Struggling with GTO

I’m pretty new to poker and have only really played it recreationally but I’ve decided to learn the game properly but oh boy does GTO melt my brain!
It seems that if I must progress I must learn it, does anyone have advice on how they navigated through it, if they used any ‘pro training courses’ or even if they think the method is overrated?
Thanks from a humble fishy nit :pleading_face:

GTO assumes and builds upon a solid statistical foundation. I don’t see how anyone could start with GTO unless they really understand the basics like pot odds, implied odds, and EV, to name a few. Master the basics before you look to go all the way.

Once you do master the basics, there are loads of training resources on YouTube.

One approach would be to start by just watching a bunch of videos. This will at least expose you to new concepts, and you can then drill down on the ones you find useful or interesting.

Another way to use videos is to pause once a new card is dealt, then try to predict what the analyst will say. Now restart it and see how your analysis compares. This is a good way to learn how to think like a pro.

At some point, you will probably want to get some tools, like a solver or simulator, then use these to study specific situations. You can spend a lifetime studying, and you still won’r be done, so don’t expect instant results.

Good luck!


I personally think my EV trying to play GTO on this site at least is much lower than when I just try to play exploitatively. I think exploitative approaches are also easier to understand.

  • if opponents are calling too much, bluff less, and widen your value betting ranges
  • if opponents are folding too much, add in bets with hands that have little chance of winning at showdown
  • attack wide ranges, especially with a nut advantage
  • play carefully against tight and/or nutted ranges

Some other key ideas to focus on:

  • pot odds and implied odds
  • semi-bluffing
  • equity versus ranges
  • minimum defense frequency
  • why some medium strength hands benefit from protection bets while others belong in your checking range
  • opening ranges by seat
  • reducing open limping frequencies and contracting cold calling ranges (mostly raise or fold)
  • get money in the pot with your better hands
  • how play needs to change with more or less players
  • the advantage of position

Thanks for the reply.
I have been studying basic strategy for about a month and have subscribed to a few ‘teachers’ on youtube like Jonathan Little and Daniel Negreanu so I’m slowly learning and have watched a ton of WSOP and other posted poker content, also looked into software options too. Some great advice about watching hands and pausing, I will try that from now on and note my percentage of correct and incorrect calls, thanks again for your help!


Thanks Yorunoame!
Yes there is so so much to learn, it is like a difficult skill in a different language for me at the moment but I am enjoying myself along the way and slowly progressing up the ranking system but I know instinct can only get you so far and a rounded grasp of basic foundational strategy is a must to get further.