The “Poker Boom” happened over a decade ago, when online training schools became huge. However, not everyone is convinced that they are worth buying, with all the changes brought by technology. Therefore, it is worth taking a moment to consider everything the rookie players have access to and figure out what is the best way to learn poker nowadays.

Are Online Poker Courses an Efficient Way to Learn?

Courses are being sold for almost everything you can think about, and that obviously includes poker, one of the world’s most popular card games. Regardless if you are in Canada, in the United States, or somewhere in Europe, accessing an online poker course takes only a minute. With an internet connection and a mobile device, nothing can stop players from learning it.

The access is efficient, that is clear, but that does not imply efficiency in learning. Convenience and comfort are advantages in online poker courses that must be accompanied by additional features to mean anything:

  • Good tutors, preferably with history in poker tournaments;
  • Quality material that is easy to understand;
  • Possibility of practice – because theory alone will not lead you anywhere.

Fortunately, it is easy to access forums and other specialized poker websites – those that are not trying to sell their own courses – after recommendations and reviews. That way, you save time and money.

On the other hand, the internet allows free access to enough content and poker games to give people a second thought on that investment.

Free and Efficient Ways to Learn Poker

Most online casinos and poker websites allow free playing nowadays, and that is not only true for single-player titles. There are free tournaments, usually in the so-called “social gambling” websites, which means as much practice as one can get – and that is essential for learning any card game.

Besides, most online poker courses and schools are based on videos and written content. Well, there are enough of those out there if you carry out some research. They will at least be enough to learn the basics and some advanced hints, and once again, practice will take care of the rest.

What About Learning Poker in Real Poker Schools?

Some players only play poker online, others vary between them and real tournaments, and some only participate in face-to-face contests. All those types of poker players benefit from real practice, especially those who eventually participate in live tournaments, as poker has a great deal of body and facial awareness.

Instead of jumping right into small tournaments to begin experiencing it, players can opt for real poker schools rather than access online courses and content – or in addition to them. The investment may be higher, but the chances of finding all three essential features already mentioned in this article are high too. Those institutions have a reputation to maintain and cannot simply start again with another name like any website can.

The University of Waterloo, which is called “the Poker Factory” according to the Urban Dictionary, is a great example. The Canadian university already produced a large number of high-grade players, as stated in the words of the poker player Amanda Musumeci:

University of Waterloo has so much poker talent coming out of it, it’s absurd.

As there is no coincidence in the fact that so much success is coming from that school, it is impossible to deny the contribution of that institution and other similar reputable ones to a poker career. Some popular names coming from the University of Waterloo are:

  • Michael (Mike) McDonald: the youngest person to win the European Poker Tour and the Epic Poker League.
  • Will Ma: won the Grand Prix de Paris in 2007, besides the 2nd and 6th places on the Asia Pacific Poker Tour.
  • Xuan Liu: third place at the European Poker Tournament San Remo, often winning six-digit prizes since 2011.

The Takeaway

It is perfectly possible to learn how to play poker without enrolling in courses or taking classes in any specialized school. There are enough videos and written content to start, and then practice comes for free using any computer or mobile device.

Even so, both quality online poker schools and reputable institutions can contribute a large portion to a solid poker career. It is up to each player to decide which option has the essential characteristics that match their intention.