There’s been a lot of talk this days about poker cheat programs, poker bots, and that kind of stuff. Since I have been in the internet poker business for a while, I have seen these programs come and go. Check here the real story:\n-> Poker Cheats: a program that could hugely change the outcome of the game by giving you information that you should not be able to know, or that could change the cards you will get. Some claim to be able to show your opponents hidden cards. THE TRUTH: There is no such thing. The respected poker rooms have softwares with so powerful encryption, that it would be easier to hack into some online bank accounts. If you buy such a program, be aware. Just think: if someone has such a thing, why would he sell it? He could be making millions using the programs, and would not be willing to advertise his crime!\n-> Poker Bots: a program that plays for you in your computer. It “reads” the situation on screen and play for you, even if you are sleeping. THE TRUTH: looks interesting, doesn’t it? But there are some problems you should be aware of: the biggest poker rooms do not allow them; it could have spyware and viruses, although I have never heard of something like this; it is kind of dumb: I mean, it’s a software, so it uses a program to calculate odds and take actions based on those odds. It cannot “feel” the opponents, it cannot make advanced moves, it cannot mix-up the strategy. It can win some money? Probably yes, because there are a lot of players out there dumber than the bot, but I would be surprised to see a bot that could get you lots of money. Most claim that they can win an average $50 per hour, but I cannot confirm it.\n-> Poker Helping Softwares: softwares that show you your hand strength, your odds for a great hand, your odds for having the best hand in the table. Most of them show also a suggestion of play, telling you when you should fold, or raise, or call… THE TRUTH: What you see is what you get. No false hopes here, the programs only give advice derived from mathematical calculation, and you get to decide what to do. The best ones in the market are:\na) Texas Calculatem and Texas Calculatem Pro: the programs sit by the side of your online poker table, give you advice for your next action, and show the percentages and odds. The difference between them is that the “Pro” version gives you more statistical information, but they are very similar. I personally use Calculatem Pro, and find it very effective. It helped me the most when I was a beginner, but I still use it.\nb) Sit ‘N Go Shark: this one gives strategic advice in small text boxes for Sit ‘N Go tournaments. It has powerful advice, with a good sense of humor, which is great for the boring times when you are folding bad hand after bad hand.