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I've been playing poker for a while, and against casual players, I'm fairly good. When I mean casual players, I mean co-workers (even those that are "serious" about poker), random poker parties, against other tourists in Las Vegas, etc. I do this by playing relatively conservatively, playing my cards and not the players, and rarely bluffing.

However, I know that when I play against even a semi-accomplished player that knows how to bet aggressively, I'm out of my league. Because I play conservatively, it doesn't take a lot to chase me out of a pot.

How do I take my game to the next level and improve my style of play to incorporate more bluffing, more aggressive better, etc, without losing my shirt with real money? I unfortunately don't have access to real-money online poker being in the US.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

You hinted at the answer in the last line of your question: play online for low stakes.

Unless you are in Utah or Washington (or there's another state that criminalized online play which I somehow never heard about), then you do still have access to real money online play - just not at Pokerstars or the other sites that used to be big in the US. You can still play at a site on the Merge Network (like Carbon Poker or Black Chip Poker) or a site on the Revolution Gaming Network (like Lock Poker or Cake Poker).

Another option would be to subscribe to an poker training site and study everything you can find about the concepts that interest you.

Being the owner, I am biased, but I highly recommend Grinderschool Low Stakes Poker Training for this if you want to go down that road. We offer a fairly comprehensive guide to mastering all the basic concepts of each game type, and have hundreds of videos exploring other specific concepts after that basic mastery is cemented.

There are other training sites as well, like DeucesCracked and CardRunners but I suspect they are focused on a higher play level than what you're currently seeking.

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