect decision. Instead, it's about knowing how to analyze any given poker situation, and coming to sound conclusions as consistently as possible. Poker Zion gives you the tools to do this!

    Some of the topics covered by the 45+ structured strategy videos included in this course include:

    1. hidden
    2. Continuation bet flop textures
    3. Playing draws
    4. Maximizing value out of position
    5. Understanding hand ranges
    6. Creative lines and abusing regs

    You will simply not find a more comprehensive poker course for this price!

  • #6: CORE$5/week +

    For just $5/week, you can have access to a phenomenal collection of poker information:

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    2. 100+ poker lessons: complete them at your own pace
    3. Exclusive poker videos from multiple poker coaches, covering topics from beginner to advanced
    4. In-depth hand analysis that reinforce the lessons
    5. 20+ poker quizzes that challenge your knowledge and provide feedback to help you plug the leaks in your game
    6. Earn achievements and badges that show your progress and provide a sense of accomplishment as you complete each lesson or quiz
    7. Cancel at anytime! You can rejoin CORE at a later date to continue your poker lessons

    Definitely a viable and affordable alternative to having a live coach


    For just $5, you can start learning from a wide range of poker professionals, and there's no minimum subscription length, so you can cancel at any time!

  • #7: GTO Crash Course$79 to $149 +

    gto poker crash course

    Learn GTO poker in just 7 hours! Learning Game Theory Optimal poker is about more than keeping up with modern-day poker strategies. It unlocks a new way of looking at poker strategy and tactics entirely. The best poker players understand GTO. Never before has a thorough understanding been so affordable and accessible.

    If you’ve been waiting for a fast, affordable and well-structured way to learn GTO poker strategy, this Red Chip Poker Crash Course will make sure you’re not getting left behind.

    The 60-page strategy ebook guides you through each video lesson, highlighting key points and diving deeper into the details. Hone your GTO poker skills via quizzes and exercises.

    This outstanding poker video course contains 9 video lessons, each 25-35 minutes long, making it easy to focus on a single key concept without getting overwhelmed.

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    2. Learn what GTO is and how it makes you money at the poker table with hours of in-depth, structured training videos
    3. Play "toy games" to build your GTO skills from scratch
    4. Learn to use GTO+ software to analyze various spots and strategies
    5. Watch poker videos from pro coaches Andrew Bokos, Doug Hull, and Ross Glover
    6. Includes a 60-page eBook with quizzes and exercises

    When you download the GTO Crash Course, you gain lifetime access on any device!

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    2. GTO Crash Course $79Download
    3. Crash Course + Software$149Download
  • #8: $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Crash Course$39.95 +

    texas holdem poker cash game course

    In poker, most players lose a little, win a little, or break even. However, the best poker players are big, consistent winners over the long-term. These players are studying and playing alongside mentors and peers. They have access to hidden strategies proven to work in today’s games.

    You can also gain access to this kind of information from Red Chip Poker. Their team of poker professionals find the edges that allow them to win, and they share that information in their online poker courses.

    Being active on RCP is the single best step I took to improve my game. The amount of time it took to see improvements was almost instantaneous.

    Dutch81 (Daniel)

    This excellent poker training video course provides 11+ hours of quality poker training videos by top low-stakes cash game coaches and authors Ed Miller, James "SplitSuit" Sweeney, Doug Hull, and Christian Soto. In this texas hold'em cash game course, you will learn:

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    2. Hand reading and range building
    3. Continuation betting and how to be aggressive
    4. How to play out of position
    5. Bet sizing
    6. Exploitative strategies
    7. Game Theory Optimal strategies
    8. Pre-Flop and post-flop planning
    9. Bluffing and barreling

    In addition to all of the excellent poker training videos, you also receive follow-up emails and study material to keep you motivated!

