Holdem Indicator V1.2.8 in-depth review
Holdem Indicator V1.2.8 review
By Rindhoops. July 2007
First I would like to point out that I am not connected with HI (Holdem Indicator)
in any way and that I am a beginner to poker (7 weeks playing @ roughly
8 hours a day & counting). So this review is from the perspective of a beginner.
Getting a licence:
I was nearly put off by the sales pitch claiming HI is totally free, which is nearly true.
You can either buy it $69.95 (thatís not free!) or sign up for one of their affiliate Poker
rooms (that sounds free?) but you must deposit $50 minimum and play 200 raked hands.
The exception to the $50 minimum is with Party Poker
at $25, sadly I already had an
I guess if you was going to sign up to one of their affiliates anyway then it would be a
good deal (thatís free!) but if not, you at least have a good chance to win your
money back, especially as you get a bonus on your deposit at most Poker rooms.
It took me about 8 hours of playing like a fish to get my 200 rakes on the 2c\5c ring games,
(to qualify for the hand you must see the flop) it was embarrassing playing like that as I
am a very tight player usually. I also prefer SnGs & MTT so was not that happy. Ho hum.
So for my "free licence" it cost me 50 bucks plus 8 hours of my time playing at a Poker room
I didnít want to be at, and playing a game, that I didnít enjoy, just to kill the rake.
Another temporary restriction is you cannot use HI at any other Poker room until you have
completed your 200 rakes, I would of liked to have spread my time out between my favoured
Poker Room (Party Poker) and the new hated one!.
To see how many raked hands you have played click on the "Tools" menu then "about" and
if it says >200 you have paid your penance.
Before doing all this I had searched for reviews and forum comments concerning HI and found
nothing worthwhile except from the author(s). On one forum someone said it was a "scam
program" which almost put me off, and as you will see later this is an unfair comment.
There are also some video clips on youtube of someone using HI and explaining some of the
features which impressed me and eventually made me decide to go for it.
The general lack of detailed information and independent reviews is why I decided to write
this to help out others that are interested but not quite sure.
Follow the link below for screenshots and fairly detailed features from the author(s).
links on this page include the program download and details of what Poker rooms are
available to sign up for the licence (just follow the sign up instructions by the letter)
Holdem Indicator - Poker Odds
Calculator | Poker Calculator
You can try out HI on the play money tables for free.
In summary; yes it can be a lot of hassle getting your "free" copy, but at least the option
is there and any half decent player should be able to win their sign up cash back if played
carefully (I didnít of course, but thatís my fault!) If all that is too much hassle for you
then paying the $69.95, if you can afford it, is still a bargain as far as I am concerned,
because it WILL pay for itself very quickly, especially, if like myself, your game needs a
LOT of improving.
You can download the trial version from the link above, installation is very easy, no
complications, and HI works on Windows 98 and up. No MAC version is available.
Once you have singed up or paid for HI you will very quickly (mine was in a matter of
minutes) receive your licence key which you use to turn the trial copy into the full version.
To do this you just click "Tools" "About" "Enter Licence Key"
then copy & paste your key in from your e-mail and you are ready to go raking.
There is a full list of features displayed on the page in the link I gave you above.
Win Odds & pot odds:
These two features are very helpful especially if like me your math sucks, it frees your
mind to concentrate on other aspects of your game instead of doing your sums.
Combined with pot & win odds this is another useful time saving feature.
Outs are the potential number of unseen cards left in the deck that could improve your hand.
As a beginner I found trying to calculate all the odds and outs for every hand exhausting and
to be honest a bit beyond me in the time available. But with HI all this is done for you in a
flash and represented clearly on screen it's a great relief.
EV (Expected value):
This is the expected value
for your hole cards, itís based on real statistics extracted from
Poker Room's EV Page and can be useful. In simplistic terms a plus value means over time you will
make a profit playing that hand (if played correctly)
This is very useful for complete beginners, though youíll soon not need it as knowing the
value of your hole cards will soon become second nature.
Itís based on David Sklansky`s hole card groupings ranked 1=best (AA KK etc.)
to 9=worst (e.g.: 2-7u) all possible starting hands are covered.
Usually ignored by beginners, please donít, it is crucial if you do not want to get slaughtered by
maniacs going all-in on you when you just made a heakthy raise etc. Late position is good, middle position is OK for some slightly weaker
hands and in early position you should avoid playing most hands apart from premium hole cards
unless certain circumstances dictate otherwise. There are plenty of free articles to read on
on positioning, just Google it. Having said all that your positional awareness should soon become second
nature, so again, although useful for total beginners as a reminder, the feature soon becomes
Your\Opponents hand at showdown:
I mostly ignore this feature because I donít find it that useful or reliable enough.
