How to use hand histories for improving your poker game

June 26, 2010

Collectng hand history data has become the norm for expert online poker players. One of the most famous uses of this practice was when Isildur1 was analyzed by several opponents sharing hand histories, who subsequently devised a strategy to use against him.

What does sharing hand histories actually entail?

Typically, one has to fully grasp the meaning of collecting and sharing hand histories. The collecting and sharing of hand histories is also known as data mining. Data mining is in two segments – Collecting and analysis of hand histories and Hand Sharing.

Collecting and Analyses of Hand Histories: Generally, it is the method of collecting important information of several opponents hand histories including analysis of each player’s hand history making use of poker tools. With the use of poker programs, a player is able to observe the game play of each adversary on the table and the tools will reveal the behaviors of each player.

Hand Sharing: this is a method by which player are able to collect hand histories from a number of online card rooms and thereby convert them into formats suited for their own use. Hand sharing is also known as Hand Converting and players are able to show the hands played by different opponents to other players for the purpose of debate and analysis. Most online poker sites store players hand histories so as to enable players to keep track of their own performance or for the purpose of debate and analysis.

Why do players actually share hand histories?

By collecting, sharing and analyzing hand histories a player is able to avoid tough games and select soft ones. Data mining elevates your game play and a player is able to discover the rocky, passive, loose aggressive and tight aggressive players. With data mining, a player is able to recognize the fish and shark. Consequently, every online poker player is out there seeking for the weak and data mining is one efficient way of discovering where the fish is.

Players are able to track their game play and evaluate their playing pattern making use of poker programs. With data mining, a player is able monitor where s/he did wrong throughout the game and thereby correct his or her errors and this is one way of improving your game play. Studying the long term playing style of an opponent is very valuable if you play against them a lot. You need a large sample to this however.
Tools used for data mining

There are several tools available online used for data mining. Most of these tools are available at a favorable price and some tools have become popular due to the fact that they can be used at several online sites. Poker tools such as poker tracker and other a number of data mining services such as Hand HQ, Poker Edge, SharkScope and many others are used for the recovery  and analysis of hand histories.

Why Poker Stars does not allow for players to trade and analyze hand histories through the use of poker software.

PokerStars accept players to make use of some of these poker applications and services to increase their winning probabilities during the game. However, PokerStars has banned so many poker tools and services in their card rooms because they say the tools are so close to cheating.

Players collect huge data bases, not just on thier own, but by combining the data collected by colleagues.. A player who receives this detailed information gets an unfair advantage over these opponents and is able to manipulate each opponent according to how their previous hands have been played. Online poker is all about investing and if one obtains a loophole where s/he can make a great fortune is short time then this would be unfair to the rest of the players. Players who make use of data mining tools such as poker tracker are able to observe the loose players and avoid the tight players.  As such, Poker Stars clearly states that such hand history sharing is a violation of their terms.

Poker Stars only accept players to make use of poker calculators simply tell you the starting hand recommendations and odds. Note: Not all poker rooms permit players to data mine. For that reason, players should always check their poker card room before deciding to make use of tools for the purpose of data mining.

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