Recommend a Texas Hold 'em simulator

Recently a Doper asked for advice on Texas Hold 'em books and Lee Jones’s book seemed to be in high favor here and I ordered it. (It also got high marks at’s Customer Reviews.)

Now, what about an excellent Texas Hold 'em simulator - one that plays limit hold 'em, and for the hell of it, maybe no limit as well (not that it’s likely I’d ever get into such a game).

I’m kinda leaning towards Wilson’s Turbo Hold 'em, but AceSpade insists theirs is much better - as you’d expect. And then there’s also Poker Academy Pro. The latter - Poki’s Poker Academy (don’t laugh) is a Canadian based outfit that claims its AI is the world’s best for - poker anyway.

I’d like to get your impressions about these or others that might be better.

I have Wilson’s Turbo Hold 'em. I’d recommend it.

WTH for me too. Check out Positively Fifth Street McManus uses it too.

Thanks very much for your inputs.

I’ve got “Positively Fifth Street” on my required reading list, and I’m impressed that both of you recommend WTH. If I buy a program, I’ll probably go with it, too.

But, have you checked out AceSpade’s “Major Features” at ?

Here’s one of their product bullets:

Internet play: It is a great tool for players playing Internet poker. You specify what hand you have, what the community cards are, what actions the other players made, the program will give you advise on whether to call, or raise, or fold.”

I have played hold ‘em just once - on the Internet and with play money at that.

If using a software program as a “tool” is accepted practice on the real money websites, wouldn’t a man be a fool to go it alone?

I suppose it’s doubtful that a poker site can detect unethical behavior like this. The cheater’s slow play might be an indicator, but that can be overcome with a very fast-typing accomplice working from (say) a second CRT who keys in the required data and then the player simply follows the program’s advice.

Since you’re looking for advice and opinions more than facts, I’ll move this thread to the IMHO forum.

moderator GQ

I was an early reviewer for AceSpade’s software. They gave me a free review copy, hoping to get me to publish a favorable review. After using the software, I declined to write the review, and gave them a list of complaints that I felt had to be addressed before I would give it a good review. I do not recommend it. Mind you, this was their first version a few years ago, but at the time is was markedly inferior to Wilson’s Turbo Texas Holdem. But worst of all, it gave bad advice. At the time it clearly had an inferior rule system. I don’t know if it’s any better now. It was also much slower than Wilson’s software and had a poor user interface. Perhaps all of these problems have been addressed since, but I’ve never used the software again.

Wilson’s poker programs are very good, and while they don’t play world-class poker they play as well as most players you’ll run into in a public card room, and therefore they are good teaching tools. If you can win money against Wilson’s tight aggressive field, you’re probably a pretty good player.

If you want to play the best computer poker opponent in the world, you need to play against whatever the University of Alberta’s research team is using now. Loki was their current bot a couple of years ago, and you could play it on Internet Relay Chat. I don’t know if they are still doing that. I have a friend who is one of the main researchers in that group, but I haven’t chatted with him in a few months so I don’t know their current plans for their 'bot. I have another friend who is one of the best shorthanded players in the world, and he’s played their bot heads-up and it gave him fits. At the time, it wasn’t as good in a ring game, but it was a very tough one-on-one player.


You just might have made my decision easier. I’ve been thinking seriously of buying Poker Academy Pro.

Please check out…

…and let me know what your reaction is. They seem to say the same thing as you.

And in case you’ve forgotten, that other company is at.

The “reviews” by David Sklansy and Mason Malmuth don’t have the air of legitimacy - to me anyway.

Hope to hear from you again, Sam

Cool. I didn’t realize that Darse and the gang at the U of A had commercialized their product. I’d put my money on it as being very good, but I haven’t tried it.

I don’t have much more to say about this topic, since my knowledge is several years old now. I haven’t played any of these packages in years, and in the software biz that’s an eternity. Perhaps Acespade took my complaints to heart and revamped their software - I have no idea, so I don’t want to say anything bad about their product.

Now see what you lot did - I’ve just bought Poker Academy Hold’em! :slight_smile:

After a few minutes of download, I get an e-mail with an activation code and start practising. :cool:

Soon I will be ready for the Doper Thursday night game… :eek:

Sam Stone got mr going on this software, and you, glee, pushed me over the edge. Last night (while my wife was in bed, asleep, I snuck to this computer and ordered, downloaded and activated the pro version.

Thank you both!

I’ll soon be sitting at the final table at the upcoming Word Series of Poker (if my wife doesn’t cut off my naughty bits first). :stuck_out_tongue:

The Poker Academy software is easy to load and use.

It has already taught me that Hold’em involves folding a lot of hands!
I guess when you watch poker on TV, you focus on the good hands and don’t realise how many poor hands each player gets.

I started on a 10 player limit table, which presumably favours playing ‘cautiously’, especially in an ‘exposed’ position.
I did manage to break even eventually, but my judgement was poor overall.

And for those of you who like bad luck stories:

  • I pick up AA in the big blind and everybody folds!
  • I get a straight on the turn and lose to two flushes :eek:

Every player needs rivered again for bad beat perspective. These are freakish cartoon bad beats that won’t happen to you.

Well I’m a chess player, which means I like the result to be completely dependent on the better player. :cool:

I will play poker for fun, but try not to let bad luck affect me.