Poker tools can be a valuable addition to any poker player’s arsenal. There are a variety of tools available and this article will examine the different types available to assist players. The most commonly used poker tools are hand history databases, computer playing programs, online poker assistants and online poker tools.
Hand History Databases
Most online poker rooms offer players the ability to download the histories of the hands that they have participated in. These hand histories are in a text format and while it is possible for a player to scan and analyse a single hand, it quickly becomes difficult and tiresome for multiple hands. Hand history databases offer the features like win rate calculations, opponent analysis, hand replay, analysis by position and much more. The most popular poker tools of this type include “Poker Tracker” and “Poker Office”.
Computer Playing Programs
Programming computers to play a strong game of poker is extremely difficult and it is only recently that they have become about the same strength as an above average player. Compare this to games such as chess and backgammon, where computers have now surpassed all but the strongest humans. These programs allow players to practice and improve their play without having any money at risk. Most also offer advice and the ability to setup and analyse certain situations. The strongest playing poker programs available to purchase are “Poker Academy” and Turbo series of programs produced by Wilson Software.
Online Poker Assistants
With the explosion in popularity of online poker, much software has been developed to assist players while they are playing. There are a couple of what are termed “bots” that make all of the decisions for a player but these are not very strong and if discovered using one of these programs a player can be banned and lose the money in their online poker room account. Other types of software that are also available are programs that overlay tables with statistics summarising hand odds as well as the playing style of other players (for example listing how often a certain player raises, calls or folds) in real time. Examples of these online poker assistants are “Pokerbility” and “PokerAce HUD”.
Online Poker Tools
There are a number of web sites that provide free online poker tools to their visitors. Some of the tools available are odds calculators which analyse the probabilities for games such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Seven Card Stud poker, and tournament equity calculators. Whilst they may not directly assist a player while they are playing they are great at improving a player’s knowledge which then can later be applied at the table. Websites with a variety of useful online poker tools include “http://www.twodimes.net/poker” and “http://www.poker-tools-online.com”.
By Mike Turner
Mike Turner is a contributor for Online Poker Tools and Reviews.