What is a Poker Solver?
A poker solver is a tool that can be used to help make decisions in poker. It can be used to calculate odds and probabilities, and to find out what the best possible move is in any given situation. Poker solvers are often used by professional players to help them make better decisions at the table.
We dive into the world of poker solvers and what they can teach you about poker and how to make more money playing poker.
How do poker solvers work?
The best solutions for any poker situation can be calculated with poker solvers. It was not possible to run such powerful software on a home computer. This is now possible with the power of modern computers.
Some players can’t use the solutions that a poker solver offers because they’re very close to the Game Theory of Optimality (GTO). If you haven’t studied poker strategy with the GTO solvers, some of the suggested moves may seem odd.
You won’t be disappointed if you learn to predict how the solver plays certain spots. You will also learn the terms used in solver applications.
After entering some basic variables, the solvers create strategies to take advantage of them. There is a lot of information on how to run sims.
There are still some factors that solvers cannot overcome, such as range advantage and position. It’s impossible to devise a strategy to win the cut-off position against the button because of the positional disadvantage.
UTG versus small blind is the same. Although small blind must put in dead money before the flop occurs, you can still calculate how much you will get from UTG with different hands if UTG opens to lose minimum.
What you can learn from poker solvers?
While you might think it’s amazing that someone has created software that can understand poker, why should one care about solving problems when playing against people? If everyone is playing close to a GTO strategy, the house will win the long-term.
The result is that every player at the table will lose their share of the rake, making the game unbeatable. This scenario is however only a theoretical one. Very few people can achieve perfect GTO.
Understanding game theory optimal play will help you not only fight stronger regs but also find strategic exploits against weaker players. This is because a deeper understanding of your opponent’s GTO poker strategy will allow you to come up with better exploits. This will result in a higher win rate.
It’s smart to start with the basics. They can make a big difference in your play and improve your results quickly. Some places are often available.
If you want to maximize your game, you can either create GTO preflop charts or purchase a package that includes all of the PLO and NLHE preflop ranges. Playing high-stakes games requires studying online solvers.
It is important to remember that solver-based strategies are advanced strategies that you would use against a perfect opponent. These players are rare to find in low- or mid-stakes cash games on most online poker websites.
You will see weaknesses in your opponent’s strategies within the first few hands. Being too tight, not being aggressive, or calling you too often are some of the things this includes. These players aren’t hard to exploit. It doesn’t take a lot of time.
A simple exploitative approach is possible.
However, if your goal is to get good a poker, you must use all your tools. You will face tough opponents sooner or later as you increase your stakes. You don’t need solver-based plays to win, knowing the starting point for a balanced approach will give you confidence and understanding of how to deviate from it to take maximum advantage over the mistakes your opponents are making.
What are the limitations of poker solvers?
Solvers have a lot of amazing features including a visual tree-building interface. There are many options to choose from.
There are still things humans can do better than computers, even though these solvers teach us many useful things. Is it possible that computers haven’t conquered the world? The poker solvers have three major limitations.
These are difficult to deal with because there are multiple Game Theory Equities, as John Nash would call it. Calculating GTO frequencies becomes much easier when there are two players in a pot. Sims in multiway pots quickly become too complicated to draw any meaningful conclusions.
The poker redeemers don’t seem to be able to handle parameters. Your inputs affect the outputs. It’s important to set the parameters correctly.
A spot that only has one bet size can produce different results than a spot that has five different size of bets. You could use a bunch of top 20% hands and not worry about removing the bad guys who often 3-bet. You should check your input variables.
Playing against amateurs
Solvers are great at showing you how to play against advanced players with perfect strategies. You can bet against very skilled, winning poker players who can make GTO poker moves against your face. They are not able to give you plays that exploit calling stations and maniacs to their maximum.
To beat recreational poker players, you need more than just a GTO poker solvers analysis. Most recreational players are not able to execute near-perfect strategies at the table. To improve your chances of winning against these opponents, we recommend implementing solver solutions against powerful players in heads-up pots where any leaks can be plugged.
What are GTO Solvers?
GTO solvers are mathematical optimization algorithms that are used to find the global optimum of a given function. They are typically used in problems where the objective function is non-convex and has many optimal strategies. GTO solvers are usually able to find the optimum and exploitative strategy more accurately and efficiently than other optimization methods. If you are trying to level up your poker style use solvers to take you to the next level.
Poker solver parameters
If you don’t know the exact range, you can estimate which hands are in it.
In Position player (IP) – same OOP range, estimate if you don’t know the exact combinations in the range.
Board – best to start with the flop
Starting Pot – How much money is available in the middle of the game. Big Blind = 10 chips can be used to make it easy to read all sums.
Effective Stacks – The effective stack sizes that players have behind.
Betting Options – This parameter is the most difficult to set. It is important to reduce the available bet sizes to keep the game tree manageable. Otherwise, it is almost impossible to generate useful results.
Rake – This one is optional but very useful if you want sims from a specific environment. The rake plays an important role in win rates, especially at lower stakes, where optimal play might be different from high stakes where rake can be minimal.
Can You Use poker solvers postflop?
Yes, you can use poker solvers postflop, but doing so will likely not be as effective as using them preflop. The reason for this is that postflop play is generally more complex than preflop play, and thus it is more difficult for a solver to give accurate advice. Additionally, many postflop situations are highly dependent on specific circumstances (such as the exact composition of the board and the betting history between the players), which makes it difficult for a solver to take all of these factors into account.