Obviously it can only predict outcomes using known cards & probability so itís not the programs fault.
It can be useful to alert you of a possibility of an opponents out you may have missed,
though this is rare for me. Maybe Iím missing something here as this feature alone takes up
half of the program screen. Please be aware I am a relative beginner so maybe this will
become more useful to me as I grow as a player?
Now we are getting to the really interesting stuff. This is the feature that swung it for
me. HI will track every player at your table and hold in a database very useful stats
that can be accessed by clicking on "opp Stats" in the HI toolbar where-upon a window pops
up displaying the current players stats (including your own) at your table, you can also
select "history" to see if you have played anyone at your new table before, this feature
alone is worth its weight in gold to me, especially as I have a rather short memory,
especially for names (Iíd forget my Mothers name if she didnít wear a name tag).
Imagine the edge you can have once your database is well stocked, you could instantly know
who the fish are who is usually tight, passive, loose, manic or aggressive etc.
You will even know if they raise preflop a lot, theyíre % of showdowns played and % won.
There is also a useful player note feature, so no need to scribble notes on old-fashioned
paper anymore and you get to save a few trees into the bargain!
But just as useful for the beginner is the ability to assess oneself!
I know from recent experience, that once you have attained the basic general knowledge on
offer from books and articles etc. your average newbie will need a little help to progress and
itís not always obvious for a beginner how to improve ones game from the basic level,
I found it very frustrating.
In my case for example, most of my game was ok but I was terribly passive, this was borne
out by HI by my really low Aggression Factor "AF" which was averaging at about 0.2AF
HI reckons you should at least attain around 1.3-1.7 AF so even though I knew I was being too
passive when I tried to be aggressive I went either too far over the top or not enough and usually
got slaughtered so I went back to my old ways and thought to myself, this is it then, this is as
good as Iíll get! Quite depressing. But after a few hours with HI I had managed to balanced
my aggression almost to perfection and I think my game has improved 300% because of it, Iím
certainly winning more SnGs rather than just top 4 place, this has already paid for the
program in its first week. The way you can use it to tutor yourself is marvellous for a
beginner struggling to find his way.
Another nice touch is the little icons denoting the type of player. Again you can see these
in the screenshots in the link above.
I spent a lot of time attaining to the "good player" symbol and got it down pat, but it
wasnít long before I found this will at best only get you in the top 10% of most tourneys it wonít win you
anything very often unless you get an excess of really top hands (which I never seem to)
so now I aspire to the bomb symbol which is the same as the good player but slightly looser
and I am happier with the results (40th of 8000 tourney and 2 sng wins last night and
just won a MTT 5 table for the first time.) and I am still working on it so I expect more improvement.
Yet another great use of the stats is that you can watch a table play and HI will store all
the stats for you, great for ring games, you can join the game when you have a good profile
of each player and start with an edge rather than a disadvantage. You could even set HI off
watching table one at a tourney and go off and do some shopping or whatever and come
back to a rather large amount of players in your database for future use, though I havenít
tried that one yet.
If these Opponent Stats were the only feature in the program I would still be happy, the rest
is a bonus as far as I am concerned.
I am aware there are other programs that do stats but I havent had the opportunity to test them yet
so I cannot fairly discuss comparisons at this stage.
Some valuable info can sometimes be gleaned from opponents by seeing their mucked hands,
this can give you yet another slight edge over other players not using software to monitor
the game. This feature is only available for Party Poker, Empire Poker, Full Tilt, Poker
Stars, Absolute and Crypto sites.
You have the Nuts alert:
I have to laugh at my luck with this one, I have only had the Nuts five times so far and each
time I had already folded preflop, damn it! This is another Useful time saver.
The time you would spend making 100% sure you had the nuts can instead be spent on how best
to fill the pot with chips for your impending win.
"The Nuts" means your hand is unbeatable.
Show my hole cards after folding:
This is an option in "Tools" "Settings". It simply keeps your folded hole cards on display
for you after you have folded, not essential, but I like it. if it upsets you, you can switch it off.
As you can see I am very happy with the program. It has definitely improved my game several
fold and I wouldnít want to play without it now, Iíd feel lost. I think itís probably of most
use to beginners but I can see good players being able to take advantage of some of its features,
thatís for you to decide. But surely, any edge, no matter how small, must help?
I have just got hold of Tournament Indicator so I may do a review of that soon.
I just canít bear the thought of 900 (yes 900!) raked hands at a poker room I hate.