Do you zone out when people talk about bluffing or folding? At Diwali parties, do you reluctantly nod your head despite being clueless, when people talk about their greatest hands? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, but lucky for you there’s a host of resources to tap into to up your poker nights game.
My Kolkata’s nifty list of resources will bring you up to speed, so that this Diwali, your chips are never down.
One of the largest online poker portals, PokerStars is also a comprehensive binder on the game, with video tutorials, articles and courses for all levels and game types for beginners and advanced players alike. They even have Twitch and YouTube channels where players can directly learn from the pros. For starters, you can do the hour-long beginner course and peruse through the free eBook to get an idea of the game, before trying your hand at their tournaments and learning while playing. They also have a very handy Discord community where you can meet like minded players and bond over the game!
Check out the website here.
This app is ideal if you are specifically inclined towards learning Texas Holdem, and has tutorials for all levels. The hands-on method of explaining ensures that players learn the rules while playing the game with other plays offline. While it won’t make you a master, it's a great way to understand the basics while actually competing with others. The app is available on Android and Apple.
The Theory Of Poker by David Sklansky
A Bible of sorts for poker, this book first published in 1987, covers not just Texas Hold’em, but a variety of the card game genre. This isn’t meant for absolute beginners, so you might want to brush up on basic rules because the book will drop you into the deep end from the start. It's a rich piece of literature about theories of the game, even focusing on nuanced concepts like hand reading, positioning and bluffing. It's not just about learning to play the game, as much as revamping how you think about poker. If you aren’t keen on reading this one, you can also opt for the audiobook.
Get the audiobook here.
Chasing Poker Greatness
This weekly podcast hosted by American pro poker player Brad Wilson provides an insight into the minds of poker greats, with a focus on strategy. It's not just about the visible moves on the table, but the unseen shenanigans that influence a great player’s mindset, and help them make the right choice. It also examines the struggles of poker greats and their learnings, making for some interesting listening.
Listen to the podcast here.