  • #9: Advanced Poker Training$19.97 to $39.97/month +

    advanced poker training

    Advanced Poker Training offers a unique approach to online poker training. Instead of simply watching training videos, or doing exercises, you learn primarily by playing poker! Simply join a full ring, 6-max, or heads-up cash game table, or a tournament final table, SNG, or full MTT. You then pick the level of your opponents (Easy, Medium, Hard, Very Hard, or Hardest) and start to play.

    Advanced Poker Training provides members with a weekly report identifying areas where you need to improve, a weekly training plan, and a weekly challenge to keep things interesting. There are even leaderboards so you can compare your progress with other APT members.

    Once you have identified weaknesses in your game, you can learn how to fix them with Advanced Poker Training's numerous articles and poker training videos.

    Using their poker software, you can setup specific situations. For example, if you struggle defending your big blind, you can simply play 1,000 hands from your BB!

    Some of the features offered by Advanced Poker Training include:

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    2. Play up to 500 hands per hour in 6-max or full-ring no limit hold'em cash games, Sit-n-Go's, multi-table tournaments against up to 8,000 life-like opponents
    3. Get targeted poker training and advice. Practice any starting hand, from any position over and over! Watch a replay of any hand you've played and get expert poker advice from 28 advisors!
    4. Optimize your poker skills and track your progress with weekly reports and training plans
    5. Challenge top poker pros in a wide variety of skills to see how you compare
    6. Train at any time, anywhere. Advanced Poker Training is hosted on a website, so there is no need to download anything.
    7. Use the unique "Brain Button" to see your virtual advisor's thought process in order to improve your own!

    Take a 3-minute tour of Advanced Poker Training's features:

    Each membership option includes a 30-day money-back guarantee!

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    2. Monthly$39.97/month
    3. 6-Months (most popular)$24.97/month
    4. Yearly (best value)$19.97/month
    5. Lifetime$499

    I want to thank Steve Blay and Advanced Poker Training for their help and support before and during the event

    Qui Nguyen, 2016 WSOP Main Event champion
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Poker Tournament Training

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  • #1: Road to Success$83 to $414 +

    poker training courses

    This fantastic video course is ideal for beginner Texas Hold'em tournament players (whether online or live) who want to learn how to become consistent winners. More experienced players will learn advanced concepts, such as opening hand ranges and bet-sizing, making it great for regular winners who want to improve their ROI from poker tournaments.

    I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Road to Success.

    Jack Sinclair, a poker pro with more than $4M in live poker tournament winnings!
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    2. No subscription required, allowing you to learn at your own pace
    3. Get over 90 lessons and supplements, divided into 6 well-structured modules that guide you through the learning process
    4. Newer players who only want to learn the fundamentals can get the Starter Course (first 2 modules + 2 bonus lessons from module 6) for just $104.25
    5. Key concepts are explained in a way that even novice players can follow
    6. Your instructor is Kelvin "AcesUp" Beattie, a professional poker player for 14+ years with over $4M in online winnings, and is a former #1 ranked player in Australia

    Use coupon code TOPPOKERVALUE to save 25% on both the Starter and Premium Road to Success courses!

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    2. Starter Course$139     $83Order
    3. Premium Course$690   $414Order
  • #2: Sit and Go Booster$24.95 +

    sng booster online poker course

    Get this inexpensive poker course if you would like to improve from a being a good Sit-and-Go poker player to a great one! Learn the strategies and moves that SNG pros use to regularly finish in the money and start dramatically increasing your Sit & Go winnings!

    Sit and Go Booster is a complete SNG poker course that is suitable for novice and experienced players alike. No matter your level of SNG experience, your results will improve by following the advice contained in this course. Many of the concepts presented in the Sit and Go Booster poker course are not found in ANY OTHER poker course! Everything you need to know to consistently beat online poker Sit & Go's is explained in detail.

    Improve your Sit & Go winnings today for just $24.95!

  • #3: MTT Crash Course$39.95 +

    poker tournament crash course

    Multi-table poker tournaments are one of the most popular poker game types, but outlasting a large field of opponents can be extremely challenging. Consistently cashing in tournaments is not enough - you need to play tournaments to win!

