Poker software: types, functionality

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Updated 15.04.2024
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Poker software

What is poker software? Poker software helps to collect players’ stats, develop skills, and calculate the probability of winning. There are other useful features, but it is important to remember that some applications are prohibited (whether directly or not) in poker rooms.

How to use poker software? The algorithm is simple, find the software you need, try it during the trial period, buy it and use it if you like the functionality and interface.

Benefits of Using Poker Software

Poker software can significantly increase the effectiveness of your strategy by helping you to identify mistakes in opponents’ tactics and analyze their actions. As a result, the player’s likelihood of winning against players that do not use such programs is significantly increased.

Poker software

Hence, if a player refuses to use poker software, then he obviously gives a significant advantage to his opponents. Today, new applications that allow you to minimize the number of losing hands and make the most of even an unfavorable situation appear almost every month.

Let us note the key features that poker software has:

Improving the player’s skill level

This is the most important advantage of such software. The trackers keep record of all the hands you have been a part of, so you can go back to any of them and analyze it.

The player can learn in hindsight when, for example, he should have folded or played more aggressively.

This allows you to adjust your own style, avoid traps set by your opponents, and increase your chances of winning in future games.

Playing several tables at once

Most poker players admit that they simultaneously play at 4-6 tables. This allows you to use time more efficiently and increase ROI or your winrate in other words.

Poker software

Of course, professional players can easily track everything that’s going on at the table, but when playing several games simultaneously, even for them this turns out to be an impossible task. In this case, software for arranging poker tables will help.

Gathering statistics on players

Poker software collects information about all your opponents, the games they played, the mistakes they made, their strengths and weaknesses. As a result, after several sessions, an effective tool allows you to assess not only the strength of an opponent, but also the most expected strategies that he can use.

In particular, you can find out the percentage of starting hands that opponent plays. As the number of hands played with such an opponent increases, this information will become a defining factor in choosing the playstyle against him. Player can evaluate this data himself; however, in case he faces this same opponent repeatedly, software saves data from all the encounters to make it more accurate.

Assessing chances

The essence of playing poker is to make the most money from winning hands and minimize losses. In this regard, it is necessary to evaluate winning and losing hands. To do this, you need to calculate the probability, which takes into account the cards on the board, your hand, and the changes with new runouts.

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The player can evaluate all the data by himself, but a software for analyzing poker hands will perform this operation much faster and more accurately. It will also be much more difficult for your opponent to judge the strength of your hand if he misjudged your long thinking to be a timing tell.

Disadvantages of Using Poker Software

Poker player becomes lazier

Using electronic devices and software for even basic calculations and evaluations narrows your own analytic skills.

In addition, while you are free to use the calculator in everyday life, it is prohibited to use poker software in casinos. As a result, the player will find himself in a losing position, when he will have to rely only on his own skills and abilities.

Risk of being caught

Typically, poker rooms do not prohibit the use of trackers that gather stats, but we are talking about a different beast. There are programs that not only gather stats but also analyze it and give you the solution, which you only have to implement.

Poker software

Experienced players have long learned to identify such cheaters and try not to sit at the table with them, and in cash games, they try to leave it as soon as possible. If you only play premium hands, your opponent will set traps on the flops, waiting until they get the nuts while expecting you to do the betting with decent hands.

Inability to use offline

If you only played with the assistance of poker software before and now you have to play live by yourself, you are pretty much done. You will be an easy prey for seasoned players who have gained experience through trial and errors, and have honestly acquired their skill in hand reading.

Kills emotions

Many players sit down at the poker table not only to make quick money. They get real pleasure from the game, from the tension that precedes the end of the game, from victories over their opponents. You will lose all this if you rely solely on artificial intelligence.

Poker software

By analogy, you can imagine that you are trying to solve some kind of puzzle, but at the same time, there is a book at hand with solution. Will there be any benefit from such a pastime? No meaning, no emotions.

