This is the third of a four-part series on “Using Your Individual Learning Style to Develop Texas Holdem Poker Skills”.
When engaging in any learning process it is important that the approach to learning that you engage in has the best possible chance to be successful. This includes any learning situation including learning how to play Texas Holdem poker or if you are an experienced player, how to improve you current skill level. In order to have the best chance for success, you must use the appropriate resources and learning methods that best reflect your natural approach to learning. Visual Learners acquire sensory information through seeing and viewing. They process, consolidate and then recall this information by visualization.
Are you a Visual Learner? Take a look at the following statements. If they seem to reflect the way you look at things then maybe you are a Visual Learner.
- At the poker table you look at the whole picture, you don’t mind a seat of the end of the table because you can observe everything that is going on.
- When you or other players are discussing a hand, you form mental images of what is being said.
- You read your opponents by watching their body language, facial expressions or other physical tells.
- You have no problem correctly identifying images that are presented upside down or backward.
- When you have a new purchase that requires assembly you follow the written instructions. It’s even better if it has diagrams.
- You prefer to communicate with others using e-mail or text messaging. The phone doesn’t do it for you. You love your computer.
- Lectures are terribly boring and you can’t wait to get out of there.
- You remember things better when you can visualize them in your mind.
- You use a map to get from Point A to Point B.
- When you are giving other people directions you draw them a map.
- When you are presenting information to others, you prefer to write instructions and use pictures or diagrams.
- In conversation, you use phrases like I see what you mean or looks good to me.
- When recalling information, thinking or problem solving, you visualize your thoughts and doodle on paper.
- When doing work around the house you visualize the work being completed, that energizes you.
- You like your desk or work space to be tidy and free from clutter.
This is not a scientific analysis based on years of research, but if you like the look of these statements and can visualize yourself in these situations, you are probably a Visual Learner.
So what works best for you?
- Your medium for learning is visual, so use visual learning materials as much as possible and record your observations using visual recording methods and tools.
- Learn to visualize information before your put it in hard copy.
- Reading is a key activity for you to add to your knowledge base. Write down key points as you go along. Use post it notes and then stick them on places where you can read them at your leisure.
- After reading an interesting or important passage, stop to reflect what you have read by creating visual images in your head. Transfer your thoughts to paper in the form of charts, graphs, diagrams or webs. Review your information after a short period of time and then periodically to build those neuron pathways and transfer the learning from short-term to long-term memory.
- Put information on index cards or flash cards so that you can look at them periodically.
- Instructional videos are also a good source of information for you. Again, as you are watching stop occasionally and transfer the information to a hard copy. Color-code your notes into categories or by importance by using colored pens or highlighters.
- You will work best in an area that has limited background noise. Sound tends to distract you. Head phones that block out noise will work for you.
- You learn best while viewing so try to watch live poker being played by expert players. You will pick up a lot of information. Record your observations using some of the previous methods.
- You can do the same with poker demonstration videos or from watching poker on television. Be the commentator only mentally visualize your observations about what happened and what you might have done in the same situation.
- Video tape yourself playing poker and then critique how you played.
- Use your computer. Find online resources that use videos, graphs, diagrams, charts webs, etc to present information. Create your own diagrams, charts, etc. to record your thoughts.
Some cautions about being a Visual Learner.
- Too much visual stimulation can be a distraction. Flashing lights, bright lights and lots of color can affect your ability to focus, so for you dark glasses and a hoodie can be more than a means for hiding tells.
- Sound can also be a distraction. You do need quiet to concentrate so head phones that reduce noise are also a good idea.
- Lectures on poker, trying to memorize information or listening to audio tapes will not work well for you.
- You probably already do this but keeping your chips neat and orderly for a quick visual count will help put you at ease.
As a Visual Learner there are an abundance of resources available to help you. Your challenge is to use these resources effectively. Developing your ability to mentally visualize and then using this ability to acquire, reinforce and permanently store information is your path to quick and effective learning.
You have to learn to… watch the veins in his neck, watch his eyes, the way he sweats.” – Johnny Moss (1975 – W.S.O.P. Champion 1970, 1971, 1974)
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