    The strategies presented in this online poker video course were created by tournament professionals with 6 and even 7-figure cashes in addition to many deep runs in large field events. Learn how to make the money more often, but more importantly, how to make the final table and win it all!

    I used your training and advice to advance to a final table at this year’s WSOP Super Seniors Tournament in Vegas. I got a 20X return on my investment. Thank you, Red Chip team.

    Jim C.

    Some of the topics covered by this excellent poker tournament video course from Red Chip Poker include:

    1. hidden
    2. Leveraging your stack size
    3. Early, mid, and late stage play
    4. Playing on the bubble
    5. Final table strategies
    6. Stealing and re-stealing
    7. Independent Chip Model (ICM)
    8. Push/fold charts
    9. Short stack play
    10. Mental game and resilience

    Get access to 9 hours of exclusive poker training videos from top low-stakes coaches/authors Gareth James, Jordan Young, Doug Hull, and Christian Soto!

  • #4: Bounty Hunter: PKO Poker Course$374.25 +

    progressive knockout poker tournament course

    If you enjoy playing online poker tournaments and would like to start crushing the increasingly popular progressive knockout tournaments, then this is the ideal poker course for you! Learn how strategy shifts dramatically as stack sizes change, as well as how to isolate opponents to earn bounties, navigate multi-way pots, and more!

    Nearly all players are still blundering in PKO tournaments by not adjusting correctly because they are used to playing regular MTTs, but PKO strategy is so different! Acesup has put together the ultimate course. The latest strategy with easy, practical methods. Giving PokerNerve members an enormous edge!

    Jack Sinclair, WSOPE 2018 Main Event Winner
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    2. Get over 40 high quality lessons, divided into 9 well-structured modules that guide you through the learning process
    3. No subscription required, allowing you to learn at your own pace. Re-watch key lessons at any time
    4. Modules are organized in a logical way and concepts are explained in a clear, concise manner
    5. Pay $131.25/month for 3 months (or just $74.25/month for 6 months) if you don't want to pay for the full course up front
    6. Your instructor is Kelvin "AcesUp" Beattie, a professional poker player for 14+ years PokerStars $109 Bounty Builder, $215 Bounty Builder and $530 Bounty Builder

    Use coupon code "TOPPOKERVALUE" to save $124.75 on the Bounty Hunter: PKO Poker Course (the normal price is $499)!

  • #5: MTT 3-Bet Shoves$69.99 +

    mtt 3-bet shoves online poker course

    3-bet shoving all-in is easy when you have a premium hand. But what do you do with 6♣6♠ and 17bb effective stacks facing a 2.2x raise from a tight player in the cutoff position? What about AJ in the HJ against an EP open?

    The MTT 3-Bet Shoves Crash Course was designed to make you an expert in this critical spot all tournament players face frequently. Most of your tournament life is spent with 12-20bb stacks, and this Crash Course will give you a huge edge in these spots versus any field, whether playing poker live or online.

    This fantastic online poker tournament training course includes 6 videos, an 84-page companion strategy e-book, and more than 30 quiz questions to reinforce the training. And you don't just get told the correct answer either - the answer key is 44 pages long and shows how Red Chip Poker's pros work out every solution!

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    2. Learn the theory to help determine when a 3-bet shove is profitable
    3. Calculate chip EV to build an optimal 3-bet range
    4. Factor in ICM calculations (something most players don't even consider)
    5. Learn which questions to ask when analyzing a situation
    6. Dynamically build 3-bet ranges for every position at the table

    Deciding whether to 3-bet shove is often your biggest decision every tournament. It would probably help to know what you're doing!

