What is poker software?
"Poker software" refers to any program that helps you improve your poker-playing skills. It usually does not refer to the software you need to download in order to actually play poker, such as Bodog poker software. Some of the programs are free, and many of the programs are relatively cheap (usually $50-$100). If you will be playing poker full-time then you will definitely want to invest money in poker software. Although some of the old-time poker players detest the use of such modern technology. It is only going to grow as the internet poker market grows.
Is it against the rules?
Most of the bigger online poker rooms forbid the use of software that gives any player an "unfair advantage." This usually refers to software that allows players to share their hole cards with other players during live play (in order to collude) - and software that automates decision making. The poker site may close your account if they think that you are using poker software.
Why use poker software?
Poker software offers a myriad of benefits, including:
- Quantifiable data. When you play millions of hands, it is simply not possible to get mathematically accurate statistics on your playing without using poker software.
- Information presentation. The ability for software to present graphs allows players to better understand the statistics they are looking at.
- Find holes in your game. Poker (especially tournament poker) is a game where winning players only have slim advantages over losing players. Even if you have a good overall game, having one or two major holes can be the difference between being a good player and being a great player.
- Quicken the learning curve. After the online poker boom was in full swing, Doyle Brunson lamented once about how it took him so long to become a great player. He said that he would spend years traveling around the country and playing in underground games in Texas. And after the games were over, he would go back to his hotel room and his fellow poker friends would debate their hands for hours. He said that with today's technology, players can become world class in a much shorter amount of time. Poker software is part of the technology which helps speed up the learning process.
- Objective feedback. Even if you are the kind of player who likes to study and analyze your own game, there are certain psychological processes which make this process more difficult. "Selective perception" is a process where people have a bias towards only seeing certain information. Poker software, on the other hand, gives you objective feedback that you can't dismiss.
- Equal power. Other players are using poker software. This means that you will be at a disadvantage if you don't use it.
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