Poker Mental Game & Planning

The Most Inovative Poker Training Tool of the Decade

2,311 Views Comments on 8/9/16

In this article, we're going to talk about a recently funded project that has the potential to change that trend and impact the poker world in a very interesting way.

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The crowdfunding revolution of IndieGoGo and Kickstarter made it possible for innovative individuals and various companies to create many interesting products. From smartwatches through video games and movies to... a potato salad. With all that variety it's strange that we don't often hear about crowdfunding in the poker context.

In this article, we're going to talk about a recently funded project that has the potential to change that trend and impact the poker world in a very interesting way.


StrataCards Overview

StrataCards is an interesting Kickstarter project that originated at the height of the poker boom. The authors wanted to develop an analog, educational tool in form of real playing cards, that you can use to play by yourself and learn poker strategy at the same time. The project was developed with both fun and functionality in mind.

Developers consulted many poker pros, average poker enthusiasts, and total newbies, they've read many poker strategy books and played thousands of hours of poker. It seems like a lot of thought, care and attention was invested into this interesting product.

At its core, StrataCards is a unique set of 52 playing cards that allow you to learn poker strategy on the go in an analog form. On the front of each card, you have two hole cards along with other information like the value of your cards relative to the other possible combinations, the popular nickname for your hand ("ducks" for 22, "crabs" for 33 etc.) etc.

On the back of each card, you have three community cards that go well with the starting hand on the front. This creates a kind of a guided experience where you can try to figure out the range of your 'imaginary' villain based only on the community cards.

The game is designed to promote both good aggressive actions and good laydowns teaching you what line could be best based on certain board texture. 


Perfect Tool for a Casual Player

If you like poker and you care about a solid poker strategy but you couldn't be bothered to learn complex poker software or spend thousands of dollars on private coaching, StrataCards is a type of tool that's perfect for you. It's also great for live players. We live in a digital world and we tend to gain our knowledge and hone our mental skills in a very static way. StrataCards provide us with a tactile feel that's more akin to playing with the actual cards at a live poker table.

While StrataCards is no Poker Snowie (or even Flopzilla) anyone can benefit from developing a visual connection between community cards and corresponding hole cards and the idea of a live tournament pro using StrataCards in the hotel room as a mental warm-up before a large tournament doesn't seem outrageous.



A Sign of Things to Come?

StrataCards is perhaps not as groundbreaking as something like Poker Snowie and PioSolver (though, to be fair, it also doesn't cost an arm and a leg), but it can spark an interesting trend of innovation when it comes to the way we learn how to play solid poker. While for now, we're all content with the usual set of classic tools like coaching videos, strategy articles, database analysis, working with poker software etc. not everyone can utilize those tools to the fullest.

While you can't be a great poker player without an analytical mind some of us prefer empiricism to rationalism. We all know an insane crusher who never even touched his database or watched a coaching video in his entire life. He learned all that he knows 'on the job' through many poker sessions. Other poker enthusiasts enjoy long hours of learning with a cup of coffee and PokerSnowie or PokerTracker database filters. Unfortunately for the former type of player, the most popular poker training tools are more suited for the latter, analytical and rational type.


StrataCards is a small first step on a road to changing that. Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo make it profitable to be innovative (and also dishonest so think long and hard before you choose to back a project) and StrataCards is a small example of that principle in action. Hopefully, others will follow suit in the near future.



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Matt VIP

Matt is predominantly a mental game and planning expert, with a terrific knowledge of science, meditation, practical methods of improvement and of course, a good level of poker skill! Look out for his strategy articles and follow him for his nobel-prize winning forum po ... Read More

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