I wanted to know what are the steps you take in order to learn a new game. I am not talking about the basic rules; more on the strategies and statistics of the game.

I always start playing the "play money" tables, than moved to the low blinds tables and than, if I liked the game, to the regular tables.

My problems was that moving from one step to another always showed me that the strategies I learned in one step weren't good enough for the next step. In some cases I even totally changed my game.

What do you recommend? How do you learn new poker games strategies?

6 Answers 6


Read books, watch training videos, and search around the internet. Take notes on what you find anywhere in any of those media.

In every game, the first thing to master is what starting hands comprise a strong-but-nitty game. Then use those to get a feel for other factors of the game. Heck, in many non-hold'em games, all you need for profitable play is a strong starting hand knowledge.

  • I agree with you, but find it very difficult with games like 7-stud.
    – amigal
    Commented Feb 11, 2012 at 8:10
  • 1
    For beginning the process with 7-card stud, the related chapter in either super system or ss2 is decent. There's also good info in the Full Tilt Poker tournament book. The best book I have found though is definitely the book by David Sklanksy and Ray Zee. Though if you have other resources, it might be better to just pick up Ray Zee's split-pot-poker book and take the bits it has on stud along with what you find from other books. That way you'd have something to get you starting in some Omaha variants as well. Commented Feb 11, 2012 at 22:29
  • Thanks for the Info. Omaha hi-low is my favorite game and I am a decent player in Omaha Hi. My problem is with 7-stud specific (Razz and 7-Stud Hi-Low are OK). I think 7-stud is the most difficult game to learn and to become expert.
    – amigal
    Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 5:07

Practice, practice, practice, research, more practice.

I find that it's an iterative cycle. I find a game I'm interested in and I learn the rules. Then I start playing, with friends, online for play money, where ever. Then, as I get the basics down I start looking to improve by reading books, blogs, etc. Then the cycle repeats. I'll find there's a hole or a gap in my play or understanding and dive back into research to learn what's going on, come out with new ideas...

  • learn poker rules
  • Watch poker videos,Practice
  • play a lot

The game / rules is just mechanics.

Betting structure is part of the rules and affects strategy.

Statistics are just a function of the rules. Granted the statistics can be more complex but but they are still used the same way.

A lot in common

  • Do I have the best hand - will it hold up
  • I am on a draw what is the chance of improving (to a winning hand)
  • Read opponent
  • Bluff opponent
  • EV (expected value)

If you want to broaden your knowledge of games I suggest playing the low buy-in mixed game tournaments. Preferably fixed limit or low capped. At these tournaments you can play a lot of hands without risking too much of your money (in comparison to cash games). Besides, learning a new game playing tournaments is always a good start to get the fundamentals in place. (Which street to bet which street to continue with which hands etc.)


Figure out why your new game is different from the old one. For instance, in Hold'em, you get to see only two cards before the betting starts whereas in stud you get to see three, even though they are both seven card games. However, Hold'em games have 4 streets (preflop, flop, turn, river), while Stud games have 5 streets. In draw, you see five cards before the betting round, and if you replace two, seven cards in total, but not all at once.

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