Menu

Use the menu below to navigate this help file.

 
Main Interface
Main Interface

  1. Stats tab
  2. Quick menu
  3. Hole cards
  4. Flop cards
  5. Turn card
  6. River card
  7. Number of players in hand
  8. Strength of hand
  9. Calculate button
  10. Reset interface button
  11. Card selection buttons
Stats Tab

Clicking the stats tab will reveal extra information about your hand. Information like hand ranking, hand odds and possible opponent hands are displayed. It is also possible to open a separate stats window via the quick menu, so allowing these extended statistics to be visible at all times. A full explanation of the information supplied is detailed below.

Quick Menu

The quick menu gives you access to Sidekick’s options screen, help file, pot odds calculator and stats window.

Hole Cards

These are the two cards that you are dealt face down. All other cards are shared community cards. Enter your cards details here and click the calculate button to view your hand strength.

Flop Cards

This is where you enter the first 3 community cards, know as the Flop. Enter all 3 cards here and click calculate. Note that you will not be able to click the calculate button until all 3 of these cards are entered.

Turn Card

The Turn is the fourth shared card. Enter the card here and click calculate. Note that you do not need to enter both the Turn and River cards at the same time before you calculate.

River Card

This is where you enter the final community card, the River. Click the calculate button to find out the final strength of your hand.

Number of Players

Enter the number of players in the hand (including you). Obviously the likelihood of your hand being beaten will increase with more players in the hand, so it is important that you enter this figure correctly. Do not worry if you get it wrong though as the statistics for your hand are instantly updated when you move this slider. You do not need to click the calculate button again.

Hand Strength

This is the strength of your hand. This is not simply the ranking of your hand compared to all other possible hands (this information is available via the stats tab). Many other odds calculation programs simply give you the ranking of your hand, but Hold’em Sidekick is different. Sidekick takes into account the number of opponents you have along with many other factors to calculate this figure. It also plays your hand through to completion over and over again in order to calculate how often you will win against the select number of players. You can adjust the length of time Sidekick takes to continuously play the hand by adjusting the results quality slider in the options window. The longer time you allow Sidekick to play the hand, the more accurate this strength figure will be.

Calculate Button

Once you have selected your cards, click the calculate button. Sidekick will then calculate the strength of your hand and an array of other useful statistics. The time this calculation takes will vary dependant on the speed of your computer and the amount of RAM available.

Reset Button

Click the X at the bottom right of the interface to reset Sidekick back to blank values.

Card Selection Buttons

Use these buttons to enter your cards. A full explanation of how to enter your cards can be found elsewhere in this help.

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Stats Interface
Stats Tab/Window

  1. Cards tab
  2. Outs, hand odds and projected strength
  3. Possible opponent hands
  4. Your current hand
  5. Current hand ranking
  6. Hand strength (also shown on main interface)
  7. Time Sidekick took to calculate the stats

NOTE: The information available on the stats tab can also be seen on the stats window by selecting ‘Show Stats Window’ in the quick menu.

Cards Tab

Selecting the cards tab will take you back to the main cards interface. This tab is not available on the stats window.

Outs, Hand Odds and Projected Strengths

This section of the stats window gives you information that can help you decide if you should call or not. The first column gives you a list of possible hands that you could make after another card has been dealt. The middle column is the odds that you will be dealt the card that is required to make this out or any higher out (hand or card odds). Used in conjunction with the pot odds calculator (available through the quick menu) you can decide if you should make that call or fold your hand. The final column is the approximate strength that your hand will have if you hit your out. This strength figure is calculated very quickly and is not particularly accurate, however it should give you some idea of how strong your hand is/will be after the next card. Also if you have a draw where there are several possible cards that make your hand, this figure is the average strength your hand will have for that particular ranking.

