Updated: Dec 16, 2021
GTO Trainer is a must-have piece of poker software for any mid to high stakes player. It’s simplicity and speed are its greatest assets; however, the potentially high cost and the slightly incomplete dataset could be a reason to wait.
GTO Trainer is an in-browser poker solver offering access to 100,000’s of solved poker situations for the user. Poker solvers are complex and advanced calculators that crunch numbers and determine optimal strategies. Solvers calculate the expected value (EV) of a situation- how much money you can expect to make following the strategy over time. Good solvers are more accurate, and GTO Trainer was built using PIOSolver at its core with the help of several high-stakes professional poker players to further improve accuracy.
How Much Does GTO Trainer Cost?
Pricing plans for GTO Trainer depend on which solutions you want access too. This helps to fit your chosen discipline and current skill-level. The simulations are split into tournament packages and then cash packages. You can’t currently get a discount for buying both cash and tournaments together, but GTOTrainer offer discounts when buying quarterly or annually.
Tournament simulations start free, but access is limited to a few preflop scenarios. All flops are available for free, unlike competitor trials; however, the stack-sizes and positions are limited. From there you’ll be paying $49-$349 per month. I’m not a tournament player so don’t use the tournament simulations often at all, from the limited use I have had with the tournament simulations I would say that the $99/month set of simulations is the sweet spot. If you and a friend are serious about poker, then it may be worth splitting the £349 package.
Cash solution pricing is much easier to explain. You pay a flat fee to access the 6max solutions at $149 per month and then $50 on top to access the 6max and HU sims. As with tournaments, this pricing comes down when you purchase the package in bulk.
GTO Trainer is a web-based solution, meaning you are paying for access rather than software. This is incredibly convenient, you can access the data on your phone, tablet etc… I’ve used GTO trainer many times to check plays I was unsure of when on a break from the live table on my phone.
GTO Trainer may not have the most polished looking interface on the market, the user experience is pleasant and intuitive. A small search box allows the required flop to be found. The categories are all at the top of the page, allowing you to filter through all the post-flop situations you will find yourself in. Once the solution is loaded you get a nice breakdown of the frequencies and situation displayed in the grid. The colour scheme can also be adjusted to your preference however I like to leave it on the default setting. You progress through a hand by clicking the desired action on the left.
You can also toggle the weighting of the combos; this lets you see quick overviews and work out how much of each combo you should have in your range at that point. Other useful aspects of the UI include the frequency toggle, allowing you to see how often on average you should bet, check, raise etc. The betting on the left side is also set up in BB and Percentage of the Pot- a nice touch.
Another great aspect of GTO Trainer is the simplifications the team has already done for you. Competitors have run simulations with multiple bet sizes and then given the end user all that information. Giving a user access to a solver that chooses 20% 30% 33% 40% 50% etc is a poor choice in my opinion. Solvers will always want to be a varied and as deceptive as possible, making this implementation incredibly difficult to simplify in the real world. The GTO Trainer team have already done that with the help of cash and tournament pros, meaning you can start learning solver strategies sooner.
As you hover over each combination with the EV toggle selected, you get a detailed breakdown of the combination and how it plays within the range. You can also see the frequency that you should be making each action. One thing that needs to be added to GTO Trainer is a more accurate display of the frequency, as it stands you have no set number to memorise. You are forced to act on how full of green you think the combination box is and guess at the percentage.
GTO Trainer also allows you to see the EV of any hand in a situation, however it only tells you about the equity for all combos. Take A5s in the example above, 22% is an average, A5 of Clubs will naturally have much more EV than A5 of Hearts. This is another area of the software that could be improved; however, the information is not crucial to developing a winning strategy. You can’t currently hover over the range to see individual combinational equity.
Using GTO Trainer Effectively
There are a few tricks that I have developed while using GTO Trainer over the past few months. You can use GTO Trainer like a traditional solver, you can do something called line-checking, you can play against the solution using the training tool, and you can quickly look over similar situations to spot trends.
Line checking is an invaluable study technique only made possible by web-based poker solver solutions. It’s like looking at the back of a maths book for the answer after you’ve finished a question. The speed of GTO Trainer is its advantage here. After a session (or even a big hand), you can close your poker software and check if the way you played your hands were optimal.
With traditional poker solvers, it’s often not worth waiting 30+ minutes to see if your decision to cbet 70% of the time was correct. You can often check over 100 different flops by the time GTO+ or PIOSolver will have finished one sim. You instantly access the situation that you found yourself in and check if your understanding of the situation was correct. If it was correct, you’ve just saved yourself a lot of time. In fact, this is the method I use after sessions to find areas in my game where I have potential leaks. Far quicker than using a solver and waiting for your PC to calculate a spot.
Once you know an area of the game that you know that you need to study in more detail, the normal solver aspect of GTO Trainer comes into its own. You can now study faster using a solver than you thought possible. Let’s say that you wanted to look at cbetting on boards with an A, K and a random card from the BTN vs the BB. That’s 13 different flops in total. With multiple flop options given to both us and our opponent, each of these would take anywhere from 20 to 60 mins to solve. I used to have to wait overnight to wait for a solver to finish analysing all these textures. Now I can flick through all these spots in quick succession with no waiting required, allowing me to expand my knowledge on these boards and spot patterns much quicker than a normal solver.
It’s worth noting, the worse your computer is, the longer normal solvers will take to solve. If you have a poor-quality PC, you could be waiting hours for it to calculate a single solution. The efficacy of GTO Trainer therefore increases the lower quality your PC is, if you are thinking about getting a solver that is.
GTO Trainers training tool, GTO Quiz, is useful. It would be better if it would store your hands or offered an RNG tool in the window. Another suggestion would be for it to ask you the frequencies that you should be betting on flops, turns and rivers for example. This could be used to let you know that you have some extra gaps in your knowledge and really help drill the GTO solutions into your brain.
The tool itself is useful, it gives you options to pick from and then tells you the overall EV of your decision after you’ve played. You can play as many hands as you would like against the solution. It’s great for spotting any big mistakes with strategy.
Mobile And Tablets
GTO Trainer does not have the solver accessible in a dedicated mobile friendly format, however it is not unusable. Just like looking at the desktop version of any site on the phone, you can still access all the information in the same way that you would from your PC.
Should You Buy GTO Trainer?
GTO Trainer is a great option for you if you are serious about taking your poker game to another level. You need to consider how much capital you have spare, if using a solver would actually help your game, how much time you have to study, and what other options are available on the market. I'm a huge fan of GTO Trainer and it gets a 4.5/5 from me.
This is not a sponsored article, I have been using GTO Trainer for 6+ months and have helped the GTO Trainer team with content creation in the past.