Augmenting Your Play with Software
Keeping track of the money in the pot, determining which remaining cards help your hand, and keeping track of which visible cards have been discarded in seven-card Stud is a lot of work. Some software developers have stepped into the gap, providing computer programs that keep track of your hand, your draws, your odds of winning against certain other hands, and so on. One of those programs, PokerInspector (available for $79 from www.pokerinspector.net/), appears in Figure 7.2.
Programs such as PokerInspector or Texas Calculatem (available for $39.99 from www.calculatem.com/) can give players a significant advantage. We wrote Lee Jones, the Poker Room Manager at PokerStars.com and author of Winning Low Limit Hold’Em (Conjelco, 2nd edition, 2000), to ask about PokerStars’ policy regarding such programs. Here’s his response:
PokerStars’ position on such programs is that as long as the program
1. Does not automate the playing of the hand in any way, and
2. Does not participate in any collusion or other cheating methods, and
3. Uses only information available to the player,
it is acceptable. There are some “assistance” programs which follow these rules and some that do not. The ones that do not we detect and defeat.
Lee didn’t name any specific programs that did or did not fall within their guidelines, which is fine, but it appears that PokerStars would have no problem if you chose to use PokerInspector to help your game. We’re interested in knowing how (and whether) they can tell the difference between a program that derives its information from upcards only and one that lets you enter your partners’ cards in as well, but it wouldn’t be in their best interest to tell us, and we didn’t press the matter.
For more information on using poker-specific software to ana- lyze your play based on hand histories, rather than to provide advice while the hand is in progress, see Chapters 12 and 13.