Learning and getting better at a new game, like poker, can be expensive. It is a game where you get punished financially for your mistakes. Learning at the table can often be the most costly way, in losses and redeposits. Away from the table, the cost of becoming better is significant. Books can cost from $10-$25 a piece. A poker training site can be $20-$30 a month, if they don’t have a sign up fee too. Good poker software to assist you can easily be $60-$80.
Thankfully, in online poker, there are many free resources to take advantage of if you have the initiative. Poker enthusiasts are a generous group. Many individuals have created free sites for fellow passionate poker players who want to take their game seriously. There are many poker forums where players share information and advice. There are numerous free poker resource sites with articles, interviews and blogs focusing on how to improve your poker game. Best of all, there are poker software sites that can help your game immensely if you put in the time.
Below are seven categories of helpful completely *FREE poker software to improve your learning experience: (* no strings attached, unlike many poker software products that require you to sign up at a poker room through them)
1) Poker Hands Odds Calculator/Simulator - Twodimes.net, PokerStove, ProPokerTools Pokerhand.org or Troutulator
Plug in your hand and your opponents hands after an important hand or session has been played to see what your equity was pre-flop and on every street after that to see where you made the right or wrong move. Understanding your equity and pot odds is so essential to your development. PokerStove is nice because you can input a range of hands to see what your equity is like. Troutulator is a simple equity simulator and hand converter for 7 card stud, 2-7 triple draw and badugi.
2) Hand Converters - WeakTight or Pokerhand.org
When posting to poker forums seeking advice, it is very helpful to have your raw hand histories to be made to look more pleasing to the eye, and more consistent, if you plan to have other players want to give you feedback.
3) Heads Up Display - FPDB
Most serious players invest in poker tracking software and the accompanying heads-up display (HUD) that allows for real time stats on your opponents. This free program was created by a lone programmer intent on creating an open source option free to all.
4) Hand Replayer - Popopop
A number of training sites feature hand replayers, but this free stand alone product does a nice job of replaying your hand histories so you can analyze your play.
5) Hot Keys - AutoHotkey, PokerShortcuts, PokerGrapher
There are a variety of hot key options to increase your speed and ease when multi-tabling.
6) Sit n Go analysis - Sit-n-Go Analyzer
Software to help you analyze your SNG play.
7) Results Tracking and Analysis - PokerScore, PokerDominator or Poker-Tracking
Simplified tracking of results, viewing charts and graphs and by games played to help you assess your game.
Utilizing some or all of these free poker software products will help your game immensely. Your improvement will be proportional to the amount of time and effort you put in. While there are some great ‘for pay’ poker software products out there, you can also find reasonable free solutions that will get you well on your way to becoming a profitable player before you choose to invest heavily in top of the line poker software.