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Frequently Asked Questions

These are the questions I am asked most often by prospective buyers, and further down, by new Users. If you have any questions left after exploring the rest of the MP website look here for the answer. If you're still left wondering about any facet of MP feel free to email me with your specific questions. My email info is at the bottom of this screen. For current Users there is also a small Troubleshooting section for known issues at the bottom of this page.

How does the order process work, and do you accept credit cards?

You may use any of these major credit cards, direct bank account transfers (eChecks), or Paypal.

Accepted Credit Cards

Orders are normally shipped within 24-48 hours of receiving them, to anywhere in the world. Typically, you will receive a shipping notice directly from Computer Opponents Software within 24 hours of placing your order (unless the middle of a weekend).

As a member of Paypal Financial Services (a well respected global financial institution owned by eBay), all of our website orders are securely processed directly through Paypal even if you are not a Paypal member yourself. Since your order is being placed through the Paypal Financial Network, and we, Computer Opponents Software, are an official Paypal Business Merchant, you, the buyer, are protected by Paypal (an excellent company by the way). Paypal is vouching for our legitimacy and has an excellent built-in protection policy for all of our online shoppers.

Is Master Poker compatible with all versions of Windows?

Yes, written in a Microsoft programming language Master Poker is compatible with all versions of Windows from Win XP all the way up through Win 10. Only Mac users need fear compatibility issues, and even they can play Master Poker using PC simulation software (my MAC Users recommend 'Parallels').

Is Master Poker compatible with MAC (non PC) computers?

The program is designed for PC's, but can be played on Mac's with PC simulation software (my Users recommend 'Parallels').

Can Master Poker run under 64 bit Windows?

Yes. Master Poker is a 32 bit program and 32-bit programs run under 64-bit Windows (all versions).

Second, the program is delivered to you on a CD, so if your device does not possess a CD/DVD player (most do not), it will need to have a USB port (most do). You will need access to a home or work Desktop/Notebook computer that has both a CD drive and a USB port in order to transfer the program to your device (using a thumbdrive).

Can I install Master Poker on my Tablet or Netbook PC?

Very likely, yes. First you will need to check to be sure that your Tablet or Netbook can handle up to 800x600 minimum screen resolution (most today can). That is the minimum resolution possible in the game.

Do I need a CD player to install Master Poker to my computer?

The program is delivered to you on a CD, so if your device does not possess a CD/DVD player it will need to have a USB port (most do). You will need access to a home or work Desktop/Notebook computer that has both a CD drive and a USB port in order to transfer the installation files to your device (using a thumbdrive).

Is Master Poker compatible with all virus protection software?

Typically, yes. We've had some recent issues with Microsoft's new anti-malware software, Security Essentials, where MP had to be reinstalled after the user installed SE on his/her computer. After reinstalling MP, it was back to functioning properly.

Before Reinstalling MP: If you must reinstall your MP software and would like to preserve your personal preferences and history data you will need to copy the 'MasterDB' file to a safe place before reinstalling. Once the new installation is complete, copy that file back to the new Master Poker directory typically located at "C:\Program Files\Master Poker" (under 'My Computer'). If using 64bit Windows your 'Program Files' folder will have an '(x86)' attached.

Is there an Instruction Manual for MP?

Yes, a detailed one. It is called 'MP User's Guide'. In both versions it is located in the 'Master Poker' programs directory/folder on your Windows Desktop. Click the 'Start' button, highlight 'All Programs', highlight the 'Master Poker' directory, then left-click the 'MP User's Guide' file. It is in HTML format so it can be read with any browser, and easily printed if desired.

I have found that few buyers actually read the manual before diving right in to play. For this reason the most recent version of the program now also contains an imbedded Quickstart tutorial to get you up and running.

I also highly recommend taking the time to read the manual to get all you can out of your purchase. Master Poker has many hidden features, some of which are very important. My favorite, betting with the keyboard (multiples of the BB, percentages of the pot, etc) ... check it out!

What is the maximum number of players allowed in tournament play?

Playing 10-Seated tables, and opening with 1000 tables, the current maximum tournament size is 10,000 players (each with a unique screen name). At the time of this publication only the World Series Main Event has ever exceeded 5k players, but I wanted you to be able to simulate precisely that most important event.

Does Master Poker allow me to see a computer player's hand even if I fold the hand?

Of course. Not giving you the option to view an AI player's cards (at any time) would be like blacking out the stars in a photograph of the moon landing or the space shuttle. It just doesn't make sense unless there's something to hide. On the Table Screen, as you play a hand the gray/brown (v1/v2) button on the far right side of the command button bar will read 'Review Action'. Clicking this button at any time during the hand lets you see a running text review for all action that has occurred up until that point in the hand. Once the hand has completed (in this case when you folded) this button will change to read 'Review Hands'. Clicking it now will graphically display the starting hands of all players at the table, whether they stayed in the hand all the way down or not. Clicking it a second time will display the running text review for the entire hand from start to finish.