Equity calculation software

The most commonly used programs for calculating equity in poker are:

  • PokerStove.
  • Flopzilla (price: $25).
  • Equilab.
  • PokerRanger (price: $79).

The Poker Cruncher program allows you to calculate your equity in an instant. You can download the application from the Apple Store and Google Play Store. If you use the free version, its capabilities will be limited to assessing preflop equity only.

This type of software has a simple operating principle, but allows the player to gain a very real advantage over the opponents.

Equity calculators help estimating the probability of winning with a certain hand or a range of hands against a certain hand or a range. It is widely known that the probability of winning with AKo vs 55 is around 50% (the pair has a slight advantage). In reality, there are many combinations where equity is much more difficult to calculate.

Let’s say that both you and your opponent go all-in for $100, while the pot is also 100$. According to pot odd, you need 33.3% equity to break even.

Once you’ve assessed your opponent’s range, you can use an equity calculator to help you figure out whether you have enough equity to call.

There are applications that have greater capabilities compared to their analogues. Flopzilla, for example, allows you to figure out how often you hit a flop with a certain range; how often will you hit a top pair, middle pair, straight draw or other winning combinations.

Equity calculators are great for beginners. Software like that form your intuition, your ability to quickly estimate the equity and pot odds of a given situation.

Poker Trackers

Most often, poker players use the following trackers:

  • Poker Tracker 4.
  • DriveHUD.
  • Hold’em Manager.
  • Hand2Note.
  • Poker Co-Pilot.

The most useful and the most used software are poker trackers. Poker trackers record every hand played and gather stats on opponents. Their prices are almost the same, and free trial versions are also available.

Poker software

The main tasks solved by poker trackers are the following:

  • Tracking the hands you have played;
  • Gathering statistics;
  • Displaying opponents’ stats at the table.

With the help of poker trackers, you can systemize training process for a player, you can analyze hands more efficiently and you can find leaks in your own game.

Poker trackers have HUD, which shows you opponents’ stats, like how often they raise, call of fold. This makes it possible to anticipate the most likely behavior of the enemy. However, you cannot blindly trust the HUD. Sample size is the king, if you don’t have enough hands on your opponent, stats could be absolutely incorrect.

You can customize the HUD the way you want, you can display only stats you actually want to see. However, keep in mind that the most popular poker rooms prohibit players from using such software in order to make the game fairer.

Poker Solvers

Some of the best poker solvers:

  • GTO+.
  • Simple GTO Trainer.
  • Monker Solver.
  • PioSolver.

The functionality and price of each of these programs varies significantly, so choose carefully before purchasing a license.

Poker software

Solvers help you master GTO strategies. An old-timer in the market for such software is PioSolver, which has seen the light in 2015 and has greatly changed the approach to poker strategies.

Solvers allow players to obtain effective solutions based on the following information:

  • Effective stack size;
  • Preflop ranges;
  • Bet sizing on the flop, turn and river;
  • Pot size.

Solvers perform a large amount of calculations based on different tactics. As a result, it comes to a solution where neither player can significantly improve his strategy. This allows you to get the optimal solution for any gaming situation.

Keep in mind that you should not blindly trust the recommendations of solvers; those solutions are not necessarily the most profitable ones. The reason is that the software does not take into account specific errors in the opponent’s strategy, for example, the tendency to call with weak draws. Thus, solvers are more suitable for the baseline strategy when we have no stats or info on opponent. When you get reliable reads, you should adjust immediately.

An important feature of solvers is the Nodelock option. It allows the player to freeze a particular strategy in a certain part of the game tree. The program performs a new calculation and generates a solution against this strategy. As a result, Nodelock makes it possible to find the most effective strategy against an opponent with leaks.

In theory, solvers should be able to develop an ideal strategy for which opponents will have no counterstrategy. In reality, the GTO strategy is so complex that it is impossible for humans to reproduce it accurately. Solver’s solutions include a lot of mixing to make opponent unable to improve his EV by adjusting.