How poker solvers have transformed the game?
The metagame can be described as the general strategies used by players, the adjustments they make when playing against one another, and how the dynamics of these strategies and adjustments affect overall play.
The development of the metagame has been rapid. It was first developed by televised poker games that featured hole cards, then by poker training sites, and finally by GTO poker solvers. You will find many opponents who have put their hours at the laboratory and studied many strategies with a solver, especially when you are playing at stakes of NL200 or higher on sites like GGPoker and Americas Cardroom.
Let’s take a look at the most common metagame modifications caused by solver studies among poker players.
Small flop c-bet sizing
Preflop, solvers tend to favor small bets in many flop scenarios. Many players are betting small, regardless of the structure of the hand or who they’re playing against. If you don’t know how to use this information, then the trend of small flop c-bet sizing won’t help you very much.
Large preflop 3-bet sizes
3-bet sizes have increased greatly with solvers interested in contesting opener’s equity. 3-bets can be made in both small and big blinds.
We tend to use smaller bet sizing for the flop, but against capped ranges that check call the flop solvers are eagerly launching up to 2x pot flop overbets on certain boards. This puts maximum pressure on the opponent’s range and can cause mistakes from opponents who don’t know the math behind overbets.
It can be difficult to make the right decisions when opponents use a lot of overbets post-flop, especially when you don’t see their cards at showdown.
More aggressive out-of-position play
Poker is about maximizing your capital and denying others. The aggressive style of poker is best for maximizing your EV. Solvers often choose to check-raise with weak hands and weak EVs because they want to check-call but still have EV.
Open limping at tournaments
Open limping was once considered a leak. However, this view has changed recently. Open limping is most commonly used in tournaments where smaller stack sizes are involved.
Wide BB defending ranges
In the current poker landscape, it is important to be able to defend a wide range of hands against openers. Players at 6-max cash games and in tournaments with antes can now defend wide again, so it is crucial not to give up too much after the flop. For MTT players, in particular, this is an essential skill.
You will face more difficult decisions post-flop if you have a large number of holdings that you need to defend BB, but it becomes easier to handle those as you gain more experience.
Cost and features of poker solvers
PioSOLVER is the best GTO solver on the market. MonkerSolver is also a great option. PioSOLVER solves Holdem poker quickly and takes inputs such as starting ranges, size of bets, and desired accuracy.
MonkerSolver, the most popular Omaha solver, also works for Holdem. You can learn optimal poker play based on analysis as well as math.
The basic version of PioSolver costs $249 while the Pro version costs $475 and includes two installations. PioSolver Edge costs $1,099 and includes a preflop solvers.
PioSOLVER cannot run on iOS. However, you can use Bootcamp or Parallels to install it.
Game Theory and Strategy Optimal are combined into a single entity. There is a strategy that cannot be exploited. The GTO poker strategy allows you to win against any opponent, regardless of their strategy.
If you play exploitatively, you can win against weaker players.
The Independent Chip Model (ICM) is used to calculate a player’s equity in tournament poker. This calculation predicts how often a player will finish at different positions (winners, runners-up, third or fourth) at poker tournaments. ICM calculations do not account for the skill edges of the players.
The position of your seat is relative to the blinds. When a new hand is dealt, the players in the early position are the first to act. Middle position players act in between the late position players.
Cut-Off, Hijack and lojack are positions at 6-max tables. There are three additional positions in full-ring poker games.
Professional poker players use a variety of core concepts to make money. The most important are position, hand ranges, and stack sizes. These fundamentals will impact every poker decision you make at the table.
When bluffing an opponent, it is important to consider the range of hands they are likely to have. Bluffing is most successful when your opponent has a weak range and your range is strong.
Bluffing is an essential part of the game. However, it plays a smaller role than most players realize. If you want to maximize your profit, it is more important to know how to value bet than any other skill.
Bluffing certain players, such as calling stations, is setting your money on fire.
Donk betting is a poker strategy employed by some players to force their opponents to make difficult decisions. It is generally used when the player has no strong hand but wants to keep the pot size as small as possible. Placing a bet on the aggressor of the previous betting rounds (e.g., calling a raise and then betting), gives them no choice but to either place another wager or check behind.
Although poker is a game that combines luck and skill, it is essentially a game of skill. Mathematically, winning poker players make fewer errors than their opponents and thus earn more. Poker is not without luck. The player with better poker skills would always win.
You can win the poker game. If you don’t bluff, you’ll lose money. Some tight players are good at winning. You should only play value and play well at low stakes.
It’s hard to win at high stakes if you try to bluff.
It takes a lot of experience to spot a bluff. These are the ways you can one:
- Betting recklessly.
- Acting too quickly.
- Any touches to the face.
- Bet pattern does not make sense.
- Overly aggressive preflop play combined with big bets post-flop.
A variety of methods can be used to take a player from the mics. Learning and playing the game on your own, finding a coach or mentor, or becoming a subscriber to a poker training website are some of the things this includes.
GTO poker redeemers can be used to help you understand modern poker. Poker is becoming more competitive. A solver does not require a lot of computing power, so you can get started without a large investment.