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Omaha Poker Courses

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  • #1: Omaha Poker Training$19.97 to $39.97/month +

    omaha poker training

    Omaha Poker Training offers a unique approach to learning how to win at Omaha poker. Rather than watching a series of online poker training videos, or completing exercises, you primarily learn by playing Omaha! Simply join a 9-handed or 6-max Omaha cash game on the Omaha Poker Training website. Next, pick the level of your opponents (Very Easy, Easy, Medium, Hard, or Hardest) and start to play. You can also choose to play an Omaha multi-table tournament.

    Omaha Poker Training provides members with a series of reports to help identify areas where you need to improve your Omaha game. Some of the information the site tracks and compares to the best Omaha players includes percentage of flops seen, pre-flop raise percentage, pre-flop call percentage, post-flop aggression, frequency you were ahead on the flop and continued, frequency you were ahead on the turn and continued, showdown percentage, and more!

    Once you have identified weaknesses in your game, you can learn how to fix them with Omaha Poker Training's numerous articles and Omaha poker training videos.

    Using their poker software, you can setup specific situations. For example, if you struggle defending your big blind, you can simply play 1,000 hands from your BB!

    Some of the features offered by Omaha Poker Training include:

    1. hidden
    2. Play 100s hands per hour in 6-max or full-ring omaha cash games, or a multi-table tournament against up to 50 life-like opponents with varying levels of skill
    3. Get targeted poker training and advice. Practice any of 76 different Omaha hand types (rundowns, double-suited pairs, etc.). Practice from any position over and over! Watch a replay of any hand you've played and get expert poker advice from your virtual advisor!
    4. Optimize your Omaha poker skills quickly and effectively. Track your performance by hand type, position, difficulty level, or betting round.
    5. Train at any time, anywhere. Omaha Poker Training is hosted on a website, so there is no need to download anything.
    6. Review (or retry) any hand you've ever played. Every hand you play is saved forever to your own secure online database.

    Take a 2-minute tour of Omaha Poker Training's features:

    Each membership option includes a 30-day money-back guarantee!

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    2. Monthly$39.97/month
    3. 6-Months (most popular)$24.97/month
    4. Yearly (best value)$19.97/month
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General Poker Lessons

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  • #1: Poker Aggression Crash Course$39.95 +

    poker aggression course

    Can you become a bigger winner in just ten days? Study the Red Chip Poker Aggression Crash Course for just one hour per day, and you should see an immediate improvement in your win rate after just 10 days!

    Aggressive poker is winning poker! Learn how to use these proven aggressive strategies to boost your win rate:

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    2. Play looser pre-flop
    3. Size bets for pain thresholds
    4. 3-Betting frequencies and tactics
    5. Barreling
    6. Bluffing and semi-bluffing
    7. Fold equity
    8. Exploiting aggression

    If you're struggling to be a big winner in poker, you're probably not being aggressive enough!

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Free Poker Training

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  • #1: Road to Success, Module 1FREE! +

    We have teamed up with to offer you access to amazing free poker lessons from Kelvin "AcesUp" Beattie (previously ranked #1 in Australia)! Note that this special offer is currently only available at All 6 modules of the Road to Success poker tournament course normally cost $690 ($517.50 with coupon code "TOPPOKERVALUE"), but you can get the first module FREE!

    I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Road to Success.

    Jack Sinclair, a poker pro with more than $4M in live poker tournament winnings!

    To get the first module of this outstanding poker tournament training course for free, simply register an account through with any of the following poker sites:

    1. hidden
    2. Americas Cardroom
    3. True Poker
    4. PartyPoker
    5. Bwin Poker
    6. William Hill
    7. Boylepoker

    Once you have made a deposit, email us the name of the site you joined along with your username, country and date of registration to . We will then send you a special code that will give you access to the entire first module of the Road to Sucess poker training course. After that, the only thing left to do is watch the free poker training videos and use what you learn to turn your initial deposit into a nice poker bankroll!

