- General Information
- Main Interface
- Number of Players and Poker Type
- Player Options
- Choosing cards and ranges
- Choosing the community cards
- Controlling the simulation
- Viewing the Results
- XML Export
- Changing the Options
Poker Enlighter is a poker calculator with the help of which you can simulate hands against each other. It has support for Texas Hold'em, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo. As you will see below, it also supports ranges (only for Texas Hold'em mode).
Poker Enlighter is written in Java, which means you'll need to have a Java Virtual Machine (JVM or JRE) installed on your computer in order to run it. Since version 2.0, Poker Enlighter requires that the version of the JVM be 7 or newer. Being written in Java means it can run on any operating system (Windows, Linux, Mac OS etc.) without any trouble.
The simulation engine will take advantage of a multi-core CPU, if one is present. More specifically: depending on how many logical cores are available, it will split the simulation into smaller pieces and solve them simultaneously, each one on a different core. If you look really closely, you'll see that the program will inform you about that number in its status bar while the simulation is running. All this is done in order to increase the simulation speed. For example: I've seen as much as 250 % speed burst on a quad-core CPU after enabling multi-core support.
Speaking of simulation speed: The simulations are very CPU intensive, which means performance will vary from computer to computer. As a general guideline: on a typical computer (let's say with a dual-core CPU) most simulations will take between 1 and 15 seconds, depending on the parameters and the computer's load. Also, keep in mind that, due to increased code complexity, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo simulations tend to be much slower. For example: if a Texas Hold'em simulation takes 1.5 seconds, then you can expect a similar Omaha Hi/Lo simulation to take as much as 8 or 9 seconds.
As you can see in the below screenshot, the program's interface is a simple and minimal one. This is to ensure optimum usability.
The main sections of the interface are arranged in a "cronological" order, from top to bottom.
What I mean by that is:
- First, you choose the number of players and the poker type.
- Second, you can choose for each player what type of hand he can have (we'll go into more details later).
- After this, you can choose the community cards if you want (optional).
- Next, you have the buttons with the help of which you can start and stop the simulation.
- In the end, there's a table showing you the results of the simulation
As you can see, all these steps flow naturally from top to bottom, making the simulation of hands a very user-friendly process.
The maximum number of players that can be included in a simulation is 7. While this can very easily be changed, I considered it to be a good value. There's a very little chance that someone will have a real need to simulate hands with more than 7 players. A typical simulation will have a maximum of 4 players in it.
Increasing and decreasing the value using that spinner will add/remove rows on the table from the next section. Also, it will modify the set of player IDs that can be selected using the dropbox below it.
As for the poker type dropbox: using this, you can select between the 3 supported poker types: Texas Hold'em, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo (also known as Omaha 8).
A nice thing is that, if you change the selections using these two controls and then return to the original selection, you will still have access to the simulation settings for each player (which are discussed in the next section).
There are 3 types of hands in Poker Enlighter:
- Random: This is the default hand type of a new player. It basically means that a player with this hand can (and will) receive any cards. It's basically equivalent to a Range of 100 % (see below).
- Range: This type represents a set of hands that a player may have. You can choose the range from a set of 169 possible combinations. The range is expressed as a procentual unit. Please keep in mind that only simulations done in Texas Hold'em mode can contain range type hands. You can read more details about ranges in the next section.
- Exact Cards: By choosing this, you have to provide the exact cards that the player will have. You can read more about how to do this in the next section.
Like I said above: the default hand type is Random. You can change the hand type of a player as many times as you want. You do this by using the controls above the table.
First, let's discuss the details regarding the cards choosing dialog:
To select cards, just click on them. They will be moved under the list, so you can see what you selected.
As you can see, if there are cards that were already selected for another player (or maybe as part of the community cards), then you can't select them.
If you want to change one of the cards you selected, just click on it and it will be pushed back to the list.
Next, let's talk about choosing ranges:
Just so that it's clear: the s at the end of the hand means suited, the o means offsuit.
To make a selection, just slide the slider to the right or left. After you're confortable with the general selection, you can fine tune it by selecting/deselecting individual hands. Just click on them to do it. By doing this, you can have exactly the range that you want.
WARNING !!! If you choose a very very narrow range, you will negatively impact performance. For example: having 5 players, all with a range of less than 5 %, will make the simulator skip a huge number of rounds, since it will be very hard to find a shuffling configuration of the deck of cards that will fullfill all of those conditions.
Providing community cards is optional. You can do it by checking the check box next to the cards that you want to choose and then clicking on the empty spot. You can always change your selection, just like in the case of the player's hands.
Please keep in mind that, in order for a (set of) community card to be taken into consideration by the simulator, the relevant check box MUST be checked when you click the Start button.
There are some (reasonable) restrictions regarding the community cards:
- In order to provide the turn cards, you HAVE TO first provide the flop cards.
- In order to provide the river card, you HAVE TO first provide the turn card.
Just to be clear: the above restrictions are checked by the simulator itself. The graphical interface doesn't care.
This is simple: to start the simulation, press Start; to stop it, press Stop. Progress will be shown on the progress bar next to the buttons.
Please note that the Simulator is configured in such a way as to report progress in steps greater than or equal to 10 %. It's like this in order to avoid going too much back and forth. It would degrade performance. Besides, following such a rapid succession of progress values would not be very useful either.
The results are printed automatically after the simulation is done. All results are expressed as procentual units and express the likelihood that a particular player will win, lose or split the pot with someone else.
If you want a more visual representation of the results, you can click the View Graph button and see a bar chart with the results (many thanks to the developers of JFreeChart):
As you can see, the labels beneath the bars also contain details about the kind of hands the players had.
Also, you can resize the chart as much as you want in any direction.
You can also export the results as an XML file by clicking the "Export to XML" button. The file will contain the simulation's parameters, the duration, the number of threads it ran on and the results.
Some Options can be changed by accessing File -> Preferences in the menu bar:
- Language: At this moment, English and Romanian are the only available languages. It's unlikely that more languages will be added in the future.
Look and Feel: From this list, you can choose your favourite Look and Feel. Some of them are part of the
Java platform, others are provided by 3rd party libraries. This list will probably fluctuate in time i.e. I hope to have it
tripled by the time Poker Enlighter reaches version 2.4.
You can see how Poker Enlighter looks while wearing these "dresses" on the Screenshots page.
Rounds per Simulation: Using the slider, you can change the number of rounds that the Simulator will
The minimum is 60,000, the maximum is 200,000 and the default is 105,000. Keep in mind that, while more rounds will increase the accuracy of the results, you will have to pay for them with speed. Just a tip: if you go over 120,000, you won't see any difference in terms of accuracy anymore.
Graph Options: From here you can change the RGB values for the colors of the bar graph.
The bars corresponding to wins, loses and ties can all have different colors.
Also, you can choose whether to have the percentage value shown on top of each bar or not, whether the bars should be stacked on top of each other and if they have to be represented three-dimensionally.
Well, I guess this covers just about everything. If you have any questions about anything regarding this material, feel free to contact me. I will be glad to help.