Poker players have a number of options that can help them improve their results at the online poker tables. Reading poker strategies, and immersing oneself in poker play are excellent places to start. Learning how to calculate pot odds and hands odds will assist a player's decision making skills at poker, while finding the leaks in one's game can save a player a lot of money. Some players can perform all of these calculations and evaluations in their head. For everyone else, there are a variety of poker software utilities available.

Odds Calculators
The world of poker, online or live, is dotted with mathematics and economics majors who are proficient at computing their odds of making a hand, and the statistical profitability of calling a bet. These are calculations anyone can learn to perform in their head, but for a novice player who is just starting out, a poker odds calculator can be tremendously useful.

This type of poker software is available in a full spectrum of capabilities and price ranges. Free odds calculators tend to provide the most simplistic odds, and should be tested for accuracy before being used in a real situation. However, more sophisticated odds calculators can project equity by utilizing hand ranges.

Some odds calculators offer real-time odds at an online poker table, and may even give advise on the best course of action. Other poker calculators require players to input the data from the table in order to perform the same functions. It can also be extremely useful to employ the use of odds calculators in post-game analysis.

It is important to note that online poker sites have banned the use of odds calculators that breach their terms of service. These are usually odds calculators that run off of a compiled database of hand histories that allow the software to use analysis of any given opponent's playing style - not just the odds - to make better recommendations to the user. It is recommended that players read their online poker room's policy on poker software tools to avoid investing in a restricted poker calculator.

Poker Tracking Software
A number of programs have been developed that allow online poker players to plug in their hand histories from different online poker sites, and view statistical data about their game play. Poker tracking software will keep a tally of wins and losses, and analyzes all of the data collected in order to provide an easy-to-read assessment of the player's results against each opponent.

Many poker tracking software tools include a heads-up display (HUD) that allows players to view all of the statistics within an online poker game in order to assist a player in making better choices. These programs may also generate and display statistical data collected from the user's hand histories about their opponents, to help a player make adjustments to their game against specific players.

Poker tracking software that utilizes a database of hand histories that were not collected by the user of the utility are typically banned from reputable online poker sites. As with any poker software tool, one can avoid a great deal of hassle by checking their online poker site's terms of use policy concerning poker software.

Popularity of Poker Software
The popularity of poker software has grown right alongside the online poker industry. While not all players take poker profits so seriously that they will buy the most sophisticated poker software in order to make a living playing online poker, every single poker software utility available is being used by someone playing online poker - and the most extensive and popular poker software programs have amassed a large following of users.

Besides odds calculators and poker tracking software, there are a variety of poker software tools that may be of use to online poker enthusiasts. There are a number of SNG and MTT poker software utilities to aid players in grinding out a profit in online poker tournaments. Some of these tournament tools are not permitted to be used during an online poker tournament, but are perfectly acceptable for utilizing afterward to analyze and identify better options for future poker tournaments. Buddy lists are also quite popular, allowing poker players to locate any opponents they enjoy competing against.

Implications of Poker Software
A poker player who is serious about improving their performance at online poker can benefit tremendously from analyzing their hand history over time. Calculators can help a player make better decisions about whether to call a bet, or fold the hand, while learning to recognize these odds without the use of poker software. These are skills that serious poker players were developing long before poker games and poker software tools became available on the internet.

While many of the poker software programs available are designed to help one become a better poker player, there are some poker tools that are widely regarded as giving a player an unfair advantage. Such poker software tools that have been deemed to cross the line between improving a player's poker skill and helping a player cheat, have been banned from many online poker sites. Therefore it is important to read the online poker site's policy regarding the use of third party software before choosing to invest in a poker software tool that offers information about other players.

Many of the online poker software tools that are on the market have been approved by online poker rooms as being perfectly acceptable, and there is no reason not to make use of the information that can be used to strengthen one's poker playing ability. Of course, it is not possible to employ these tools in a live poker situation, however, that is all the more reason to use poker software as a way to enrich one's knowledge of how to play winning poker, rather than leaning on poker software as a crutch.
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