    Read More

  • #2: FREE Advanced Poker TrainingFREE! +

    free advanced poker training

    Simply join the Advanced Poker Training website and you can practice playing poker for free against realistic opponents. With the free membership, you will only be able to play against easy opponents, and will not receive weekly reports identifying weaknesses in your game. However, you can still play full-ring, 6-max, or heads-up cash games, or tournament final tables, Sit-n-Go's, or multi-table tournaments. 

    With a free Advanced Poker Training membership, you can also access their tools & games, and instructional poker articles. As soon as you register your free account, you will also receive:

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    2. 2016 WSOP Main Event Champion Qui Nguyen's Top 7 Tips for Dominating the Final Table
    3. Two-Time WPT Champion Jonathan Little's Top 7 Tips to Instantly Make You More Profitable
    4. Poker Commentator and Life Coach Kenna James' Top 7 Tips to Strengthen Your Mental Approach, and
    5. Best-Selling Author and Coach Alex Fitzgerald's Top 7 Tips for Beating Multi-Table Tournaments

    Advanced Poker Training provides the quickest path from average to world-class player!

    Mike Caro, Poker Legend
  • #3: FREE Omaha Poker TrainingFREE! +

    free omaha poker training

    Simply join the Omaha Poker Training website and you can practice playing Omaha for free against realistic opponents. With the free membership, you will only be able to play against "very easy" opponents, and will not receive any of the reports that help identify weaknesses in your game. However, you can still play 9-handed or 6-max omaha cash games, or multi-table omaha tournaments. 

    With a free Omaha Poker Training membership you will receive two free exclusive poker videos from 3-time WSOP bracelet winner Scott Clements:

    1. hidden
    2. Top 5 tips to Mastering PLO (17:40)
    3. Top 5 PLO Beginner Mistakes (11:07)
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Free Poker Training

Follow this simple process to get the first module of the Road to Sucess poker training course for FREE, and start crushing online and live poker tournaments today!

  1. Register an account through with any of the following poker sites:
    1. Americas Cardroom
    2. True Poker
    3. PartyPoker
    4. Bwin Poker
    5. William Hill
    6. Boylepoker
  2. To figure out which of these online poker sites is best for you, check out our detailed online poker rankings.
  1. Make a deposit of any amount (although you should try to maximize the site's first deposit bonus). To avoid fees, consider using either of the following deposit methods:
    2. Skrill
  1. Email us the name of the site you joined along with your username, country and date of registration to . We will then send you a special code that will give you access to the entire first module of the Road to Sucess poker training.
  1. Watch free poker training videos and use what you learn to turn your initial deposit into a nice poker bankroll!

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Can poker be a career? +

    You can absolutely play poker for a living, but there are several of things you should seriously consider before attempting to become a professional poker player:

    1. Playing poker professionally requires a lot of study (and it helps if you're good at math). You need to be prepared to invest a lot of time to learn how to win at poker

    2. If you are smart, dedicated, and disciplined enough to become a professional poker player, then you could probably make more money doing something else!

    3. You need an incredible amount of discipline to play poker for a living. This includes avoiding tilt, as well as proper bankroll management. You are going to experience some insane runs of bad luck, so if you don't have the mental fortitude to deal with that, then you should probably do something else for a living (because taking a break won't be an option if you have bills to pay and no other source of income). Lack of discipline destroys far more poker careers than lack of skill.

    4. It is an unhealthy lifestyle. If playing live poker, you will likely be up at all hours, making it almost impossible to maintain a regular sleep schedule. This will also make it hard to have a social life outside of the game. You will also likely be eating 1-2 meals at the table. Playing online can be a bit better (especially if you prepare your meals in advance), but you still need to be disciplined in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    If you wish to pursue a career playing poker, then start off slow. Study the game and play recreationally until you can regularly win (either in a local casino, or online). Practice proper bankroll management by setting aside a fixed amount of money and don't ever add to it. If you ever go broke, then your bankroll management isn't good enough. Next, start taking expenses out of your bankroll every month (i.e. rent, grocery bills, etc.). Keep doing this until poker is paying for all of your living expenses. If you're able to maintain or grow your bankroll while paying for your expenses for at least 1 year, then congratulations, you are now a professional poker player!

