What do you do against an active 3-better to your left?

It can be incredibly frustrating to play at a table where someone seems to be 3-betting your opens over and over. Against a weak, overly aggressive player, you can combat their strategy by either 4-betting light or simply calling them with a strong range of hands and letting them bluff of their stack when you catch a piece of the board.

Against a strong, aggressive 3-better to your left, you will be playing large pots out of position with a capped range versus their uncapped range when you flat call. This is one of the toughest spots to play profitably in poker. While using a good 4-betting strategy and analyzing their 3-bet range to discover which hands to call with is the long-term strategy for success, as a beginner it simply may be better to leave the table.

If you do decide to stay at the table, most likely because there are many other poor players at the table, then the quickest and easiest way to adapt is to simply start raising a tighter range of hands first into the pot so that your range can handle the heat of their active 3-betting.

Read more in our comprehensive guide to 3-betting.

Poker Copilot 5 now supports PokerStarsPT (Portugal)

Less than 48 hours ago, PokerStars became the first online poker room to operate legally in Portugal. Today we released an update to Poker Copilot 5 that supports PokerStarsPT (the Portugal-specific version of PokerStars), on both Mac and Windows.

Poker Copilot users in Portugal get all the features of Poker Copilot:

  • A poker HUD showing a large range of statistics for each player on the table
  • Hand tracking and analysis
  • Leak detectors that reveal where you are leaking chips
  • A hand replayer that lets you record videos of your best hands
  • Bankroll chart
  • Excellent multi-table support
  • Integration with SharkScope
  • all fully translated to Portuguese!


Strange hand history of the day: 200/0NL

A customer sent us a hand history unlike anything I’ve seen before. It starts like this:

***** 888poker Snap Poker Hand History for Game 542583455 *****
$200/$0 Blinds No Limit Holdem – …

See that big blind of $0? What to make of it?

When we receive a unique hand history problem, we need to work out whether this is a correct hand history, perhaps due to a new tournament variant we’ve not seen before. Often it is a bug.

In this case, it is indeed a bug. The hand’s expected big blind was $400. However the player in the big blind was so short-stacked that paying the ante left him with no chips. So he paid no big blind. Strangely 888 then indicated that the hand was a $200/$0 hand.

We’re working on a work-around as follows: if the hand is on 888poker and the big blind level is 0, then we’ll auto-correct it as twice the small blind. This will almost always result in correct data, and is a much better solution than showing the big blind is $0.



Poker Copilot and High DPI (4K) Monitors


tl;dr: Poker Copilot on Windows with High DPI monitors has problems.

Poker Copilot on Windows doesn’t do so well with High DPI monitors (or 4K monitors, as they’re often called in the Windows ecosystem). I’ve been trying to fix this but have been hampered by both the state of Windows and the state of Java with regard to High DPI.

Today I discovered that Windows support for High DPI monitors (aka 4K monitors) is somewhat of a mess. Some API functions return window dimensions that take High DPI monitors into account; some don’t. Moving a window from back and forth between a High DPI display and a normal display is kind of broken. Microsoft does seems to be gradually sorting out this mess. For example, as of the recent Windows 10 “Anniversary Update”, there is an improved API for developers to use to query the DPI status of windows and monitors. Unfortunately it doesn’t completely work as intended.

If you are using one or more High DPI monitors, and are encountering problems with Poker Copilot, let us know. We’d like to help find workarounds to these problems.


tl;dr:Poker Copilot on Mac with High DPI monitors works well.

Poker Copilot handles High DPI monitors (aka Retina monitors) on Mac perfectly. No particular achievement on my part; Apple has done a good job of the gradual introduction of Retina displays. macOS has some smarts to automatically scale up apps when needed

PokerStars and Progressive Knockout Tournaments

Overnight PokerStars released an update that made a small change to the hand history files for Progressive Knockout Tournaments, which stopped Poker Copilot from successfully importing these hands. We couldn’t have our customers going HUD-less, so we’ve released an update that fixes the problem.

Progressive Knockout Tournament are a lot of fun. Each player has a bounty on their head. When a player knocks out another player, the winning player’s bounty goes up. So if you do well, you become a bigger target for other players.



Poker Copilot Updated for PartyPoker Changes

As of October 5th, 2016, PartyPoker is making cash game hand history files anonymized. We released a Poker Copilot update with the following changes:

  • Anonymized PartyPoker cash game hand history files are imported.
  • You can view your own PartyPoker stats in Poker Copilot’s charts and tables.
  • You can replay PartyPoker hands.
  • The HUD will show accurate info for the hero player (that’s you).
  • The HUD will not show accurate info for PartyPoker cash game villains (your opponents). That’s because Poker Copilot can no longer determine from hand history files the actual name of the player sitting in each seat.

These changes only apply to cash games. PartyPoker tournament hand history files still identify all players as before.