For an explanation of odds and how they can help you play winning poker, see the links below.

http://www.poker.com/articles/pot-odds.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_odds
http://www.thepokerbank.com/pot-odds.html

NOTE: There are a few health warnings that go with the information in this section. Be careful of Sidekick over counting outs. Sidekick will make odds calculations including all cards that will improve your hand using at least one of your hole cards. However, it is sometimes possible that certain cards that improve your hand will also improve your opponents hand by a greater degree. For example, if your opponent is on a flush draw requiring hearts, and you are on a straight draw and require a 7 to make your straight, if the 7 of hearts is dealt you will make your straight, but your opponent will also make their flush. Hold’em Sidekick attempts to spot these situations, however it is not always possible. Therefore you should keep your eyes open for this and take it into account when using the odds listed.

Possible Opponent Hands

This section contains a list of possible hands that your opponent may hold that have a higher value than your current hand. It is very easy to be blinded by a pretty looking hand, therefore this section gives you a gentle reminder of what other hands are out there. Obviously this is only a selection of possible hands as there can be situations where your hand is beaten by several hundred possible other hands. You may notice that sometimes your hand is also listed in this area. This is because your opponent may hold the same hand as you, but with a higher kicker card, therefore beating your hand.

Your Current Hand

This is just a reminder of the current hand you hold. This is also visible on the main interface.

Current Hand Ranking

This hand ranking is different than your hand strength. Your hand strength gives you a true representation of your likelihood to win by looking forward and calculating how your hand will stand up as the round progresses. This hand ranking is the current ranking of your hand at this moment. It does not take into account the number of players in the hand or any other factors. It is simply how strong your hand is when compared to every other possible hand that is out there. For example, if there are 2000 possible hand combinations with the given cards, and your hand beats 999 of them and is beaten by 1000 of them, your hand ranking will be around 50%.

Hand Strength

This is the same strength percentage that is displayed on the main page. See the description above.

Calculation Time

This is the length of time Sidekick took to calculate the statistics for your hand. It is possible to increase and decrease this time by adjusting the Results Quality slider on the options window.

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Entering Your Cards

Hold’em Sidekick offers 2 different ways to enter your cards. You can either use your mouse and click on the card selection buttons, or you can use the keyboard to enter your cards.

The currently selected card is denoted by the red box around the card and the light red background to the card. As you enter your cards this highlight box will automatically move to the next card in the game.

If you make a mistake when entering your cards you can simply select the incorrect card again and re-enter the cards over the top of the incorrect entry. If you wish to remove the contents of a particular card, first ensure it is highlighted and then press the ‘Back Space’ key.

Entering Cards Using the Mouse

To enter your cards using the mouse simply click on the selection buttons on the right side of the screen. As you click on the suit buttons or the number buttons, you will notice that unavailable selections will be removed from the interface. For example if you have already entered the 4 or hearts and then click the heart button for the next card, the 4 will be removed from the interface and unavailable to enter again.

To change the currently selected card, simply click on the card you wish to enter so that the highlight box is on it.

Click and drag the slider to select the number of players currently in the hand and finally click on the ‘Calculate’ button to calculate your position.

Entering Cards Using the Keyboard

Entering cards using the keyboard can take a little time to get used to, however once you master this method you will find it a much quicker and efficient way of entering your hand.

One important thing to remember is that the Hold’em Sidekick main window must be selected for keyboard entry to work. The best way to ensure this is to remember to click on the Sidekick window immediately after making any plays in your poker program.

Using the left and right arrow keys will move the currently selected (highlighted) card. Using the up and down arrow keys will change the number of players in the hand. Pressing the Enter/Return key at any time will calculate your hand strength. The Backspace key clears the currently selected card and the ESC key will reset the Sidekick interface back to all blank cards.

A full list of keys can be seen below:

Entering Cards
2-9:
T or 1:
J:
Q:
K:
A:

D:
S:
H:
C:

 
Card numbers 2-9
Card number 10
Jack
Queen
King
Ace

Diamond
Spade
Heart
Club

Other Keys
Up Arrow:
Down Arrow:
Left Arrow:
Right Arrow:
Backspace:
ESC:
Enter/Return:

Add one to the number of players
Minus one from the number of players
Move the selected card
Move the selected card
Clear the currently selected card
Reset the Sidekick interface
Calculate the hand
 
 

Pot Odds Calculator

Pot Odds Calculator

The pot odds calculator is a simple utility to aid you in quickly calculating your pot odds and can be shown by selecting it from the quick menu. Your pot odds can be used in conjunction with the hand odds shown on the stats window. Simply enter the size of the pot and the amount needed to call and the odds will automatically be displayed.

