The debate about HUDs rages on but there’s no doubt that using one will improve your game – Andrew Burnett investigates
The use of HUDs and other third-party software is one of the hottest topics in the poker world at the moment. Should players be allowed to use HUDs? The fact is that a lots of pros do and while online sites permit their use there’s no reason why you shouldn’t put your game on the same level.
There’s a new kid on the block too – Jivaro, a HUD that’s been lauded and supported by a number of high pro le players, including Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Randy ‘Nanonoko’ Lew, Jaime Staples and Jeff Gross, among others.
So what’s all the hype about? Let’s investigate…
Why do online players need HUDs to win?
Poker HUDs (heads-up displays) are designed for online poker, to help you make informed decisions on how to play against your opponents.
They do this by providing information and stats which tell you something about how your opponents play. For example, how much they raise pre op, or how often they fold to an aggressive bet on the op.
Jivaro – the Future of HUDs?
There are several existing HUDs on the market, but the established names are PokerTracker and Hold’em Manager. PokerTracker 4 has some excellent features, but it can be confusing for a lot of players. You often can’t see the wood for the trees.
I have spent countless sessions, for example, using their leak-tracker (a sliding scale showing how your betting patterns match-up to ‘optimal’ play) only to and I am concentrating so much on hitting the targets that I forget to play poker. It’s a bit like trying to balance on the Wii personal tness trainer! Okay, this is maybe a personal problem, but still – it’s a problem!
Standard HUD software is often complicated and messy, but Jivaro aims to x that problem with true innovation and a beautiful colour-coded design. It gives you ‘vital’ statistics, live pot odds, and information relevant to your position in any given hand and what street you’re playing on (be it flop, turn or river)
Best of all you can try the basic version of Jivaro absolutely free. Upgrading to the Premium Version gives you additional features
When you get to Jivaro’s Premium version of the software, the simplicity and beauty of their system kicks in. Here’s some of the premium features you’ll get:
This is perfect for MTT players, with info on all the tables you’re sat at and street- dependent stats on all your opponents. Plus, you get live pot odds, premium statistics, positional awareness and street-based statistics.
How does Jivaro compare to other HUDs?
Although there is room for improvement, and masses of room for adding to the HUD’s capabilities, I’ve found it to be a great tool which lets me focus more on actually playing the cards and hands, while still giving me almost everything I need to know, when I need to know it. Currently it’s only compatible with It lets me focus more on actually playing cards and hands, while giving me all the info I need PokerStars running on Windows, but there are plans to roll it out to other rooms in the future. You can use the basic version of Jivaro for free and upgrade at any point to the Premium Version for $5.99 a month.