To help you choose between Holdem Manager or PokerTracker, we compare HEM vs PT on the core functions, interface and pricing below.
Game support, Features and Add-ons
Both programs support Holdem for both cash and tournament play. Both offer add-on programs that allow you to import and analyze Omaha cash games and tournaments as well. PT has a unique add-on that allows the import of Stud hands if you’re into Stud. Holdem Manager has a HM App store where users can buy add-ons like, Leak Buster, Table Ninja, Table Scanner, Holdem Vision and Sit N Go Wizard. Best part is these HM App’s work together with Holdem Manager allowing you to use a single program for all your poker needs.
What rooms are the programs compatible with? Holdem Manager currently supports 24 different poker networks and Poker Tracker supports 17. Both programs are 100% in compliance with the poker rooms they support. Rooms like Cake do not allow a HUD but both programs will import your hands so you can do post session analysis.
Holdem Manager: 9
Poker Tracker: 7
Comments: Tracker has Stud while Holdem Manager has their HM App store. Holdem Manager also supports 7 more poker rooms as of today. Edge goes to Holdem Manager.
In many ways, this is a matter of personal preference, but I give the slight edge on this point to HEM. Mostly it comes down to the internal logic of the layout – I just find that more tabs, buttons, etc are where I expect them to be when I use HEM, even though I was a long-time PT user. That small edge aside, both programs do an excellent job making sense of a baffling amount of data and options.
HEM is also a bit cleaner-looking than PT. There’s obviously not much of a need for a hyper-pretty package on a piece of software such as this, but that doesn’t mean aesthetics have to be ignored – just that they shouldn’t be a priority over functionality. HEM doesn’t have a lot of graphical bells and whistles, but it doesn’t feel like a cleaner package with sharper design details.
As far as functionality goes, both programs share a very similar core feature list and are highly customizable, so again, preferring one over the other on this point will largely be a matter of personal taste.
Holdem Manager: 9
Poker Tracker: 9
Comments: Both are pretty even here so it comes down to personal preference.
Any program is going to be a bit machine-dependent, so you’re obviously going to want to try the trials of each program before committing to purchase just in case there’s some unique conflict between your machine and the software. All things being equal, the general consensus seems to be that HEM might have had a slight edge over previous versions of PT in terms of speed and stability, but recent upgrades have closed or erased the gap.
Another critical part of operation is how rapidly the software responds to changes in the poker room client – that is to say, how long does it take after Full Tilt Poker makes a major update before an upgrade correcting any conflicts with the database software is released? Recent upgrades by major poker rooms have generally seen both PT and HEM respond with upgrades within a day or so, with HEM seeming to have a slight edge in turnaround time.
In terms of direct support – assisting customers with specific issues – both have support forums that are actively moderated, and response time to typical questions generally seems to be a matter of minutes for simple queries and hours – not days – for more complex ones. Holdem Manager also supports German, Dutch and Italian for Tech Support.
Holdem Manager: 9
Poker Tracker: 8
Comments: Holdem Manager gets the edge here since they support German, Dutch and Italian users and they generally have a better turnaround time between critical updates.
Free trials are available for both.
Both PT and HEM offer two tiers of their basic database product that allows you to import and analyze holdem cash and tournament hands.
PT has a Holdem Full Version priced at $88.99 and a Holdem Micro Stakes version priced at $44.99 that limits what types of hands you can import into the database (limited to $0.10/$0.25 NL, $0.25/$0.50 Limit, and $11.00 Tourney/SnG buyin).
HEM offers a Full Version priced at $80 and a Small Stakes version for $55 (limited to .25/.50 No Limit, .50/1.00 Limit and up to $22 buy-in tournaments). PTP offers users a discounted version of HEM for $64 (details here) or the chance to earn a free copy of the software by getting rakeback (details here).
As far as Omaha goes, PT and HEM charge $89 for their unrestricted Omaha programs. PT charges $45 for their small stakes version where HEM charges $55. If you’re looking to buy both Omaha and Holdem in these Packages PT charges $144.98 and HEM charges $149.99
HEM offers users a full unrestricted 15 day trial of both their Holdem and Omaha products. PT offers a 60 day trial for their Holdem product but it does restrict your ability to run custom reports and you can only create a single database. For their Omaha product, PT offers a trial that will allow you to import 1,000 hands.
Holdem Manager 8
Poker Tracker 7
Comments: Tough to call here but I give a slight edge to Holdem Manager. Poker Tracker has a cheaper small stakes version than Holdem Manager but the stakes offered are lower than Holdem Manager so you might be forced to upgrade sooner. Tracker also has a longer trial period but it’s a restricted trial so you don’t get full use while you’re evaluating Poker Tracker. Holdem Manager offers a shorter trial period but it is a true, full-featured, unrestricted version of the software.
Final Score out of 40
Holdem Manager: 35
Poker Tracker: 31
Spend Your Money On…
Ideally, you should download both pieces of software and try them out. Both offer free trials, and they’re both solid choices for online poker analysis.
That said, if you lack the time or the notion for exploring both programs, when it comes down to a choice between Holdem Manager and Poker Tracker, we choose Holdem Manager. The program wins on slight edges in functionality, aesthetics, cost, and also on the development initiative it has shown in the last year or so to take market share away from PT.