Poker solvers is a familiar term to anyone who has even a passing interest in online poker. Although these poker “assistants” has been available since 2015, their recent popularity has skyrocketed.
Although using a poker solver is supposed to increase your odds of winning, we’ll be discussing the drawbacks of doing so in this article. Many players have tried using solvers, only to see their performance decline afterward. See the conclusion for the explanation.
Just what is Poker Solver, Anyway?
Theoretically, a “poker solver” exists as software that can determine the best course of action in any given poker hand. It would have been unthinkable to use such a robust program on a home computer even a few years ago, but today’s PCs have the processing power to make it a reality. The solver-provided solutions are indeed very comparable to the GTO play, which is the best possible outcome based on game theory. In a perfect world, this program would mean making your game invulnerable.
But the truth is a great deal different. We’ll soon be able to show you the potential pitfalls of using poker solvers.
How do Poker Solvers Operate?
In its most basic form, a poker solver is a program that determines the best move to make in a poker game based on the user’s selection of a small number of variables (inputs). Among these possibilities are:
Each player’s preflop ranges:
- A variety of wager sizing choices.
- Expand the range of available sizes.
- Size of the effective stack.
- Consider the donking/leading potential of a larger pot.
If used against AI opponents in a free online poker tournament, poker solvers will be nearly impossible to lose to. This is due to the fact that these so-called “rivals” always follow the exact same scripts when playing. The same as in any other type of computer game.
However, knowing your opponent’s exact preflop range is impossible in a genuine match of No Limit Hold ’em. Additionally, you can lead out any time and have a wider range of bet/raise sizes.
Parameters used by Poker Solvers
If you’re still interested in trying out poker solvers, here’s a quick guide to configuring the most important settings:
- If you don’t know the specific range, you can still make an educated guess as to which hands fall within the “OOP” range, which stands for “out of position player.”
- The same applies to the In-Position-Player (IP) range; if you’re unfamiliar with the precise combination, solving board puzzles from the flop is typically the most effective strategy.
- Initial Bet is the amount of money placed in the middle of the table before play begins. As an example, you can set the Big Blind equal to 10 chips so that the totals are clear at all times.
- The most difficult parameter to set is Effective Stacks, representing players’ effective stack sizes behind Betting Options (for both players). You’ll need to reduce the maximum bet size if you want to keep the game tree from getting too out of hand.
- Although not required, a rake can be helpful when recruiting for a specific rake environment. At lower stakes, where optimal play can vary widely from optimal play at higher stakes with a minimal rake, rake plays a disproportionately large role in determining win rates.
The Main Problem with Poker Solvers: 5 Reasons Why You Should AVOID it
Reason #1: Rely on every player having perfect information about every hand.
The main issue with poker solvers is that they rely on every player having perfect information about every hand from the preflop to the river. The solver develops a strategy that cannot be exploited on the basis of this assumption.
Reason #2: Only effective against opponents who also employ GTO strategies.
A poker solver is like a finely honed sword that you bring into a gunfight in the hopes of winning. You’ve probably already deciphered the meaning of this comment, but just in case: poker solvers are effective only against opponents who also employ GTO strategies. Try is the word that matters here.
If everyone is proficient with GTO or RTA (Real Time Assistance), then all you’ll do is pay the rake and play against other people who use the same strategies as you. If you use a poker solver to help you memorize specific patterns and spots, you leave yourself vulnerable to being abused by other players who will quickly pick up on your predictable playing style.
If you attempt to play “correctly” with all the various tactics used in modern online poker, you will end up hurting yourself.
Reason #3: A nest of bad players, maniacs, and gamblers will ALWAYS try to exploit you.
There will be a plethora of bad players, maniacs, and gamblers who will try to exploit you with questionable plays that you can easily see through on your own. In fact, solving against such inexperienced opponents can cause confusion, leading to overfolds in a number of spots. Worse yet, excessively calling.
Reason #4: Poker Solvers are completely useless against multi-way pots.
When playing in a pot with more than one player, even the most ardent proponents of poker solvers will admit that they are largely ineffective.
Given that there can be several “game theoretic equilibriums,” solvers appear to struggle greatly with these. GTO frequencies are much simpler to calculate when only two participants are in the pot. When using multiway pots, the game trees become too complicated to draw meaningful conclusions from simulations.
Reason #5: You become a predictable opponent and soon become an easy target.
One more analogy is that a player with a poker solver is akin to the final boss of a video game. It’s probably really difficult initially. However, once you figure out the bad guy’s strategies, he has nothing left to throw at you. Even though the boss started out as a formidable foe, he or she soon became an easy target.
Keep in mind your online poker room is teeming with sharks who are also trying to be GTO grinders if you must use poker solvers. The benefits of playing more mathematical audio poker will only become apparent in such a setting. PioSolver, Simple Postflop, and GTO+ are just a few of the available solvers.
