Magic Holdem Review
Magic Holdem is a poker calculator that brings together a wide range
of features into a unique package. The tool displays a large number
of poker odds and hand strength metrics in real time while you play
online and provides this in an interface that includes an on table hud
and an ability to display as much or as little odds information as you
like. The calculator will also give real time betting advice based on
hand strength and also provides
full support for multi-tabling.
I think one of the strengths of this calculator is its ability to fast
track an understanding of odds and hand strength when you are new to
the game. When someone starts
playing poker, they have a poor understanding of the strength of their
hand and the odds they will
win the pot. Developing this understanding is really the first step
towards mastering the game, and until you do, your game is likely to
be unprofitable and you will be loosing money to
more experienced players who will already have a good sense of the
strength of their hand.
Magic Holdem has the ability to fast track a beginners grasp of this
by providing a wide array of odds and advice in real time while
playing online. By seeing your
hand's odds along with other hand strength metrics while you play, the
tool will essentially train you
to recognize how strong your hand really is, allowing you to avoid
costly mistakes and start to develop other
elements of your game such as hand reading and bluffing.
The main part of the Magic Holdem interface is the on table hud. This
hud provides the key stats and will show different information and
advice depending on whether you are pre-flop or post-flop.
Once the flop has bean dealt, the hud will show your main odds: your
odds of winning the hand and the odds you will draw one of your outs
(a card that will improve your hand) by the river. The hud also
provides betting advice based on the strength of your hand. This can
be a useful
feature to hone your understanding of the strength of your hand and
how far you should be taking that strength in terms of betting
action. The tool will also provide tips and alerts during the process
of the hand. In the case of the screenshot above you can see the
alert that an opponent may be on a flush draw, this means that you
would be best to make them pay for their draw with a bet now and play
with caution if the third card to the flush lands on the turn or river.
These alerts provide the sort of information that is easily missed by
but is necessary to start to recognize as you develop your game.
In the case of pre-flop play, the info you need is different than post-
flop and the hud changes the stats it shows to reflect this. When pre-
flop, you will see the Sklansky hand group of your pocket cards and
their rank out of all possible opening hands. These are both metrics
of pre-flop hand strength and are useful to start to learn the
strength of you pocket cards while in play. Similarly to the post-
flop hud, betting
advice is also displayed pre-flop.
Magic Holdem Provides a wide range of other metrics and odds and this
information is available in a configurable interface. You can display
as much or as little of this information as you like in order to
maximize your information available or simply stick to the essentials.
In poker, your outs are the cards that could come on the turn or river
that will improve your hand. It is essential as you develop your game
to learn to quickly identify your outs and the odds that you will draw
to these cards. Magic Holdem will display your outs in the "Outs"
window as well as the odds that you will draw to these outs on the
next card. One particularly nice feature of this calculator is that
when you are on the flop, you can see the odds of drawing one of your
outs on either the turn (displayed in the outs window) or the river
(which is displayed in the on table hud).
This feature is useful as it allows some more advanced reasoning when
comparing your odds of drawing to your pot odds. Consider a case
where you may be drawing to say a flush and you have placed your
opponent on a hand that makes you believe you will need to hit your
flush to win. A common odds calculation that is adopted here is to
compare the chance that you draw one of your outs to the pot odds. So
if you have say 1:2 odds of drawing to your flush by the river and a
call will only require you to put in chips that equal a third of the
size of the pot, you have a 1:2 chance of drawing, and the pot odds
are 1:3. In this case you will draw once for each 2 times you miss,
but when you draw you are likely to win 3 times what you need to put
into the pot to call, and so in the long run, it is profitable to call
in this situation. A problem can arise here however when you make the
call on the flop, you do not hit your flush on the turn and you are
then faced with having to call another bet on the turn to have a
chance to hit by the river. By seeing the odds that you will draw to
your outs on either the turn or the river allows for some more
advanced decision making on the flop to account for this sort of
The tool also includes a wide range of other hand strength metrics
that can be shown or hidden from the interface. Some of these metrics
include the chance that you or your best opponent will hold different
types of hands by the river (e.g. the chance of making that flush or
full house) and a unique feature that shows your opponents "rival
catch" odds. These odds show the chance that an opponent would hold
different ranks of card that would combine in a strong way with the
board. These sorts of odds could get you used to considering what
your opponent may hold, and therefore may help the process of starting
to read your opponents hands.
The tool will also show your pot odds as well as more general game
information such as the number of opponents and your current made hand.
You can get a free 1 year license to Magic Holdem by signing up and
making a deposit at one of the partnered poker rooms and the tool also
offers a demo version with unrestricted functionality for 200 hands.
If your looking for a poker odds calculator I recommend to head over
to the Magic Holdem site and download the free demo version. This
will let you see its full range of features and get a feel for how it
can improve you game while using it at the tables.