Poker Training Skill Ratings

According to poker theorist David Sklansky, the fundamental theory of poker is,

Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it if you could see all your opponents' cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see all their cards, they lose. Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose.

Of course, in a poker game, you can't see the cards. Even after the hand ends, you still can't see all the cards, because most hands don't go to a showdown.

That's where's unique poker software can help you improve your game faster than you ever have before – because we CAN see all the cards. In fact, for every hand of poker you play, we not only store the hand permanently, but we store over 100 individual pieces of information about your play - by hand, position, and game level. By using this enormous database of your play against our 100s of artificially intelligent opponents, in games designed to simulate real poker games, we are able to provide you with information about your game that you can get nowhere else.

In your Poker Training Report, we provide you with valuable information about your game - calculated in terms of the theory of poker.  For the first time, you can assess your actual performance, because we provide you with a Luck-Adjusted analysis of your game.

Overall RealPokerIQ™ Score

You’ll find this on the overview page of your reports.  This rating takes into account everything about your game and gives you an analysis of how well you are playing on all streets combined, over all hands you play, in a measure that is similar to intelligence-based tests. But this is a poker intelligence rating, and it tells you how you did compared to everyone else who has played a comparable game type.

It is calculated in terms of the theory of poker - times you made your opponent make errors and times your opponent made you make errors. It also takes into account the severity of errors in terms of pot odds and previous play during the hand.

The following chart gives an approximation of your skill level based on your RealPokerIQ. You should keep track of your scores over time to get a better picture of your true overall ability at all aspects of the game.

RealPokerIQ Range Description
0 - 74 Well below average player, improvement possible in all areas of game
75 - 89 Below average player, improvement possible in nearly all areas of the game
90 - 99 Average player, improvement possible in many areas of the game
100 - 109 Above average player, improvement possible in several key areas of the game
110 - 119 Very solid player, improvement possible in several details of the game
120 - 144 Exceptional player, minor improvement possible in details of the game
145+ A true expert, better than top 1%

Pre-flop Luck-Adjusted BB/100

Your pre-flop rating is found in your report, on the Performance Tab, under the “Streets” category.  It is calculated similarly to the overall RealPokerIQ rating, but it is expressed in terms of Luck-Adjusted BB/100 (big blinds per 100 hands), and only takes into account pre-flop play.

For example, if your pre-flop Luck-Adjusted BB/100 is 2.0, and you generally play a game with a $5 big blind, this means that the quality of your pre-flop play, adjusted for luck, would net you an average of $10 for every 100 hands you play.

The most difficult part of the pre-flop rating is that pre-flop hand strengths depend on many aspects of a player's game, including their post-flop skills. With that in mind, our rating is based off of an analysis of hand rankings, position, and prior action.

It is very important to note that a winning player can sometimes have a negative pre-flop rating. This is because they are willing to head to the flop with slightly worse hands under the expectation that they can dominate their opponents post-flop.

Thus, it is important to take into account overall ratings and post-flop ratings before assuming there is a problem with your pre-flop game. However, if your post-flop game is not solid, it is important to start with stronger hands, thus you should have a positive pre-flop rating (Luck-Adjusted BB/100) if your post-flop play is not excellent.

Flop Luck-Adjusted BB/100

As with all of our ratings, the flop Luck-Adjusted BB/100 compares your play to how you would have played if you could see all the cards. But it also adjusts for pot odds and pre-flop play. Our flop rating places a strong weight on whether you or your opponent was in a situation to make a continuation bet. A continuation bet, or C-bet, is when you were the final aggressive raiser pre-flop, and you bet on the flop.

Flop skills ratings tend to have wider variances than pre-flop skills ratings. Looser pre-flop play (lower pre-flop ratings) requires higher flop ratings to justify that looser play. If you find that your pre-flop and flop ratings are both low, it will be very difficult to be a profitable player. Likewise, an aggressive pre-flop player (with a high pre-flop raise percentage) must be a solid player on the flop and needs to be C-betting effectively on the flop to justify that pre-flop aggressiveness.  On the skills page of your reports, keep an eye on your pre-flop raise percentage.  If it is high but your “Aggression Factor” (how aggressive you were on the flop) is low, you are likely losing money as a result of that.

Turn Luck-Adjusted BB/100

The majority of poker hands have ended before the turn. We take that into account in assessing both your turn play and its effect on your overall RealPokerIQ. However, the flip side of that is when play does reach the turn, there is often a huge opportunity to earn higher profits through outstanding play on the turn. There is also more at stake, so solid turn play is extremely important if you play looser pre-flop.

As with the other streets, the Luck-Adjusted BB/100 given is based on your play if you had known what your opponent had. At this point in the hand, there is far less uncertainty about the strength of your own hand. Thus, much of your turn play comes down to how well you can assess the strength of your opponent's hands relative to your current hand. Pot odds also become a major issue here, and thus we take them into account strongly in determining appropriate plays.

River Luck-Adjusted BB/100

At this point, all the cards are on the table and your hand is defined. Thus, having a solid river Luck-Adjusted BB/100 can make the difference between a winning and a losing player. This rating is based solely on your play vs. your opponent's play, taking into account the size of the pot and the strength of your hand.

Your Luck-Adjusted BB/100 on the river may have the greatest swings because of the number of chips in the pot and the few times you actually get to the river. Many solid players will reach the river on fewer than 3% of the hands they are dealt.