Should You Totally Disregard Poker Solvers?
Poker solvers really aren’t totally worthless and should not be totally disregarded. They are useful, for example, in spotting players attempting to employ the GTO strategy, as they provide an opportunity to study relevant spots, improve one’s arithmetical comprehension of the game, and grasp the game’s fundamental concepts.
No one can be more easily taken advantage of than a villain who is trying to use a poker solver that has been verified as being 100% effective. He can be easily predicted and taken advantage of.
Let’s say solvers on dry online poker rooms advise you to c-bet a quarter to a third of the pot. A professional poker solver customer will treat these rules as gospel and have strategies ready for these tables.
But what will happen if you start making bets of different sizes? You’re betting a quarter of the pot, the whole pot, or going donkey on it. The antagonist will be severely irritated. Often, he thinks calling is the right play, but the solver says fold.
Poker solvers also aid in recognizing patterns and understanding fundamental concepts. As you learn more about the GTO mechanics, you’ll find that your perspective on the game shifts. It’s crucial to take in as much information as possible but to distinguish between reliable and less trustworthy sources. That’s the case not only for poker bots but with any sort of tactic solver.
In conclusion, it might not be a bad idea to familiarize yourself with poker solvers for a little while, just to think like the other people who have tried it. Then you’ll need to hone your own playing style, one that incorporates a variety of tools for identifying the optimal move in any given situation.
We tend to overlook significant aspects like psychology and exploitative technique in favor of the game’s more mathematical aspects. You won’t learn anything about playing against slanted opponents from a solver.
What About Real-Time Assistance or RTA?
If we’re talking about solvers, there’s one thing you must never do: rely on real-time help. We also don’t let our players use it because getting banned from 99% of online poker rooms is a huge risk.
The RTA is essentially a poker solver that can be run in real-time, giving you a significant advantage. As it is illegal poker software, using it will almost always result in your money being confiscated. Since you can learn about Bryn Kenney‘s alleged involvement elsewhere, we decided not to cover it. However, one of the charges against him is that he made use of in-game coaching.
Even so, there will always be others who are willing to take huge risks in the hopes of gaining a small edge over the competition. Worse, you won’t find much use for RTA in the digital realm.
New blog! “Real Time Assistance (RTA): a confession” at https://t.co/7KTBZAJ1SC
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— Dara O’Kearney (@daraokearney) November 10, 2020
There are only two key distinctions between RTA and poker-solving software. Firstly, the latter can be used during gameplay. Second, RTA can learn each player’s playing style and adjust its tactics accordingly. It is appealing in theory, but these customizations to each player are hardly effective in practice.
Since 80% of online players are random, utilizing poker solvers or RTA will just make it harder to decide what to do in any given situation. Most villains’ instinctive moves will make any outside assistance pointless.
Our online poker sites by Full House Clubs are completely RTA-free, thanks to the round-the-clock vigilance of the security staff. Even in the world’s most recognizable companies, only a select few are able to use real-time support without being penalized for doing so.
To summarize everything, almost always, other online players will be engaged in poker, which does not have anything to do with proper GTO implementations. Most of them lack the cognitive capacity to understand the concept of range, making it futile for them to attempt to “balance” anything or make themselves invulnerable to exploitation.
For example, when facing a calling station, the solver may recommend playing slowly to prolong the set, which has a negative expected value.
Instead, the most optimal approach is almost always an exploitative unbalanced one.
Advantages of Poker-Solving Software
- Easy recognition of particular game patterns.
- An advantage over opponents who attempt such a strategy.
- One of the keys to successfully using solvers is learning how their users think and then exploiting those assumptions.
Disadvantages of Poker-Solving Software
- No good against the vast majority of opponents.
- Violates the principle of non-exploitation.
- Being too predictable.
- Useless in multi-way pots.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most frequently asked questions about poker solvers and online live support are addressed below.
How do you identify a Poker Solver? What exactly is it?
PioSOLVER and MonkerSolver are two of the most effective GTO solvers available. PioSOLVER is an efficient Holdem poker solver that takes parameters such as starting ranges, bet sizes, and desired accuracy and outputs a solution. The most popular Omaha solver, MonkerSolver, also supports Holdem. Using PioSOLVER and MonkerSolver, you can learn optimal poker strategy through the use of analysis and mathematics.
What does RTA stand for?
When it comes to online cash games or tournaments, “Real-Time Assistance” does not refer to a physical tool but rather to any piece of supplemental software (not provided by the platform) used by players as an aid. While some RTA programs are fully automated and handle everything independently, others need some sort of user input to perform necessary calculations and shape the outcome.
Is it illegal to use Real Time Assistant (RTA)?
Once an online poker room discovers a player is using live dealer assistance, they typically ban them and seize all of their funds.