Top 5 Tools to Play Online Poker
You only need two tools to play online poker: an internet connection and a computer, but we compiled a list of the top 5 tools to help bring your online poker game up a notch. All these tools will help your game by leaps and bounds. You have to pay for some, but others are free. You don’t need to use all five, anyone will help you be a better online poker player. So take a look at our top five tools to help your online poker game:
1. Pokertracker – Analysis and HUD
One of the most important things to be able to grow as a poker player is to look back at your play. Luckily, online poker tracks all your hands, but sites don’t necessarily put them in an easy-to-digest manner.
That’s where PokerTracker comes in. As long as it’s running, PokerTracker collects data on every hand you’ve played. You can connect it to accounts across multiple sites and gives you in-depth statistics on your play. PokerTracker is currently on its fourth version and it’s been slowly fine-tuning its offering over the years.
It tracks your hands in cash games, tournaments and sit&gos. You can quickly see how you’ve performed in each, and you can also see how you do against individual opponents. You can filter results by hands, so how well you do with pocket pairs, suited connectors. You can see if your aces really are getting cracked or if it’s all just in your mind. PokerTracker also maps your expected value (EV) so you can see if you’re mathematically running bad or good. This type of statistical analysis is invaluable because it helps take the mystery out of how you feel you’ve been running. It tells you exactly how you’ve been running.
PokerTracker also has a heads-up-display (HUD) that you can use on some sites. This gives you live stats on your opponents. You can see how often they raise, three-bet, fold to a c-bet and plenty more.
You can buy PokerTracker for as little as $59.99 for small-stakes NLHE.
2. SharkScope – Sit n Go Tracker
SharkScope is a free online poker tool that tracks players and lets you look up their results. Yup, you can check out yours too. All you have to do is type in a player’s screen name and it’ll give you results across different sites.
You can see how many tournaments a player has played it, their profit history, their average ROI, average stake and average profit. This is useful in many ways. It’ll show you if the player you’re up against is a seasoned pro with lots of results, or someone who’s more of a recreational player that’s had a bad run. There’s also a star rating linked to every statistic so you can see how players rank against the rest of the field.
There’s also a breakdown you can check for players, but you have to be a paid subscriber to access that. The subscription plans start at $5 a month for the Bronze plan. This will give you 10 searches a day, advanced search filters and more. If you pay for the $26/mo Gold Plan, you’ll have up to 1,000 searches a day and it’ll come with the SharkScope HandTracker and SNG Guide. These are definitely some good perks and worth it if you’re going to be using all these features. But you can still search for players for free and access the basic statistics if that’s what you’re looking for.
If you’re heads-up against a player you’ve never played against, then SharkScope can give you a great summary of your opponent’s history.
3. Odds and Equity Calculator – Calculate on the Fly
Have you ever found yourself questioning a particular play? Wondering if you made the right call. Well, now there’s a tool to help you find out your equity in any situation.
Equilab by PokerStrategy lets you calculate your equity in any given scenario. That means you can go back and see your chances of winning the pot when you got a bad beat. You can also plug things in when you’re in a hand to help you decide what to do. You can also just have fun and plug in random or hypothetical scenarios so you become more aware of how to play when they do show up.
This works by plugging in hands for at least two players, setting the filters and then clicking “Evaluate.” It’ll then show you the equity percentages next to every hand. There’s also a Scenario Analyser. This lets you set your opponent’s hand or range, the flop and then analyze your equity for the turn. You can also do it with the river.
There’s also an Equity Trainer that tests your equity knowledge. Together, all three of these tools will make you a poker equity expert.
4. Training sites – One on One Help from Pros
Online training sites have become incredibly popular in the past few years. Like any school or training program, they all vary in quality, teaching style, price and method. Some have video classes, dedicated message boards and even on-on-one coaching where coaches can help you deal with specific aspects of your game.
As you might have guessed, one-on-one coaching is expensive, but the video classes are more affordable.
Some of the top poker training sites are www.runitonce.com, www.cardrunners.com, www.deucescracked.com. These sites will help you improve your cash game skills, tournament skills, sit and go skills, and everything else relating to online poker. If you are new to online poker you should get a coach at one of these sites to help you gather a better understanding of the online poker game.
5. Knowledge – Books, Articles and Forums
If you can’t afford training sites, then books, articles and forums are great alternatives. These poker tools are the best ROI out there While you have to pay for books, they’re affordable and pay themselves ten times over very quickly.
If you’re new to poker, books like David Sklansky’s “The Theory of Poker” and Dan Harrington’s “Harrington on Hold’em” are great places to start. These books introduce you to the basics of advanced poker strategy. A solid foundation will help you build all the more nuanced and advanced skills you’ll use later on in your poker career. Gus Hansen’s “Every Hand Revealed” is a great book where you see a top pro play every single hand in a tournament on his way to victory.
If you’re done with those books, then there’s a giant well of free information online. There have been thousands of poker articles and threads posted with nearly every kind of topic you can imagine.
Just Google “How to Play Aces” and you’ll get a ton of options. Be sure to read up on these articles and check out forums like TwoPlusTwo to see what others have written. The best part about the forums is that you can post your questions or hands and get feedback from other players.