Honing Your Online Poker Game: Tools for Playing Online Poker
Many debate the pros and cons of playing poker online. There’s always the benefit of seeing drastically more hands per hour, but there’s the negative of being unable to get a good read on your opponent. Software developers and code programmers have been at work for years trying to remedy this situation.
A vast array of programs have been designed to aid players in playing their hand, and to provide useful information on opponents playing styles. There are odds calculators, stat trackers, and end-game analyzers galore, all designed and marketed to give you the ultimate edge.
Before you can decide on what software is going to enhance your online skill, you must first know that some of the particular types of programs are prohibited by sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt. Both poker rooms list their criteria for prohibiting software on their respective websites, PokerStars even goes as far as to provide lists of prohibited and permitted software.
Poker Tool Software
Odds calculators such as Pokerbility and Calculatem Pro calculate hand and pot odds, and make suggestions based on a chosen playing style. With this valuable math already figured, players can make an informed decision based on good instinct and the best odds.
Tracking software has become the next big advantage in online Poker. Knowing your opponent is vital in any poker, but it is especially important when playing online where it is nearly impossible to pick up (or give off) tells. Software like Poker Tracker allows users to import hand histories from nearly any online poker site.
They provide accurate and extremely valuable information on you and your opponents game including playing style, individual hand stats, and win percentages. Poker Tracker is worthwhile for any session, during any game, under any circumstance, tracking Hold’em, Omaha, and Stud statistics for cash games, SNGs and tournaments.
Poker Strategy Guides
Besides the technical aspect of playing online, there is a certain strategic one as well. Many top poker pros have written extensive poker strategy guides, most of which contain sections, entire chapters, and full volumes on mastering the online game.
Two-time World Champion Doyle Brunson’s Super System: A Course in Power Poker is the essential poker guide. Super System covers nearly every major poker variant with detailed advice, hand analysis, and personal experience from the absolute best at each game. Though not tailor-made for playing online, there is no better guide to understanding the game and developing your own playing style.
Along these same lines, ‘95 World Champion Dan Harrington’s three-volume series Harrington on Hold’em is the ultimate guide on tournament play. Each volume breaks a tournament down into three parts, the beginning, middle, and end. Harrington provides skilled and experienced advice on how to play at each stage that applies both live and online.
Online hot shot and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Scott Fischman’s book Online Ace is currently the top guide on all aspects of online poker. Fischman breaks down strategies for playing, bluffing, and winning online that he’s parlayed into a record 20 cashes in PokerStar’s World Championship of Online Poker.
Another book that get high marks for online strategy are Collin Moshman’s Sit n’ Go Strategy. It provides a comprehensive study and analysis of playing online Sit n’ Go tournaments for money. It is a basic how-to for beating some of the world’s most profitable poker tournaments.