Winamax Incognito Hands

Winamax offers “incognito” tables. They are like any other table except you don’t see the names of your opponents. They are listed as “Incognito 1”, “Incognito 2”, etc. This is also how players are shown in the hand history files.

This limits Poker Copilot’s HUD somewhat. However it is still useful, if you set Opponent HUD to  Current Session and Table/Tournament. You can set this in Poker Copilot’s preferences, or directly from the HUD, using the HUD control menu.

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 5.00.11 pm

Using this setting makes it less likely that the HUD mixes your opponent data with other opponents you previously played on Incognito tables.

Your own player name is not shown incognito, so you can track your own stats and hands as usual.

(By the way, I think this is a clever way that Winamax has dealt with certain problems with online poker. And best of all, it is optional.)


Coming changes to PartyPoker cash games and Poker Copilot

PartyPoker announced yesterday that as of October 5th, they’ll be making cash game hand histories anonymous. What this probably means for Poker Copilot:

  • The HUD probably won’t work with PartyPoker cash games
  • The HUD will still work with PartyPoker tournaments
  • Hand tracking will still show accurate statistics for you, the hero, as your player name won’t be replaced in the hand history with an anonymous replacement.
  • The hand replayer and leak detectors will still work fully on Party Poker.
  • There will (still) be no HUD on Fast Forward, which is PartyPoker’s “fast fold” variant.
  • PartyPoker says Fast Forward hands won’t be anonymous, which means hand tracking will still work with Fast Forward hands
  • This probably will affect all PartyPoker skins, such as PMU Poker, bwin, GiocoDigitale, Premium, and all the country specific versions of PartyPoker and bwin such as PartyPoker.es and bwin.fr.

We can’t be be certain that this is correct until PartyPoker releases the update with these changes. We’ll endeavour to have a Poker Copilot update released within 24 hours of PartyPoker’s release, accommodating these changes as much as possible.

In my opinion, it is possible that PartyPoker will reverse these changes if they prove to be unpopular and cause an exodus of many regulars. We saw a similar reversal last year from Merge Network, who turned hand histories off altogether, only to reverse their decision soon after.


macOS Sierra is Here – and Poker Copilot loves it

Apple’s newest Mac operating system update, nicknamed macOS Sierra, was released two days ago. Poker Copilot works fully on macoS Sierra, completely, with no known issues.

What’s new in Sierra? Not much really. The most notable change is in the name. We used to run “Mac OS X” on our computers. A few years ago the word “Mac” was dropped, leaving us with “OS X”. Now, to fit the pattern of Apple’s iOS, watchOS, and tvOS, Apple has done something straight out of 1984’s “Ministry of Information”, and changed the name, both now and historically, to “macOS”.

A couple of other changes:

  • Siri, well known and inspirer of awe and awful frustration, is now present via a click on the menu bar. I turned Siri off pretty quickly, and she (it?) seemed unable to understand just about any request I posed. Put this in the category of “software released before it is ready”. This is the marquee feature for Sierra and, for me at least, it really doesn’t work.
  • Get help freeing up disk space on your Mac. This is nifty, but somewhat hidden.  Click on the Apple icon on the menu bar, select “About This Mac”, click on “Storage”, and finally “Manage…” This opens the tool:

Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 9.32.39 am

I like the “Empty Trash Automatically” option; files that have been in the trash for more than 30 days are removed forever.

Other than a few small tweaks to apps like Photos, that’s just about it for noticeable changes in Sierra. Really.

But update anyway. It is a free update for all Mac users.

Poker Copilot’ first exposure to Java 9

(Poker players, you probably won’t find anything interesting here, unless you are also a programmer).

Poker Copilot is written in Java. The first version of Poker Copilot used Java 5. Over time we used Java 6, 7, and now 8. Each time we upgrade to a major version of Java, we get either improved performance, decreased memory usage, or both. It always feels like a free Poker Copilot enhancement for me. I upgrade Java, now my product seems better to my customers.

Java 9 is available in early access, and is due for release next year. It is stable enough to use experimentally. Today, I downloaded and installed Java 9 and tried to run Poker Copilot. At first, it didn’t work. I had to make some minor code changes for it to run. Now it runs.

This sounds unremarkable. But it isn’t inside the world of Java. I’ve been programming in Java since Java version 1.1, in the 1990’s, and I think this is the first time I’ve upgraded to a new Java version and my code didn’t compile and run. The Java team aim for backward compatibility, and now, 20 years in, for the first time, backward compatibility is broken.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The changes were needed for a major change to Java, the so called “module system”.

For now, Poker Copilot will stay with Java 8. But when Java 9 is released, we’ll switch pretty quickly. This will let our Windows users with HiDPI displays have a better experience, it will decrease the size of Poker Copilot’s download, and it will let Poker Copilot start up faster.