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For all you poker enthusiasts out there, using 3rd party software while playing poker might sound like a weird concept. Imagine playing at two tables at once and keeping track of all your opponents, their tendencies and the lot of showdowns which will give you a lot of info. Now imagine four. Now eight. Double the trouble and you’ve got sixteen. Not so easy anymore, is it? Also, how are you going to figure out how a hand like 76s fairs against AA if you both go all in pre-flop? Are you just going to deal a million flops, turns and rivers?

There is a very important need for poker software for tracking, knowledge and training, and for sure in this domain, a few companies like Max Value Inc. have provided.

First of all, we have Equity Training Software:

  • Equilab – This free poker software can give you hand vs hand equities pre-flop and on different boards, and more importantly can give you hand vs range or range vs range equities, which is awesome because you can never know these too well. Hidden features galore!
  • PokerStove – An older, simpler version of Equilab, for the guys who don’t need much sass and art. Does a solid job!


Let’s talk about HUDs. HUDs, short for Heads Up Display, are software that use your recorded Hand Histories that you get directly from the poker software, import them into a large database and extract as much information about your opponents as possible and translating that info to you into a few numbers (or a lot of them), which you can see while you’re playing, live.

Start using a HUD! There are many programs nowadays that offer a HUD (Heads Up Display), but few of them are actually compared to Holdem Manager 2 or PokerTracker 4. Being some of the first HUD software out there, they had a long time to improve, and these programs will not only display stats on your opponents, they will also help you review your hands, sessions, show you overall reports on your total earnings and hands played, you can study your arch nemesis or other players and filter out hands played only with them or by other actions like “Hero 3-bet preflop”.

I have to mention that you get for each a 30-day absolutely free trial (awesome from the producers I must say), after which you can buy either one of them. Buying both would be totally redundant, because both do essentially the same thing and are made by the same company, Max Value Inc.

My advice is to try both of them, see which interface suits you better and get that one.

Alternatively, Jivaro is a free hud version that only works on PokerStars, but it’s very limited when displaying stats. If you want to get the premium version you have to pay a monthly subscription that will ultimately cost you more than HM2/PT4 if you plan on playing for more than a year.


We will be writing another article about more advanced poker software, but as for a beginner, this is all that you’re going to need. Use them wisely and enjoy your time at the tables, now that you’re not in the dark anymore!




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