online poker tools: are they worth the effort?
If you have any intentions of becoming a successful online poker player (or if you are already successful and want to become better) you absolutely have to take a closer look at the available online poker tools.
If you are a fairly inexperienced poker player don't be too quick in starting to invest time and money in the different poker tools - start out by reading a few good poker books (David Sklansky: "The Theory of Poker" and Ian Taylor + Matthew Hilger: "The Poker Mindset" are good for starters after those pick one specific to your preferred poker variation) and play a lot of free or low stakes poker. Once you have mastered the basics of the game you can start to think about moving on to thinking about which online poker tools are best for you.
This is the first in a series of articles meant to explain the different poker tool types, their unique value in specific situations and teach you how to select the tools that will help you improve the most. This article supplies an introduction to poker tools and categorizes the different tool types. Later articles will give more detailed info on specific tools and how to extract the most value from them.
An important note before moving on!
Most online poker rooms have a policy with regard to which software tools they allow players to use when playing at their site. This is similar to the way many land based casinos don't allow card counting or the use of electronic devices in the casino. The reasons for these type of restrictions typically has to do with degrees of unfair advantages and/or cheating and some players will understandably disagree strongly with some of these restrictions - but it can only be recommended that you follow the rules of the trusted top poker rooms. Pokerstars have long list of banned poker software tools probably making them the most restrictive poker room online. As a general guideline you can safely assume that the poker tools accepted at Pokerstars are also accepted at all other online poker rooms. When in doubt please contact your local poker room.
If you hope to pick up a few poker tools, but them on your PC and then magically be witness to huge improvements in your poker results you will be very disappointed. Improvement or success with poker tools are NOT automatic - anyone trying you tell you otherwise is not being entirely truthful Good poker tools all demand that you put in a big effort trying to learn how to use and understand them. This can easily amount to a great deal of hours but the best poker tools are definitely worth your time, as your long term improvements will be worth the effort.
Once you have read this guide (hopefully all the articles) please don't rush out and buy 2-3 or more poker tools. The best approach is to focus on one tool at a time - spend some time deciding which tool type you stand to benefit the most from and invest in the specific tool you find most promising. Then concentrate on really getting to know this tool and once you have gotten most of the benefits the tool can offer move on to the next tool.
In the next article you will learn about the different categories of Poker Tools and how to decide which tool type to start using. Investing your time and a little money in the right poker tool can be an excellent decision.
Author: Dennis B.
Webmaster, IT Professional, seasoned poker player.
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