If you play online poker, then I am sure you are familiar with at least one of the online poker calculators. If you don’t already own one, then you probably are thinking of owning one. But if a poker calculator investment is in your near future you should know the basic types and how they relate to the security of your poker account and bankroll.

Poker Calculator Types

Mathematical – Generally speaking, all poker calculators have the fundamental ability to calculate the bets and pot size while measuring that against your position, hole card strength and drawing potential. These basic reading functions, extracted right from your poker window automatically, are essentially why poker calculators exist in the first place. They quickly decipher the exact math and probabilities and offer a raise, call, check or fold recommendation.

Empirical – In addition to the above features, these Poker Calculators monitor and record the behavior of your opponents. Based on this added information, such a Poker Calculator can help support or contradict your impression of a certain opponent’s grid factor, but more likely, set the framework for an hypothesis all on its’ own.

Operative – This type of poker calculator will have a combination of at least some of the features in each of the Mathematical and Empirical, but is distinct in how it obtains that information. You could call this the “black hat” of Poker Calculators, because it extracts information on your future opponents, by monitoring your poker website’s table action, and thus building a player database whether you are at a table or not. Then you can retrieve information from that database to view your opponents’ hand selection, playing styles, raising habits, bankroll fluctuations, experience, and a host of other factors.

In general, the Mathematical and Empirical types of poker calculators are either allowed or supported to some degree by your poker website, of course depending on compatibility. If you are pondering the purchase of an Operative Poker Calculator however, you need to know there is risk involved. On the sunny side, your poker website may never know you are using one and you will not be penalized, while enjoying a distinct, statistical advantage over your opponents. That however, is optimistic. The reality is that Mr. Big Poker Site is constantly on the lookout for such programs and enjoys the legal power to remove you from a table(s), confiscate your bankroll, and ban you from their site permanently. This however, is pessimistic. Let it be known though, that Mr. Big Poker Site has a huge investigation budget and will continue to throw money at this issue with the intent to seek and destroy you and those “Black Hat” programmers. They need to, because it’s their reputation at stake for fairness and image. Because simply put, a Big Poker Site cannot attract new players amidst cheating scandals.

By Marty Smith
Marty Smith is webmaster of Poker Calculator Report.com where all the online poker calculators are tested and reviewed including Sit and Go Shark Poker Calculator, Holdem Pirate, and Calculatem Pro.