  • Why is poker so hard? +

    Poker is the game with both the best and worst odds in a casino. It has the best odds because it is the only game in which you can have an edge. You are not playing against the house, but rather against the other players (with the house just taking a cut of your winnings). If you are significantly better than the other players, then poker is profitable. However, for this exact same reason, it also has the worst odds because if you are worse than the other players, you are losing twice: once to the players, and again to the casino!

    If you are struggling to win at poker, then you need to improve your game. One of the best ways to do this is by studying. Read some poker books, read poker strategy articles, and invest in an online poker course. Review your sessions and look for mistakes. Mistakes you regularly make are called "leaks". Common leaks for players include playing too many hands (especially out of position), bluffing too much (or not enough), and chasing draws with bad odds.

    Probably the biggest reason that poker is so hard (especially online) is that there is an abundance of information available to help players improve. You need to take advantage of this information or you are putting yourself at a severe disadvantage to those who are!
  • Is poker difficult to learn? +

    Whether or not you find poker difficult to learn is going to depend on 3 factors::

    1. Your ability and willingness to learn (a basic understanding of math helps)
    2. The quality of the poker training
    3. Whether the poker training is suitable for your current level of knowledge

    One of the things that always surprises me is how many poker players think they will improve just by playing. While experience is definitely going to help, it will be a lot more beneficial if you have a solid foundation of knowledge first. If you are thinking of putting some money into an online poker site, or playing at your local casino, my advice is DON'T. Instead, take that money and invest in a good poker course. For as little as $20/month, you can invest in the Advanced Poker Training site, where you can practice against bots and get detailed reports showing you how to improve your game! The reason we recommend APT is that you still get to play poker, allowing you to put what you learn into practice without risking real money. The money you invest in this training will save you far more in the long run!
  • How long does it take to learn poker? +

    Mike Sexton once famously said that Texas Hold'em "..takes 5 minutes to learn and a lifetime to master." That is, anyone can learn to play poker very quickly, but learning to play it well takes much longer (and if you want to keep winning, then you should never stop learning).

    If you are looking to setup a weekly game with friends, then you can learn the basics of poker in about 30 minutes, and then teach your friends in about 10 more minutes.

    But if you are looking to become a winning poker player (or at least to lose significantly less), then that is going to take more time. How much time is going to depend on (a) your ability to learn, (b) whether you are willing to invest in quality poker training, and (c) how good you want to get. If you have very little knowledge of poker, then you should start with something like Poker Zion, a very basic poker course that costs a measly $7. Don't let the price fool you; you are getting a LOT of quality education for such a low price. This course will give you a solid foundation (enough to let you play competitively, although probably not enough to turn you into a winning player). With this solid foundation (and some experience playing), you are ready for some more advanced poker training, like The One Percent from SplitSuit, Red Chip's Poker Pro program, or if you prefer tournaments, PokerNerve's Road to Success course. These courses are all significantly more expensive, but pay for themselves many times over!  
  • What is the easiest way to learn poker? +

    People learn differently, but luckily there are a variety of ways for you to learn how to play poker:

    1. If you prefer to learn by reading, then there are plenty of excellent poker books ranging from beginner to advanced, and general topics to more specific ones (like Optimizing Ace-King). There are also plenty of free poker articles available on the web (although most of these cover very specific topics and require you to have a basic foundation of poker knowledge).

    2. Poker workbooks are a great way to supplement learning from reading. These present a series of problems designed to simulate real-world scenarios, thereby helping you convert theoretical knowledge into practical experience.

    3. There are also a myriad of poker courses, again ranging from generic topics like Red Chip Poker's Poker Aggression course to more specific topics like Ace Poker Solutions' Sit & Go Booster.

