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What type of learner am I?


In this Article
  • Different types of learner
  • Connecting the learning forms
  • How to learn most effectively
  • What role does PokerStrategy.com play in all this?

Learning can take different forms: some people learn best when they hear something – the auditory learner.

Others can best aquire new knowledge when they see it or read it. These are described as visual learners. A third type of learner are those who learn best through dialogue or discussion. These are communicative learners.

Lastly, there are the haptic learners that learn best through individual experience or by touching or doing something.

The auditory learner...

learns best when he can listen and say the information out loud to himself, or at least move his lips. People that learn this way are easily distracted by noise. It is necessary that the source of learning is the only thing they are hearing.

The visual learner ...

should focus on media like books, graphics, or videos. By watching he will take in a lot of information and make notes for himself as well. The combination of seeing and copying the information helps to remember the learning source later. For the visual learner, the article “Mindmapping” should be considered a basic building block for learning.

The haptic learner...

is the most practical since he learns by doing and the resulting experiences make him the most emotional of all learners. The active approach is highlighted by his active manner, making gestures and using fingers to count or something similar.

The communicative learner...

is a good speaker and listener. The discussion helps him work through the information that he swaps with his partner in dialogue. These learners can only learn in groups and save a lot of information by posing questions and running over the answers.

Connecting the different forms of learning

You should be open to combining all the learning types in order to maximise learning potential . Those that learn only auditory lose a large portion of the information – up to 80%.

When learning it is important to use all available sources of information since isolated learning with one source is not effective. Those who can connect listening, writing, speaking, and seeing will have much better success at learning, in the best case retaining up to 90% of the information.


Memory is the ability to take in, store, and recall information. Depending on the length of time the information is to be stored, memory can be divided into ultra-short term, short term or working memory, and long term memory.

a) The ultra-short term memory is essential to every day life. The information stored here only stays for a few seconds and is very important for coordination, for example. When reading it stores the first words of a sentence to give us meaning that we would otherwise miss if we could not remember how it started.

b) The working memory is divided into 3 systems. There is the "visual-spatial notepad" that enables the short term storage of visual impressions. There is also the "articulatory loop" that can store strings of numbers or letters by their internal repetition. Lastly, there is the "executive unit" that administrates the visual impressions from the notepad and the information from the "phonological loop" and provides a link to the long term memory, thus enabling the comparison of current data with known patterns and motives. The information in the short term memory does not last long and is limited in capacity. It builds up electrical impulses that can be overwritten. If we want to pull up knowledge from long ago we must turn to the long term memory.

c) The long term memory is responsible for the lasting storage of knowledge and experiences. There are different ways to get the information into the long term memory, like repetition, and they are different for every type of learner.
Emotions and feelings are helpful for transferring experiences into the long term memory since they are more easily stored than hard facts. Advertisers, for example, have taken this phenomenon to heart. While emotions are easy to store, there are problems with concurrent information in the sense of a sensory overload.

If the amount of information is too large, the ability to comprehend and store this information will be reduced. To get knowledge into long term memory, a learning strategy is unavoidable.

Learning strategy

With a learning strategy, we are targeting the best result; we want a basic overview of the material, the goals we must reach and the time available to reach them. It is fundamentally important that you feel good about it: those who don't feel comfortable don't learn well. This includes getting enough sleep and eating well, since the proper nourishment influences concentration and information uptake through certain vitamins and proteins.

Similarly to poker, you should plan beforehand on how long you should learn and when to take breaks.

Breaks are very important because both body and mind become unreceptive after a time and trying to learn for too long continuously can be counterproductive (=> sensory overload).

You should take a short break every 20-30 minutes. If the material is to be learned thoroughly then reading an entire book over the course of many hours is not sensible. A lot of information will get lost along the way or not be entirely remembered.

Short breaks of 5 minutes are the best way to unload your mind. After 2 or 3 hours you should take a longer break, but no longer than 2 hours. Also, more than 6 hours per day of concentrated work is not possible.

Repetition of the learned material is also important: going over something once usually only puts the information into short term memory, whereas a structured repetition can make the material into long term knowledge. For this reason, organized repetition is necessary. After the first run through, the material should be briefly reviewed the next day. On the third or fourth day a more intense review should be made. If everything is repeated after a month, then access to long term memory will be pretty successful with a final repetition after half a year sealing the deal

Practically, this means that it's best to read different chapters of a book repeatedly instead of trying to take all the content in at once. It is also helpful to mix new content with repetitions of known topics.

Problems with learning can occur when emotions have an influence on the processing of our experiences. For example in the "bad beat problem" a negative experience pushes out learned information, since these emotions are stronger than the theoretically learned knowledge from books or discussions.

Those who recognize patterns in certain situations, either consciously or not, will not remember the learned style of play in cases of doubt but will instead be influenced by the negative impressions from previous hands. In this case, we would play our hand incorrectly, perhaps a little too aggressively out of the fear of having to pay for another bad beat.

