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FlopCruncher Frequently Asked Questions
FlopCruncher is a tool for exploring the hard facts and subtle nuances of Texas Hold'em hand odds. It simulates playing up to ten specific, semi-random or fully random hands. You can also set up board cards and calculate flop, turn, and river odds. (You can't do that with the Lite version.)  
Why all the question marks?
The question marks represent the "random card" feature of FlopCruncher. A "?" for the rank or suit of a hole card means that FlopCruncher will choose a random card with any rank or any suit from the deck when calculating its results.

To select a random rank or suit, click on the upper or lower half of a card and select "wild" from the menu. If you select "wild" for both rank and suit, FlopCruncher will choose any random card.

Choosing "wild" for the rank and choosing a specific suit tells FlopCruncher to choose any card of that suit. For example, you can choose "any diamond".

Choosing a specific rank and "wild" for the suit tells FlopCruncher to choose any card of that rank. For example, you can choose "any king".

Why use random cards?
This is a very powerful feature, and you can use it to simulate "putting a player on a hand" as you would in an actual hold'em situation. Very often you might suspect that an opponent has "an ace" or "two diamonds". As they say, poker is a game of incomplete information. FlopCruncher lets you calculate your odds in this kind of situation.

The random cards allow you great flexibility in setting up hand vs. hand scenarios. You can see how any pair of sevens will do against any two clubs, for example.

How well will your sevens do against any ace?

Why does a random quote appear every few hands?

That's FlopCruncher's random saying generator. This text area is where you'll see the random quotes, or hand statistics for a specific seat, or for descriptive captions in playback mode.

You can switch between quotes and statistics using FlopCruncher's text option feature. In playback mode, the captions appear automatically as you click the various deal buttons.

What is "playback mode"?
In FlopCruncher we've put in a playback mode feature that re-creates famous, dramatic, or instructive hands from history and the media. Players' names, hole cards, and betting actions are presented on each street. We'll add new hands to FlopTech.com from time to time and you can download them directly into FlopCruncher with a single click.
Why can't I change the cards in "playback mode"?
Playback mode doesn't let you change any of the cards because if you did, it wouldn't be "Brunson vs. Alto" or "Moneymaker vs. Farha" any more. If you really want to see how Doyle would have done if he'd had ten-trey offsuit instead of ten-deuce in 1976, you'll need to set it up yourself. But hey, there are keyboard shortcuts to make that quick and easy. For specific details on playback mode, please read its User Guide page.

What are those numbers in "statistics mode"?

Those are all the hand types and percentages for a given seat. Only the hand types actually made during the simulation are shown. For example, if the set of hole cards in the chosen seat can only make a full house or quads, only those two percentages are given.

Percentages less than 0.1 are shown with two decimal accuracy, and hand types that occur extremely rarely will be shown as a raw count. For example, if that set of hole cards only makes a straight flush one out of 10,000 times, you'll see that number in parentheses: "(01)". For specific details, please read the User Guide statistics mode page.

How does the "Downloadable Hands" feature work?

Playback mode lets you run pre-loaded hands and download new hands into FlopCruncher from floptech.com with just a few clicks. We'll add new hands every so often for your enjoyment and elightenment. Let us know if there are any specific hands you'd like us to post.

The "downloadable hands" feature is really quite simple. Selecting "Download hands" from the "play" menu tells FlopCruncher to read a file on the floptech.com site. FlopCruncher then processes that data and stores it for playback. If there are no new hands to download, "Download hands" does nothing with the data it has read. If there are new hands that aren't stored yet, FlopCruncher will store them. See? It really is simple!

Once in a while, "Download hands" will seem to do nothing even though there are new hands. This is because Mac OS keeps copies of files that widgets request. Keeping copies, or "caching", minimizes the amount of network traffic because a local copy is kept and it is read instead of the actual file somewhere else on the internet.

Efficiency is usually a good thing. But this caching occasionally causes FlopCruncher to not see the updated downloadable hands file. It looks at the cached copy instead of actually reading the new file on floptech.com. To force FlopCruncher to read the actual file, just type command-R (the command key and "R" key simultaneously) before selecting "Download hands". This re-loads FlopCruncher and clears its cache, ensuring that it will read the new file instead of re-reading the old cached copy.

What is the News Alert feature?
The news alert feature is there to let you know when floptech.com has been updated with poker news, Apple Inc. news, or FlopTech news and blogs.

Click the "news alert" button on the back of FlopCruncher to turn on this feature. Now FlopCruncher will check floptech.com for updates once a day.

When you move your mouse cursor over the "news link" button on the back of FlopCruncher, it will glow blue if there's no update. Clicking on the "news link" button when it glows blue will open your default browser to the default news page of floptech.com.