    4. A really great way to learn poker is to join Advanced Poker Training. This site allows you to play against bots, and then provides a weekly report on your play. Not only do they point out areas where you can improve, but also provide plenty of resources, such as links to articles and videos to explain the concepts in more detail. 

    5. There are also several poker YouTube channels that focus on teaching you how to play the game better. However, most of these focus on more advanced tips, so are better if you have already gained a solid foundation via one of the learning methods listed above.

    Which options are best for you will depend on your budget, which method of learning is best for you, and your goals (i.e. are you looking to just learn the basics, or do you want to start crushing games?). If your goal is to become a winning poker player, then you should really be learning via all 5 methods!
  • How to play poker better online? +

    Winning at poker online is mostly about grinding small edges. This typically means playing lots of tables simultaneously at lower stakes. If you are serious about playing online poker better, then you should invest in a poker HUD and learn how to use it. HUDs provide an insane amount of information on your opponents, and while this may feel like cheating, if you're not taking advantage of this information then you are putting yourself at a severe disadvantage against those players who are! Make sure you also invest the time in learning how to make use of this information - the HUD will give you the information, but you still need to interpret it and then take the correct action.

    To improve your online poker results, you also need to become intimately familiar with the mathematically correct play in every situation, and then add the correct amount of variation to that play to keep your opponents from always knowing what you're up to. If you only ever raise the top 5% of hands from early position, then you will be incredibly easy to play against, so you need to be prepared to mix in some unusual raises. Just don't go overboard: mixing up your play is not an excuse to play too many hands!
  • How to win at online poker every time? +

    You are never going to be able to win every session of online (or live) poker. By its very nature, poker has a lot of variance. This is actually a good thing, because it keeps losing players coming back. If these players lost every single session, then they'd soon give up. However, thanks to variance in results, these players remember their big wins and mistakenly think they are breaking even.

    Rather than trying to win every session, your goal should be to win as much as possible in the long run. Losing streaks will happen, but with solid play you can minimize your losses and increase both the size and frequency of your winning sessions.
  • How do I win online poker consistently? +

    Although there are some advantages to reducing your variance, your ultimate goal in poker should be to win the most money over time, not the most sessions. A player who wins $2,000 once every 10 sessions and loses $100 in the other 9 has a profit of $1,100 after 10 sessions ($110/session) despite just a 10% win rate in terms of sessions. That's far better than a player who wins $50 every session! Regardless of whether you're winning large amounts infrequently or small amounts on a regular basis, you can always improve your overall winnings.

    For online poker, investing in a poker HUD in an absolute must. You should also invest in plenty of poker training (including learning how to interpret the data you get from your HUD). Much more so than live poker, online poker is about maximizing small edges. You need to consistently make the correct play and then just play tens of thousands of hands. Live poker is like a high-end restaurant. You don't sell many dishes, but your profit on each dish is really high. Online poker is more like McDonald's, where you're making just a few cents from each hamburger you sell, so you need to sell millions of them! Unless you're playing high stakes online, you are trying to emulate a computer as much as possible. With the help of a HUD, your goal is to essentially make as many of your decisions as possible on auto-pilot. This isn't to say that you play every situation exactly the same, but even the variation in your play should essentially be automated.
  • How to win in poker cash games? +

    In general, there are two main approaches to winning at poker: Exploitive play and GTO (Game Theory Optimal). In Exploitive poker, your focus is on using your opponent's mistakes against them. For example, if they call too much, then you want to bet bigger with made hands and bluff less. If they are too tight, you want to bet less with made hands and bluff more. There are plenty of mistakes you can exploit in a typical poker game, especially live poker.

    In online poker (and extremely tough live games), GTO is typically the better approach. In GTO poker, your focus is on ensuring that your own play can't be exploited. Your goal is to mix up your bets, raises, 3-bets, bluffs, calls, and folds in such a way that it's impossible for your opponents to gain any advantage. With GTO, your goal is to consistently put yourself in profitable positions and then ensure your opponents can't ever exploit one of your tendencies to deny you that profit.

