Tools and Resources All Poker Players

If you look back on any job that you’ve had in the past, or have now, you’ll recall that there were tools and resources for you to use. For example, in construction you might have backhoes and tractors that will help you dig and push dirt faster than if you were to use shovels and rakes. Mechanics have air tools to loosen bolts instead of doing it with ratchets. These tools and resources are available to help these professionals become more efficient at their jobs.

Poker isn’t any different. There are hundreds of tools and resources that will help you improve your skill set and become more efficient. You don’t need all of them (not even close), but there are several that I recommend, which I’ve listed below. Some are free, while others do require that you to pay for them. All are worth checking out.

Poker Calculators

There are many kinds of poker calculators. Some just tell you your pot odds, while others are more in-depth, telling you how much equity you have and what plays you should make. That said, there are only two poker calculators that I recommend.

Poker Stove: Poker Stove (free) is an odds/equity calculator for hold’em that tells you how good your hand is verses another hand, or an entire range of hands. This can be done for all situations, including preflop, flop, turn and river and against multiple players.

SNG Wizard: SNG Wizard ($100 with a 30-day free trial) is an equity calculator that focuses on the late game of sit and go tournaments. This program will help you figure out when you should shove, fold or isolate based on the number of players in the tournament, payouts, stack sizes, position and ranges.

Hand History Replayers

Hand history replayers are programs that take the hard to read .txt files that all poker sites save hands too, and converts it to an easy to watch replay. Using a hand history replayer, you can cycle through hundreds of hands per hour.

Universal Replayer: The Universal Replayer (also known as the Popopop Replayer) is the only replayer I recommend. It provides pot odds, as well as color coded hands so you can see which hands you lose/won money on for faster reviewing.

Poker Heads Up Displays (HUD)

A poker HUD is a program that collects hands, stores them to a database and provides this data to a popup that sits over your table(s) as you play. You can filter for data including how often someone raises preflop, how many hands you’ve played with that person and much, much more. A poker HUD is an absolute must, as it’ll help you to multi table with ease.

Hold’em Manager: I used HEM ($55-$150), and can recommend it. Also has a hand history replayer that allows you to have stats up while reviewing hands.

Poker Tracker: I only used Poker Tracker ($45-$150) during a trial (I already owned HEM at the time), and I liked it. I also have friends that have used it and were/are happy with it.

Player Databases

Player databases give you information on your opponents including what games they play, stakes, volume, ROI, etc. Use this information to help you adjust your strategy, as well as table select.

Sharkscope: Sharkscope is for SNG and MTT players, live and online. It’ll run you $10 to $50 a month, or 200 searches for $9.99.

Poker Table Ratings: PTR is for cash game players. It’ll run you $9.99 to try it out, or $13 to $33 per moth. You can also buy hand histories at PTR for an additional fee.

Hot Key Programs

Hot key software are programs that allow you to configure the buttons on your keyboard, mouse and/or controller to perform certain functions when playing, such as calling, betting, folding, going all in, etc. This helps you become more efficient, especially when combined with a HUD.

AutoHotkey: AHK is a free script that can be configured in many different ways. There are many scripts all ready to go too. I’ve never used this, but I’ve had coaches that have that recommend it.

Table Ninja: TN is a paid ($60) auto hotkey program that allows you to configure betting sizes, what buttons to use for your actions, color coding tables and options for rotating tables as needed. I configured Table Ninja to work with my X-Box controller, which I thought was pretty cool.

Screen Sharing

Screen sharing programs allow you to share your screen with someone else, as long as they have the same program. Having a screen sharing program is a good idea so that you can review hand histories with other players, sweat others while playing and have coaching sessions. Both programs that I’ve used have a free option.



Instant Messenger

You need to have an instant messenger so you can contact peers, discuss hands, share bad beats, participate in group chats and so that you can chat via microphone when sharing screens.


Tilt Management

I never spent much time on poker training sites, as I’ve gotten just as much, if not more, out of paid coaching and using free resources like forums. The one exception to this is the video series at Deuces Cracked titled, The Eightfold Path to Poker Enlightenment by Tommy Angelo. This video series will certainly help you improve your mental state when it comes to poker. They offer a free 7-day trial, and last I checked, you could download the videos. So sign up and download the entire series. You won’t regret it.