Do Master Poker's computer players use a different style when playing in Cash Games as opposed to Tournaments?

Yes. While a good Hold'em player can probably survive in either environment there are definite (and serious) differences between cash games and tournaments. MP's AI players know how to adjust their playing style to suit the current event, whether a large Tournament, a one-table Sit and Go, or a Cash Game.

Does Master Poker have a Heads-up play option?

Yes, and a pretty good one. The primary AI (artificial intelligence) is geared toward a full table of players (9/10). While it is still strong as the number of players at the table is reduced, it reaches a point of critical mass at less than 6 seated players. Strategy and tactics for the game change dramatically from this point on down to Heads-up play as each subsequent player leaves the table. It didn't take long to realize I would need to write an AI addendum for Shorthanded play (3-5 players) and a fully dedicated AI for Heads-up play. I did precisely that. After working rather extensively with the Heads-up AI I feel pretty confident that it will give even most advanced players a solid run for their money (and properly annihilate weak competition). A good Heads-up opponent was one of the original demands I placed on myself back when the software was still intended only for me. To play Heads-up simply adjust the appropriate slider on the Event Setup Screen to two players.

Does Master poker have the ability to SAVE a tournament in progress so I can finish it at a later time?

Yes. Master Poker allows you to save any type of event, whether Tournament, Sit and Go, Survivor, or even Cash Games if you wish, at any stage in the event or session to return to it at a later date. Even after saving your session, you will have the option to quit at that point, or continue playing right where you left off.

Note: MP will even temporarily store your played hands if you had the 'Record Every Hand I Play' preference checked, allowing you to pick up right where you left off when you continue the event (with no need to save them separately just because you saved your session).

What's the smallest game I can play as far as chip denominations?

The smallest chip denomination in MP is 1 chip (or $1 in Cash Games), which means the smallest game possible will have blinds of 1/2 (in chips or dollars). The largest single denomination chips allow games in the hundreds of millions of dollars, should you desire.

I average about 60 hands per hour when playing online. How many hands per hour would you say I can play with Master Poker?

I think most any player would agree, your experience level in No-limit Hold'em is directly related to the number of played hands you can tuck under your belt. Using MP's Zip function (to zip to the end of hands you don't want to play), playing a tight/aggressive style (about 12-14% of the hands dealt), and using an AI Action Speed of .2 seconds (one notch below maximum speed), I regularly book between 900-1000 hands per hour. Even at the low end that's 15 times the number of hands you will see in online play, and more than 25 times the hands you would see in a live game. As any experienced player knows, any time you're playing with other humans the vast majority of your time is wasted watching cards being dealt as you wait for the next playable hand.

Are you saying I can't learn to play good No-limit Hold'em on my X-Box or Playstation?

I would agree with that, yes, and it's not just the gaming consoles. While many do produce excellent visual effects (and graphics of your favorite poker heroes) you just can't learn to be a good player if you're playing against bad competition. This applies to the outside world, the Internet, or any poker software. Yes, you can learn the mechanics, and perhaps some basic strategy, but your playing skill will never reach a winning level unless you're faced with the challenges provided by solid competition. As I've said before, the computer players can only be as good at poker as the folks who programmed it. If you're serious about improving your game, invest only in serious software written by actual poker players who are also dedicated students of the game. Just because you see a player's likeness in the game, or a picture of a famous player on the packaging it doesn't mean that player actually had direct input into how the program's artificial intelligence functions. I can't imagine too many pros giving up many months (or years) of their valuable time to sit down and work out each possible situation with the game's programmers. That's just not realistic.

The blinds in my local tournaments go up in timed intervals, how is this handled by Master Poker?

In a real-world or online tournament a clock typically determines when to implement ante/blind increases (for example, every 15 minutes), but in the real world you are expected to sit in your seat until you are knocked out. Since MP has no need to impose such strict time guidelines on you, we use a 'hands-per-level' clock to determine when blind increases should be implemented. Online poker deals approximately 60 hands per hour, therefore we can simulate time by saying 1 hand equals approximately 1 minute of real time. After playing approximately 60 hands you have been playing the equivalent of 1 hour's real time. This means if you wish to have the blinds increase every 15 minutes, you would set the 'hands-per-level' slider to raise the blinds at the end of every 15 hands. This system allows you to save the game, answer the door, empty the trash, or get something to drink at any time during your tournament while still maintaining an accurate real-life tournament time structure.

Does MP track the human player's tendencies and save this data from session to session?