    For example, let's say you've called the flop and turn on a board with 2 hearts. The river card is a third heart and your opponent checks to you. This is a potentially profitable situation for you, but not if you bluff too much or too little. How often should you be bluffing versus betting for value here? Let's assume you are considering a pot-sized bet. If your opponent calls and wins, they win $200. If they call and lose, they lose $100, so you want them to call and lose twice as often as they call and win. So when you bet $100 on the river here, you should be bluffing 1/3 of the time. If your opponent calls every time, you win $200 two-thirds of the time and lose $100 one-third of the time, for a net profit of $100 on average (the exact same amount you will win if they fold every time). Your opponent's average expectation is $0. In other words, if you are correctly balancing your value bets and bluffs, it doesn't matter what your opponent does - you win the same amount in the long run, and they can't ever exploit your play (because their expected value is always $0).

    Keep in mind that this is an extremely simplified explanation of GTO poker. If you want to learn more about GTO Poker, we highly recommend the GTO Crash Course from Red Chip Poker. The best cash game poker players use a mixture of both GTO and Exploitive poker. That is, they use GTO, but then refine it based on what they know of their opponents. Both approaches require a solid foundation of poker (which hands you should play in which positions, bet sizing, how often you should bet, raise, check-raise, etc.).
  • How to get better at poker tournaments? +

    The best way to get better at poker tournaments depends greatly upon your current level of knowledge. Beginner poker players should focus on improving their fundamentals with a course like Poker Zion. For a measly $7, you gain an incredible foundation of poker knowledge that will result in a drastic improvement in your results (but probably won't make you a winning player on its own).

    Poker players who already have a good understanding of the basics should invest in more focused tournament training. The Road to Success by PokerNerve is an excellent poker course designed to turn beginners into winners! Another great option is the MTT Crash Course

    Winning tournament players should focus on specific aspects of their game that are weak. For example, if you typically get knocked out by bleeding chips as a short stack, then Red Chip Poker's MTT 3-Bet Shoves course is exactly what you need to take your tournament play to the next level.
  • How to win online poker tournaments consistently? +

    If you are looking for consistency, then MTTs are not a good option as they have the highest variance of the 3 forms of poker (cash games, SNGs, and MTTs). What's worse is that since your goal should be to maximize long-term profit (or minimize long-term losses), you actually want to increase this variance! That is, you should be trying to win every tournament you play, which will result in fewer cashes but more total prize money (because tournament payouts are so top-heavy). 

    That said, there are some things you can (and should) do to reduce some of this variance. First, stop playing tournaments with thousands of entries. Even a winning player could play for a year without showing profit from large field MTTs due to the massive amounts of variance. If playing online, avoid PokerStars and instead play on a site like Americas Cardroom. They offer plenty of tournaments, but with only a few hundred entrants for most of them, you can dramatically improve the consistency of your results. That is, you won't go so long between big wins, resulting in a more consistent ROI. Not only that, but you also won't need to set aside 12+ hours every time you play just in case you make the final table! By all means, take the occassional shot at a big tournament (like the Sunday Million on PokerStars, or Million Dollar Sunday on Americas Cardroom), but 95% of your tournaments should have <200 entrants.  

    Once you've started playing smaller field MTTs, you should also invest in quality poker tournament training. It is shocking the number of poker players who gladly lose thousands of dollars playing, but won't invest a couple hundred in training!
  • How to learn poker ranges? +

    If you want to quickly learn poker ranges, you should invest in a poker course that specializes in this topic. Our recommendations include:

    1. The Hand Reading Lab ($497)
    2. GTO Crash Course ($79)
    3. The One Percent ($199)

    You should also invest in poker software like Flopzilla ($25), Range-Manager ($19), GTO+ ($75), or Equilab (Free). Some of the courses above include the license for one of these range-builder programs, or include their own.

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