In 2003 accountant Chris Moneymaker entered the World Series of Poker as an amateur, and went on to write his name in cards history. The Moneymaker pulled off one of the greatest bluffs of all time against card-shark Sammy Farha. Not only did that bluff change Moneymakerâ€™s life, but it breathed life into the game of poker and helped to make it the game it is today.
Now, itâ€™s estimated that 40 million people play poker online regularly such has been the growth of the game since 2003. The growing interest in the game has been matched by increasing numbers of self-improvement strategies and technology for players to improve their games. In this article we take a look at three of the best software systems on the internet to make you into a much better poker player.
What is it? Itâ€™s a system that calculates your odds of winning a particular hand
Where can I find it? Most online providers have pot calculators, but you can check one out by clicking HERE.
The lowdown: Have you ever heard people talking about the â€˜mathâ€™ of poker? If you havenâ€™t, then youâ€™ve got an awful lot of work to do to get to the next level. There are 52 cards in a standard pack, and once youâ€™ve received your cards and seen the flop, itâ€™s all about probability.
To calculate the number of possible poker hands you can use a formula that wouldnâ€™t look out of place on an Oxford lecture hallâ€™s chalkboard. If you manage to do that, youâ€™ll find out that there are over 2.5 million variations that could come from a pack of 52 cards.
If youâ€™re Rain Man, or simply amazing at math then you donâ€™t need to bother with a pot calculator, you can just work out probabilities as you go. But if youâ€™re normal like us, youâ€™ll use a pot calculator.
The best way to benefit from a pot calculator is to review your previous hands or games. You can input the cards you had, the flop and the river and the app calculates your probability of certain outcomes as you go along.
Itâ€™s a terrific way to review your game and see just how well you played, and itâ€™s also useful in spotting similar outcomes in the future and helping you recognise what youâ€™re looking out for at the table.
Did you know? Most online providers allow you to use a poker calculator as you play, but it is frowned upon by other players.
What is it? A risk-free poker simulator
Where can I find it? By clicking HERE.
The lowdown: When youâ€™re looking to improve your poker game you might be tempted to read online blogs, strategy guides or watch YouTube videos. Thatâ€™s all very well and good and can help you to broaden your knowledge of poker, but it doesnâ€™t help you put what youâ€™ve learned into practice.
You might learnt the best bluffing technique known to man, but not know when or how to play it in an actual game, or lack the confidence to give it a try. Thatâ€™s where Poker Fighter comes into play; the risk-free poker simulator is a must for all players looking to improve their games.
The app teaches you everything you need to know to improve your game, no matter what youâ€™re level of skill. If youâ€™re a beginner, it will talk you through what to do when youâ€™re dealt your cards, fold or play-on. Players can play for free, with absolutely no risk and practice what they have learned. After your hand has played out youâ€™ll then receive a review of what you did and how you could have improved.
Poker Fighter is probably the best app out there to help playersâ€™ improve their games. It disproves the fallacy that practice makes perfect and shows that perfect practice actually makes perfect.
Did you know? The technology behind Poker Fighter differentiates itself from other training simulators, by not pre-programming the hands and boards used in the game and it is generated by AI technology whilst you play.
Poker Tracker 4
What is it? Basically, itâ€™s an in-depth upgrade on a pot calculator
Where can I find it? By clicking HERE.
The lowdown: Earlier in the article we discussed how useful it is to use a pot calculator to track your game and review your past wins and losses. Poker Tracker 4 is basically a professional version of a pot calculator.
The software tracks every single hand and every single play from each and every player at the table. You can use it to review your own moves in a game but most importantly you can use it to see your favoured plays or tendencies over a longer period of time.
You can scientifically work out whether youâ€™re a defensive or an offensive player without relying on anecdotal evidence and you can track the success of your bluffs. If you regularly play with friends online, you can use the same software to analyse their game.
You probably think you already know how your friends play, when theyâ€™re bluffing you and when they have a good hand. But Poker Tracker will give you the actual live data so that you can make an informed decision in-game.
Similarly to the pot calculator, using the Poker Calculator in-game can be frowned upon by other players, but almost everyone out there is using it so youâ€™d be foolish not to consider downloading it.
Did you know? There are many other similar software programs available, including Holdem Manager
Summary: If youâ€™ve read this far then youâ€™re obviously looking to improve your poker game, and by using the software programs above youâ€™re almost guaranteed to get better. Donâ€™t get lulled into the belief that practice makes perfect. If you keep playing the same way and keep losing money, then you need to change your outlook. Focus on the perfect practice and learning how to turn your weak points into strengths. Anyway, stop reading now and go get practicing.