PokerTracker Software – Guide for Beginners

Find out how to take advantage of its features and start winning big.

  • Avatar for the CardsChat Editorial TeamWritten by  the CardsChat Editorial Team

PokerTracker 4 (PT4) is a recommended tool for anyone who’s serious about winning at poker online, and this handy guide will help you set it up.

But before that, the crucial question: is PokerTracker worth getting?

If you’re serious about improving your game, then yes! It’s great for tracking, stats and analysis, and is well worth the price tag (if used properly, it should pay for itself).

The Set-Up

If this is your first time using any version of PokerTracker, along with the software you will need to install and configure the “PostgreSQL Database“. The installation is standard and is required to use PT4, but is a simple part of the installation process, so if you haven’t done it before you’ll be walked through creating your first database.

If you have any problems, please refer to the PT4 quick start guide. You can also search their forums, make a new thread in their support section, or contact their excellent customer service who will help you out. And it’s always worth checking the CardsChat poker forums to see if a community member has already answered your question!

PokerTracker 4 is compatible with a large number of poker sites and networks. As an example of the set-up process, let’s look at getting PT4 to work with PokerStars:

First you need to tell PokerStars to save your hand histories on your computer’s hard drive. Open the PokerStars desktop client, go to the ‘Settings’ menu and click on ‘Playing History’ > ‘Hand History’.

Check the ‘Save My Hand History’ checkbox, and make sure the save directory says:

/C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Local \PokerStars*\HandHistory\

* this may include your geographical region, so may say \PokerStars.UK\ for players in the United Kingdom, for example.

On this screen you can also choose how long to save Hand Histories for: a minimum of 30 days is recommended.

The Database

Now on to setting up the PostgreSQL database server, which is the database that stores your hands and statistics for PT4 to analyze. PostgreSQL’s default settings are recommended and should serve the needs of most players.

Click ‘Install’ on the installation wizard pop-up to connect your database with PokerTracker 4. Next you will need to create your PT4 database, and again it’s recommended to use the default settings, unless you changed them in the previous step. Here, you will also have the opportunity to connect to an existing database by checking the designated box and entering the appropriate information, or simply click ‘Create’ to set up the default database.

The Connection

Next, follow the instructions in the installation wizard to set up PokerTracker 4, configuring the software to the currencies and poker sites you use most often (and converting old databases from PokerTracker 3 and similar programs, should you wish).

You will see a list of popular poker sites, and asked to select those you play on before clicking ‘Next’.

Finally, you’ll have the option to customize your interface if you wish, then clicking the ‘Finish’ button will import all your hand histories from your selected poker sites.

The Fun

Once your hands are imported, you’ll be able to view all the hands you have played so far that day and all hands from the tables you are currently on. Remember to start PokerTracker 4 whenever you begin a poker session, and to click ‘Get Hands While Playing’ in PT4.

Once that button is clicked your Heads-Up Display (HUD) will launch. To learn how to interpret the data you can see, refer to the PT4 HUD guide.

There will also be two new buttons at the top of your table. Clicking these presents you with a variety of options which will allow you to pull up your hand histories, access HUD options, and more.

Once you’ve been playing a while and have a nice hand history built up, you can then view your detailed statistics (for both cash games and tournaments), analyze your weak spots, pull graphs and charts related to your performance, and much more.

For many players adding a tool like PT4 to their arsenal is a game changer; you may find it impossible to go back to playing online poker without it!

In summary:

  1. Download and install PokerTracker 4 and the PostgreSQL Database Server from

  2. Access your settings in PokerStars (or whichever poker site you use), and toggle the option to save hand histories to your hard drive

  3. Launch PT4 and create new PokerTracker data (or link to existing data) and connect it to your PostgreSWL database

  4. Use the setup assistant to select your currency and poker site(s) of choice

  5. During real money poker play, open PokerTracker and start your auto-import of hand histories. You’ll soon gain valuable insights into your habits, strengths and weaknesses

What you do with those insights is up to you, but the important thing is that you now have an accurate, data-led and objective view of your playing style.

Looking for more? Check out our poker strategy section for more ways to improve your game, or visit our Free Poker School for a month of carefully curated poker lessons!