There are many kinds of different poker tools. While poker solvers are the most powerful and comprehensive software, it's worth noting that other programs are also very helpful in improving your poker skills.
In this article, we'd like to look at the most popular poker software types, how they work and how they can help you.
You need at least some experience to take advantage of most of the poker tools
We'll start with what may be an unpopular opinion. Poker software tools are necessary to become a competent or even decent poker player, but they require you to have at least a basic understanding of the game. So if you have just started playing online poker, give yourself some time. Enjoy the game at the low stakes, observe how others play, watch online videos and test for yourself what seems to be working and what does not.
If you have been playing for at least a few months, it's likely time to hone your poker strategy with the help of external programs. There are a lot of various tools that cover different aspects of this complex game. Here are our picks for the best poker software.
Poker tracking software
This category includes two of probably most used poker programs worldwide: Holdem Manager and Poker Tracker. Chances are that even if you've never used any poker tool yourself, you have heard about one of the mentioned two.
Both HM and PT serve a similar purpose; they collect the hands you have played and store them in a database. Over time such a database grows into a great source of knowledge. If you play a lot, you will gather a lot of data quickly, and it will let you analyze your strong points and where your soft spots might lie. Moreover, if you play a lot of hands with the same players, at some point, you will be able to analyze their play and profile their potential strengths and weaknesses as well.
That's not all! Poker tracking programs have one more very compelling feature - a heads-up display (HUD). Poker HUD is a small box hovering over every player at the table. It uses your hand histories to generate stats which describe the style of play of particular players.
You may customize HUD stats to your liking, but there are a few universal statistics, like how often players voluntarily put money into the pot, how often they raise, or 3bet. Such info is invaluable if you play online tournaments, cash games, or spin & go's.
Right stats can be a great help in right situation, and the more hands you play, the more information you can extract from your database, meaning the more accurate the information generated by HUD will be.
Both Holdem Manager and Poker Tracker are legal while playing on almost all major poker sites (which is not always true for other poker software tools). A few of them, however, do not allow you to automatically save the hand histories or let you to save them after some time, preventing you from using the HUD in real-time.
If you are reading this text, you almost certainly know that AK wins against most pairs roughly 50 % of the time. But how often will it win if your opponent has either a pair or a weaker ace?
A poker equity calculator will answer this and many other poker questions. With its help, you'll be able to estimate the equity of your hand against any other hand or range of hands. You can even input the range of hands against other ranges of hands, and you will discover the equities for both players. Moreover, such calculations can be done for both preflop and postflop situations.
Equity calculators are great tools that will help you learn how much equity you are likely to have at any given moment during the hand. They won't tell what you should do with the particular holding and what your exact poker strategy should look like, but they are a great starting point for levelling up your game.
There are quite a few poker tools in this category. The most popular is Poker Strategy Equilab which is very easy to navigate, and you can download it for free. If you'd like even more features, you can check out Flopzilla, which is a more powerful poker equity calculator, allowing you, among other things, to visualize how often a certain range will hit any given board.
One important caveat: this kind of poker tool is illegal during play. You can study outside of the poker table as much as you like, but using an equity calculator while playing is considered cheating and may result in a ban - bear that in mind!
If you have never used an equity calculator before, we strongly recommend you start doing so. It'll work wonders for your game and be a great entry point to working with the best poker software there is:
The poker game evolves constantly, and so does the poker software. Undoubtedly, for the last few years, poker solvers have been the stars among poker software. No tool before them was powerful enough to allow you to implement game theory findings into practical poker strategy (here's more about the game theory optimal itself).
Both tracking software and equity calculators are great poker tools to improve your understanding of constructing a solid game plan. Still, it's the solvers that will provide you with a detailed strategy for every decision in any given poker hand.
Solvers are relatively young poker software. The first solver ever created was PioSolver, launched in 2015. It took some time for the poker world to recognize its potential, but soon after professional poker players got convinced of its value, it gained popularity rapidly.
A few years ago, when we were players, we had spent countless hours with Pio's solutions, which greatly benefited our strategic understanding of the game. PioSolver, however, while game-changing, had and still has a few limitations. That's why we've decided to take one step towards a perfect poker solver and created Deepsolver.
With Deepsolver, you can study optimal strategy efficiently
Our app combines a few traits important for every user: it's fast, easy to use, doesn't require a top-notch PC, and is powerful. During the design process of the Deepsolver, we've aimed to create a modern poker tool, and we feel like we've succeeded.
You can find out for yourself. Check out the free version of Deepsolver with a seven days trial.
If you'd like to know more about how poker solvers work and how you can use them to your advantage, we've created a few articles which will introduce you to the best poker tools out there:
GTO poker strategy guidelines, how to use them for your benefit?
How to study poker GTO with Deepsolver?
Solvers, like equity calculators, are also prohibited during the actual play. Here's how we help to keep the online poker fair.
Integrity in online poker. The threats and the chances
In addition to being a great app, Deepsolver brings together a community of players who want to play poker even better. Join our channel on Discord and become one of them.