Explanation of Tracking Software
Many online poker sites can be integrated with tracking software. The key features/benefits of tracking software are as follows but not limited to –
- Tracking and graphing of played hands.
- Relevant statistics such as winrate and frequency of various actions/lines.
- Marking hands for later review.
- HUD – Heads Up Display for showing statistics on opponents in real time.
- Filters, to search for specific scenarios and see hands/data.
Not all online sites allow the use of tracking software. Some allow tracking software but dis-allow use of HUDs. These are measures taken in an attempt to protect the poker ecology, although such measures constitute a somewhat polarizing topic amongst players.
The most common tracking software -
- Hold’em Manager
- Poker Tracker
- Hand 2 Note
There are other trackers out there, but the above three are the most popular with Hold’em Manager and Poker Tracker currently boasting the most users (they are now a merged company offering two flavours of tracker).
Example of Tracking Software used in a sentence -> Not all poker rooms support tracking software, so it might be worth checking beforehand.
How to Use Tracking Software as Part of Your Poker Strategy
When playing at an online poker room that allows tracking software and HUDs it makes sense to utilize them ourselves. Not only will tracking software improve our play at the tables but it will also provide us with a reliable medium for analysing our game away from the tables. In some senses, it might be necessary to have these additional tools purely to neutralize our opponent’s edge. After all, if our opponent is making use of tracking software and we are not, he is playing with an advantage.
This is why some networks seek to “level the playing field” by disallowing HUDs and/or tracking software for all players. While this perhaps makes sense in theory, hackers have been known to get HUDs working on rooms that supposedly disallow them. In such cases, they will have an even bigger edge than they would have if the site had allowed HUDs for everyone in the first place.
The data does seem to suggest that poker networks without HUDs and/or poker trackers provide softer games. The drawback is that it becomes much harder to analyse results and improve strategy – so rooms without tracker support are typically less appealing to seasoned regulars. Then again, this is precisely why such rooms often offer softer games – the regulars have migrated elsewhere.
Generally speaking, if we are extremely proficient at using a HUD, we should seek to leverage this advantage by gravitating toward rooms that offer HUD support. If on the other hand we are relatively weak at using HUDs, we can play to our strengths by picking a room which doesn’t support HUDs. (Our opponents won’t be able to then generate an edge over us this way).