What is a Hand History?
When you play at one online poker site for quite a while, you build up a lot of hands and a lot of table time with regular players. These hands can be saved to poker tracking packages such as Holdem Manager or Poker Tracker and can be used with the integrated heads up display to give you some bite sized information on how your opponents are playing.
Why Would I Need to Buy Hand Histories?
A lot of players when they move to a new poker site, want to have a little advance warning on the type of opposition they’re going to face. It is of great benefit to sit at a table and already have a good idea if an unknown player is a regular grinder or a fish, and how best to play against them. Forewarned is forearmed as the saying goes. Such forewarning can be obtained by buying hand histories from a third party and manually loading them into your Holdem Manager database. These are hands that have taken place on the site recently which have been ‘watched’ or data-mined by the site which is selling the hand histories.
Places to Buy Hand Histories
Many sites offer this service, but perhaps the best known are www.pokertableratings.com and www.handhq.com. Both sites have hands from a wide range of poker sites and networks for sale and they are generally very recent, with many batches featuring hands played on the day of purchase.
Poker Table Ratings offers hands from the following sites:
- Party Poker
- Cake Poker
Hand HQ covers the following:
- Party Poker
The price for a sample of 200,000 hands is generally about $10 and this is typically the smallest batch size sold. This package will give you a very good sample of hands on a lot of players, particularly regular players who play a high volume of hands. A batch of 200,000 will often feature up to 5,000 hand samples on individual players. Such a large sample allows you have strong confidence in a lot of the statistics displayed in the Holdem Manager HUD, as almost all pre-flop and flop based statistics will have converged over such a sample.
For small stakes games, its possible to buy up to 7 million hands, which costs about $130 and will give you samples of tens of thousands of hands on most of the regular players in your game. Be advised however that such a batch of hands will take well in excess of 24 hours to load into your Holdem Manager database and querying the database will be seriously slowed down, depending on the quality of your computer.
Typically, these sites only data-mine cash games and so sit n’ go and tournament hands are not available for purchase.