In this article, you'll find out:
- Which poker software revolutionized the way we play poker and think about the game
- What GTO poker theory is
- Why strategies based on GTO are so helpful in studying the game
Nowadays there is a plenty of poker software to choose from
We can, however, distinguish two main types of poker learning tools: poker solvers and poker library apps.
In simple terms, poker solvers are programs that create and allow to study perfectly balanced strategies, commonly called Game Theory Optimal (GTO). But what is GTO poker, you might ask? GTO is a point where, for a specific situation, both sides have come up with unexploitable strategies, meaning changing the strategy for either side likely will create potential weaknesses that can be taken advantage of.
This doesn’t mean perfectly employing a GTO strategy will result in the most money made in your regular games (although it almost surely will win you money), but it guarantees no one will be able to pinpoint holes in your game plan.
Here, you can learn more about the GTO principles.
The first commercially available poker solver was launched in 2015
Its release was a pretty big deal as, up to that point, many poker players were questioning whether GTO could even exist in a game with incomplete access to information (incomplete as we don’t know the hole cards of our opponents, nor what board cards will come next). Solvers gave insight that was previously guesswork, like what sort of bet sizing is optimal or what sort of hands make the best bluffs. Those players that recognized early the value of solvers soon got ahead of the curve.
Solvers changed strategies and landscape of the poker game forever
While solvers were incredibly valuable, they were (and still are) notoriously difficult to use. They require expert knowledge, enormous patience, and powerful hardware (with which calculations can still take an hour to solve or more). Solvers were often one-person projects that had little or no budget; therefore, there wasn’t any emphasis put on user-friendliness/experience and making the program accessible to the widest audience available.
This void in the poker software market led to the advent of library apps
The big downside of library apps is the lack of any customization - we get a ready-made set of solutions with specific, fixed parameters when there is an infinite number of scenarios that players may be interested in. This can be compared to a chess application that shows only certain decision paths and does not allow you to answer the question, "What should I do if my opponent or I played differently here?".
Another drawback of library apps is that the solutions they offer are set up with three or more bet sizing options for each player. On the one hand, this makes it more likely a user will find their sizing of interest. On the other hand, a poker strategy with more than two sizings is impossible to be memorized.
An optimal strategy with one sizing is often hard enough to mimic, a strategy with two sizings is close to unfeasible, and three sizings is beyond the grasp of the human mind to emulate. In a game as complex as poker, there are thousands and thousands of scenarios to be studied; therefore, it is key to simplify the learning process as much as possible. The very top poker players realize this and, for this reason alone, don’t spend much time working with library apps off the poker table.
Recently a new type of learning tool has emerged
Deepsolver is the first web-based near instant poker solver. It combines the best aspects of traditional learning tools. On the one hand, like the library apps, Deepsolver is convenient to use, does not require specialized knowledge or strong hardware, and solutions are delivered in seconds. On the other hand, because it is a solver, unlike library applications, it allows you to explore any poker scenario as there is complete freedom in setting up the parameters of a hand.
If you would like to figure out how to play with or against a specific pre-flop range, you can do that. Or, if you are interested in a specific bet size or stack size, that is also a few clicks away. Whether you play cash games or tournaments, you'll be able to find optimal strategy based on GTO.
This freedom also enables features that will never be available for libraries - such as checking the perfect counter-strategies vs specific tendencies (nodelocking) or simplifying the strategy (recalculating the solution by removing bet options that are infrequently used).
If you would like to give us a try, click here for a completely free 7 day trial.