Solvers allow a poker player to understand how an ideal strategy works in a certain situation. You can use solver’s solution as a basis to develop a decent strategy.

Each solver has its own interesting options, but in the end, it all comes down to calculating optimal solution based on input data.

What Poker Software is prohibited?

There are two types of prohibited software:

  • One you cannot use the poker room is running;
  • One you cannot use under any circumstances.

The first type includes poker calculators, GTO solvers, and programs with charts. In this regard, you must carefully read the rules of the relevant poker room to avoid being banned.

Poker software

Poker bots are prohibited everywhere, these are programs that imitate real person’s play at the table. Typically, if you are caught using poker bot, you get a lifetime ban with confiscation of all your funds in the room.

In addition, you cannot use assisting tools that calculate optimal moves on the go and give you tips. It is the same as poker bot, only you control it manually.

Not long ago, poker rooms began to prohibit the use of auto-seating scripts. They scan the lobby, identify weak opponents and sit you down with them at the table. As of today, in most rooms you can only take seats manually.

Hand history mining is prohibited also. It is when you download a big database of hands, in which you did not participate, and then import it to your tracker.

Surely, you have a question: how does the poker room know that a player is benefitting from mining? These are some ways:

  • hand history was imported with the poker client turned on;
  • an automatic loader is used, a program that itself downloads hand history mining during the session;
  • you broadcast your game with a HUD that displays an unrealistic number of hands on your opponents;
  • A freely available screenshot shows an impossibly large number of hands.

If you don’t make any of the mistakes listed above, room’s admins will never find out you are using mining.

Poker software

On the websites of the leading poker gaming platforms – PokerStars and Partypoker – you can find both a list of programs that are unacceptable for use when the client is running, and a list of completely prohibited software. This avoids discrepancies.

Other poker rooms use a set of criteria that allow you to determine whether the use of a particular program is allowed. Here’s the list of prohibited software:

  • Programs that can play a game without the participation of the player or make his decisions easier to make. These are both bots we mentioned before as well as auto-folders and software that generate random bet sizing.
  • Programs that give player some tips based on the analysis of the spot in real time.
  • Programs that delay the player’s action for a certain amount of time.
  • Programs that provide information about hole cards to other players. This one does not apply to broadcasts on Twitch and other streaming platforms.
  • Opening tables to collect hand histories, posting information about other poker players in the public domain in order to study their strategy.
  • Programs for automatic registration in games based on stats.
  • Programs for selecting tables in cash games.

Frequently Asked Questions about Poker Software

Are trackers allowed?

In recent years, many poker rooms have limited player access to hand histories. This means that it is not possible to import hands and display HUDs during a session. However, there are no penalties for violating this restriction.

The tracker simply will not function properly when used. A player will not be blocked on Partypoker or PokerOK, even if he has PokerTracker 4 running during the game.

Are layouts allowed?

Layouts change the look and shape of the tables, which helps you to multitable. Such features do not provide any advantage, so poker rooms allow their use. There are also no corresponding restrictions on the PokerStars and Partypoker sites, which do not include layouts in their blacklists.

Is VPN allowed for online poker?

On this issue, the position of different poker rooms is different. Thus, VPN cannot be used on PokerOK and other rooms of the GoodGame network. However, these restrictions are not established everywhere. To avoid unexpected problems, it is recommended to study the rules of the relevant room in advance.

Hand history mining in poker rooms is prohibited, but it is impossible to track if you follow simple rules. The majority of rooms allow the use of trackers, assisting tools that help with mulltitabling, and layouts. As for VPN, the data needs to be clarified separately on each site.

Poker software

The situation with the use of poker software changes almost daily: what was relevant yesterday may no longer correspond to reality today. It is recommended to clarify information about restrictions immediately before sitting down at a table in a particular poker room.

One last thing. Poker software, of course, increases the likelihood of winning, but it is still much more pleasant to know that you win was a result of your superiority over your opponent, and not the result of mechanical calculations performed by the program.

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