Yes, and no. Yes, MP tracks your tendencies as if observing your play at the table and uses that data for the current session. No, MP does not save this information from new session to new session (unless you saved the session itself for later play). There are many reasons for not relying on this tracking data for future session decisions:

Tracking your tendencies from one session to another will give a false reading on the intelligence of the computer players. Any poker software could use this information to make it appear as if the computer players are smarter than they are, when in actuality they had to start collecting data on you in order to be smart. MP's computer players have no need to build a running database on you. They're already smart right out of the barn, and they will adapt to whatever moves you are making today. They may be more cautious in the early going of a session, but they will never be clueless.

The reality is that you're not likely playing the same (9) opponents every single session (except perhaps a regular home game). If the software uses this saved tracking data in each new session your opponents are going to always be proactive against you, basing their actions on your past actions. They are not going to get a chance to study you and react to your current style of play as they would have to do in the real world. A good example is in tournament play, where you're very unlikely to be met with a table full of players who already know exactly how you play. This would not be a realistic playing field. Your opponents should have to study you early on from event to event, just as you should have to study them.

As you improve as a player this saved data is going to be quickly out of date. Since there is no way to turn that type of feature off your AI opponents will then always be at a distinct disadvantage, as they are being forced to use a style of play against you that is no longer relevant. Then what?

When the AI is allowed to adjust to your most recent tendencies from session to session you will consistently receive the most accurate and realistic response from your opponents. When your style changes, or when your skill improves, Master Poker's tough players will adapt and adjust their styles against you. This way you will always get the most competitive and realistic conditions possible.

Now ... all that said. You do have the option to Save your sessions for future play. I included the option to Save your Cash Games (as opposed to cashing out) for those players who want the AI to remember you. If you're practicing for a game in which you will be facing players who already know you're style (ie. a weekly home cash game) you can play your cash games as one long session. That is, instead of cashing out after each session simply Save the session and next time you play just pick up where you left off. This should give you stronger competition, for at least as long as your chipstack doesn't get too large for the game, then you can cash out and begin again.

Can I build a brand new blind structure from scratch to match my current home game?

Yes. MP comes with nearly (40) built-in blind structures, but these are included just to make your life easier if you'd like to play something like the World Series Main Event. The true beauty of the MP Custom Blind Structures is that you never have to cross your fingers and hope for a pre-made structure that matches your needs. In MP, if you know the structure, you can quickly build a precise custom structure to match it (in less than five minutes). And down the line, when your home structure changes, it's even easier to update your custom structure to match the new changes, so it's never out of date or inaccurate.

As a player, what I like most about this option is that I can go to a new Internet poker site and look up, for example, their special Sunday Tournament. The blind structure for this new tourney is likely to be unfamiliar to me, but ... I pull up the tournament's blind structure and input it into MP's Custom Structure template. Five minutes later, I'm playing practice tournaments with the precise buy-in, structure, and blind level intervals as the real thing. By the time Sunday arrives, I'm ready. You could do the same thing with any home game you're invited to for the first time, or perhaps a local casino event where you're spending the weekend.

Is there a downloadable version of Master Poker?

Not at this time.

How long has Master Poker been around?

I began work on Version 1 in 2007 and released it in October of 2009. Version 2, fixing all of the issues from v1 and making the game much smarter and more attractive (relaxing), was released about two years later. If you've never heard of it, it's likely because I don't advertise the software (and my Users are reluctant to share its existence with their competitors, even their friends). I don't even have a proper Facebook page. I originally wrote the program only for me, and only released it to the poker community when I realized I had created something special in regard to practicing one's game. I'm perfectly content with a small community of MP players who contribute occasional word-of-mouth exposure.

That said, even among our small community of players, in the years since I released the game to the public I have received hundreds of emails from Users who, since adopting MP to improve their game, are now cashing regularly in WSOP events and Online Tournaments, turning pro in cash play, and are absolutely destroying home tournaments, home and bar leagues, and local friendly cash games. That's all the validation I personally need that my work has born fruit. :)

Why should I buy home software when I have the Internet to play on?

The Internet is certainly a boon for poker and an excellent place to play ... for money. It's not an excellent place to play if you play for fun, for practice, or for real, but lose more money than you win (be honest with yourself). Even if you're already an Internet or regular live player consider these reasons as to why you should invest in good poker software to play at home:

Do I need to go on? The only players who may not benefit from quality home software are those who already spend the vast majority of their day winning money playing poker online professionally. And even then, there might be a few reasons for you to own it anyway:

Believe it or not, these are just the reasons off the top of my head. I'm sure if motivated, you can probably think of a dozen more reasons that apply to you personally. For poker players who already risk any amount of money at the tables, even just small change, there really is no down side.

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