 
Options Window

The options window can be found by selecting options from the quick menu.

This allows you to change the accuracy of Sidekick’s calculations, select the way hand odds are calculated and select if the external stats window is shown by default.

Options Window
Results Quality

Hold’em Sidekick performs a massive amount of calculations after you click the calculate button. It is possible to change how many calculations Sidekick makes and therefore how long each calculation will take. By adjusting the slider towards the ‘Speed’ end of the scale Sidekick will perform less calculations and be quicker and adjusting it towards the ‘Accuracy’ end of the scale will inversely make calculations take longer. Note that making the calculation faster will actually decrease Sidekicks accuracy as it will play the hand less times. It is best to experiment with this slider until you find a trade-off between speed and accuracy for your particular computer. The amount of RAM available and the speed of your computer’s processor will effect this setting.

The ‘Optimise calculation’ tick box is used to override the Speed/Accuracy slider if your computer is powerful enough. Sidekick makes several different calculations in parallel (at the same time), so sometimes one particular calculation thread will finish before another has. There is one core calculation thread that is always performed and is required in order for Sidekick to produce the required statistics. It is not possible to change the speed or length of time this thread takes and the resulting speed is dependant on your computer. However, other calculations are repeated again and again based on the Speed/Accuracy slider setting. At times it is possible that these calculations will finish before the core calculations have been completed (at low Speed/Accuracy settings). Selecting the optimise check box will ensure that these calculations will continue until the core thread has finished and run more times than the Speed/Accuracy slider setting requires. When running Hold’em Sidekick on a low power machine you may find that this setting will actually slow the calculations down, however generally it is best to leave it selected to ensure the maximum amount of calculations possible is always performed. Note however that if the Speed/Accuracy slider is set high then the optimise check box will have little or no effect, as it is likely that the core calculation thread will finish before the other calculations do. The optimise option will only ever increase the number of calculations made and never decrease them from the settings you have selected.

Other Options

When calculating hand/card odds, by default Hold’em Sidekick will display the odds for one card only (as if there is only one card to see). There are two lines of thought on whether you should always calculate odds to one card or if you should calculate them to two cards after the flop and one card after the turn. Deselecting this option will display odds to two cards after the flop and one card after the turn. Selecting this tick box will always show odds for one card.

The final option is to show the separate stats window by default when Sidekick starts. This will save you from having to select the stats window from the quick menu and automatically open it when Sidekick first runs.

 
Computer Speed and Memory Size

Hold’em Sidekick makes many calculations and also holds vast amounts of information in memory at the same time. The speed of your computer and the amount of available RAM will make a big difference to the speed with which Sidekick can perform its calculation. In order to improve the speed of calculation you should ensure that there are not a lot of other programs running at the same time (run only sidekick and your poker software) and also try adjusting the Speed/Accuracy slider in the options until you find a comfortable balance for your hardware. At least 1GB of memory is recommended and a processor of at least 2GHz is also advisable. 2GB of RAM and a 2GHz Core 2 Duo is very desirable and should produce calculation times of around 2-5 seconds (dependant on hand complexity) at the default Speed/Acuracy setting of 5.

 
Disclaimer

Hold’em Sidekick has been tested thoroughly, is designed to assist you in playing good poker and help you learn good poker strategy. However the makers of this software can not be held responsible for any loss or damage that is incurred whilst using this program. No matter how unlikely an outcome is, it will always happen sooner or later. Even the pros have a bad beat sometimes, that is just part of playing poker. Even if Sidekick tells you that you are on a dead certainty, if there is even a fraction of a percent chance that you can be beaten, then that will happen at some point. Sidekick is a poker player’s assistant, however it should never replace your own brain and judgement. Poker is as much about gut feeling and experience as it is about the math. Sidekick helps you with the math, but it still can’t replace your own judgement.