Clicking on the "news link" button when it glows red will take you to whatever page has been most recently updated. So, if we've added a new Player Zero Blog entry, clicking the "news link" button will take you right to the Player Zero Blog page.

After clicking the "news link" button, FlopCruncher remembers that you have visited FlopTech.com and resets the "news link" button to glow blue and to take you to FlopTech's default news page. FlopCruncher will wait until the next day (in other words, until after midnight) before checking for an update again, even if you turn the "news alert" feature off and back on again. And even on the next day, FlopCruncher will only check for an update when you click the "info" button to flip it over to its back side.
What does that error message mean?
If you ever see a message that actually contains the word "error", please email immediately with as many details as possible. Otherwise, most of the messages are self-explanatory:

Duplicate card: seat 1
Duplicate card: ace of hearts, seat 1 and flop card 1
Duplicate card: ace of hearts on flop and river
Duplicate card: deuce of spades at seats 2 and 3
Please choose some hole cards

These two require a little more explanation:

Please choose fewer (suit) / (rank)
Please choose an un-folded hand for statistics

You can't select more than 4 of any one rank or 13 of any one suit. But there are some situations in which you'll run out of a rank or a suit. If you select four of a kind, even with four unspecified suits, you can only explicitly specify 12 more of any one suit. If you select two sets of quads there are now only 11 more in any of the suits. So it's possible to get the "choose fewer spades" message without explicitly choosing too many spades.

The statistics mode only makes sense if you select a seat that has been dealt some hole cards. So you'll see the "un-folded hand" message if you chose an unoccupied seat for statistics mode. In this case, you need to choose a different seat from the text option menu or to use the keyboard shortcut to specify a different seat. Or you could simply cancel statistics mode.

You will also see the message if the seat you specified contains a folded hand on the current street. If the hand is folded preflop, you'll need to choose another seat for statistics or cancel statistics mode. If the hand is folded on any other street, you can click to a previous street to see statistics for that hand. Whew. It's actually easier than it sounds...
What are the system requirements for FlopCruncher?
FlopCruncher needs Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later to run properly. It is a Universal Binary and runs on the current Intel-based machines as well as the legacy PowerPC-based machines.
The results are slightly different every time I click "deal". Why?
FlopCruncher actually shuffles and deals the cards 10 thousand to 1 million times, and it does its best to randomize things during each shuffle. That randomness, otherwise known as "the luck factor", causes the different win percentages.

Depending on how fast your Mac is (and how long you're willing to wait for a result) you can choose higher deal counts for more accuracy. By default, FlopCruncher deals ten thousand hands per calculation. The differences between calcuations is rarely more than a few fractions of a percentage point. In the real world this is too small to factor into your play.

If you select 100,000 or 1 million deals from the deal count menu, you'll get more consistent results. But it'll take either ten or one hundred times longer. If your Mac is very fast, this might be an acceptable delay. Try it and see which number is best for you and your Mac.
Why don't the win and tie percentages add up to 100%?
FlopCruncher only displays win and tie percentages for each player. The losing percentage for a player is their win percentage plus tie percentage subtracted from 100%.

For example, two players each holding pocket aces will have only about a 2% chance of winning the whole pot (by making a 1-card flush, which is very rare.) And they'll each have about a 96% chance of tying, to split the pot. In this case, each player's win and tie percentages add up to about 98%. Therefore each player will lose about 2% of the time.

Why does that "FlopTechReg run for the first time" warning appear?
On some systems, Mac OS X will display a warning the first time you run an application. This is a Mac OS X security feature to prevent unknown programs from running without your permission. If this message appears when you attempt to register FlopCruncher, please dismiss the dialog by clicking whichever button will allow FlopTechReg to run.
What is eSellerate?
eSellerate is the maker of an e-commerce system that FlopTech uses for registering its products. If you try to register FlopCruncher during a period of heavy activity on eSellerate's servers, you may need to wait for several seconds or minutes for the transaction to complete.
Where is my serial number?
You don't need to know you serial number. FlopTechReg receives a serial number from eSellerate then automatically enters it into FlopCruncher as part of the registration process.
Registration failed. What do I do?
On very rare occasions, the purchase process will succeed but the eSellerate server will be so busy that the registration process fails. The "click to purchase" button on the back of FlopCruncher will temporarily say "thank you," just as it would if purchase and registration succeeded, and flipping over to the front will reveal a "thank you" message in the text area. But flipping to the back again reveals that the "click to purchase" button now reads "click to register."

Should this happen, please wait a few minutes, then click the "click to register" button. Your serial number has been received from eSellerate so all you need to do is complete the registration process. You will know that registration succeeded when you flip to the front and then flip to the back and the "click to register" button reads "send feedback."

Uh oh. Didn't find your answer?

Please don't hesitate to email and let us know what you need to know.