It is therefore important to try and play the hand in a way that is theoretically correct when you have such negative associations. Hence, it is indispensable that you continuously work theoretically and try to stamp out emotional sources of error with theoretical knowledge.

Also important to learning, is the preparation and afterthoughts given to the learned material. This can be a kind of repetition but could also be the posting and examination of certain hands in the discussion forum and their review by other players, the analysis of your own session, or self-analysis through Replayviewer in PokerTracker.

You should also question "strange" plays made by coaches in live coachings to clear up any situations you don't understand. Most of all, it is effective to build a learning strategy out of a mix of the individual components of the learning types. The connections make learning simpler and more successful; an optimal learning experience is not primarily dependent on intelligence.

PokerStrategy.com offers something for every type of learner

What does PokerStrategy.com have to offer on all of this? We offer many different ways to learn and they should, of course, be used. Depending on what kind of a learner you are, you might turn to different offers as main points:

a) The auditory learner should do well with seminars. Audiobooks are a further possibility but offerings are slim. One possibility for the auditory learner is to record himself, on a PC or with a tape recorder for example, and then to listen to it later. The oral repetition by itself is good for learning and the information can always be played again anywhere with an MP3 player.

b) The visual learner has a huge selection of offerings on PokerStrategy.com. He should use these sources to broaden his knowledge. Beginning with articles on theory in the individual sections, the various charts that are easy to remember, the videos by Stoxtrader and, most of all, live coachings. The example hand forum is a superb possibility for passively building up knowledge by reading through and recapitulating the hands of others. Visual learners should maintain notes on how things are related for memory and clarity. As Matthias Wahls says in his article "Effective learning", a pen and notepad are enormously effective. It helps you concentrate and repeat particularly important information.

c) For the communicative learner, the example hand forums are an ideal place to both actively and passively advance his knowledge. The explanations of the individual betting lines help with recall and the discussion helps question what is already known and reconcile new ideas with old. Organizing into practice groups or observing others during a session is profitable for both sides since certain lines and thoughts can be discussed directly. These can then be checked as you go and can lead to further discussions of the best playing style.

d) The haptic learners, even those who haven't passed the quiz already, should sit down at a table with playmoney when in doubt and try to optimize their games by the resulting mistakes and experiences. In this it is also good to form a practice group. This type of learning is problematic since the correct play is based on statistical knowledge and a "memory databank" just from playing alone cannot replace theoretical knowledge – but it can support it. Private coachings are available to all types of learner – this way you can set and reach personal goals. Auditory types, for example, might have their problems explained to them over the phone after a session. The communicative learners can discuss different hands and try to get a concrete lock on mistakes. Haptic learners could go through many different styles of play heads-up with the coach, adapting his own style to each example style. But here again: The isolated use of just one of the many options hinders learning since nobody is purely one type of learner. Those who have at least tried everything will see which combination of media is best for him, and can put together a learning strategy based on this sampling.


Comments (10)

#1 mouse89, 06 Oct 08 14:33


#2 jp2570, 09 Jan 09 12:43

This is good to reinforce the depth needed if you want to take poker seriously.

#3 deco99, 22 Mar 09 03:32


#4 monkey0nfire, 17 May 09 04:47

wow this is great info. for overall learning, especially for studying for exams etc.
I find it hard to study period. but this info. sheds light on a far better way to go about it rather than just throw urself at the books!!
Thanks PS this i awesome material.

#5 nosnz, 04 Nov 09 06:25

First of all, I think this is a good article for life in general; "an optimal learning experience is not primarily dependent on intelligence" I think learning is as much of a "state of mind" as is being on your "A-game"
"Problems with learning can occur when emotions have an influence on the processing of our experiences" again, this is reflective of lifes many daily situations.
All in all "we are only humans" and in such we have our tells that in turn can control, or define us. It just deepends how we use/read them.
Your outcome is always in YOUR own hands. Not the f'n donk that unjustly took all your chips!

#6 Pouserly2, 12 Aug 11 09:14

Still a good and interesting read.

#7 Pouserly2, 12 Aug 11 09:15

irst of all, I think this is a good article for life in general;

#8 Tosh5457, 05 Sep 11 14:58

I'm a visual learner, as well as communicative learner.

#9 abb969, 14 Apr 12 20:50

to be honest 1st we must ask ourselves
what am learning...
this is poker ..this is gambling...
true we must study in a good way
but still its gambling...
in my opinion gambling=chance
pals if you are luky 70%
if you study 30%
that means a lot . but that 30% must be in a 100% means that your question quiz must be 100/100 to reach the goal.

#10 Sailer85, 12 Apr 16 00:57

This is a bogus article. The idea that people have a particular way of learning has been proven to be false.
The memory retention of each of the methods is nearly equal no matter what kind of learner the person claims to be. The only thing that helps is to combine the ways in which information is received into your brain.

So combining visual with audio and sensory will result in a greater recollection than just using 1 of the 3.