Holdem Manager 2 vs. Poker Tracker 4 – Once and For All!

Holdem Manager vs. Poker Tracker

7 minutes

Last Updated: March 19, 2024

Playing Texas Holdem poker is becoming more and more competitive and the days when it was enough to raise preflop and c-bet to take down the money are gone. There are tons of information available on the internet, and even the weaker players have some basic knowledge. Therefore, you should utilize every possible tool at your disposal to increase your edge.

This is why most successful players are using the help of additional poker software. The two most popular programs in this regard are Poker Tracker and Hold’em Manager. Both have gone a long way and their latest versions, PT 4 and HM 2 respectively, are exceptional tools that provide a significant advantage on and off the table.

You can use the software to extract your hand histories, analyze your game and plug leaks after the sessions. On top of that, you can use real-time stats of your opponents to find spots to exploit them while playing. Simply put, using the proper poker tools is invaluable. This raises the logical question, which is the best program out there? It’s certainly one of those two, and today we will go through a couple of different factors and try to find out which one is the best.


Everybody who used any of the two tools knows that they do require some resources and are hardly the lightest programs out there. That is not a big problem if you have dedicated poker PC, but if you are running it on your five-year-old laptop, you need to consider it. This is why I decided to see how the frameworks of both Poker Tracker 4 and Hold’em Manager 2 is built.

The former seems to be the clear winner here, as it uses less memory compared to HM2. Both programs use MySQL for their databases, but PT 2 sends a query each time you need some information. In contrast, Hold’em Manager 2 keeps the full info cached in the memory, and that is why the software is much slower.

1 point to Poker Tracker 4

User Interface

Since both programs have tons of features, sections, charts, and graphs, the user interface is quite significant. You will need some time to get used to both products, but it seems like Poker Tracker is better in this category.

The color scheme of the layout is much more intuitive compared to HM2. On top of that, most of the menus and buttons of PT4 seem to be easier to understand. Of course, it’s a subjective matter, but it seems that most people learn to work with Poker Tracker 4 much faster.

1 point to Poker Tracker 4

poker tracker 4 banner good


One of the most important things about programs is the opportunity to add, remove, and edit filters. In fact, there are poker coaches charging people for merely showing them the proper configuration of Poker Tracker or Hold’em Manager. This is why I decide to include this section and take a more in-depth look at the filters offered. Also, I will take into account how easy it is to configure them.

To be fair, both programs are exceptional when it comes to filtering which is probably the reason those are the two most popular products on the market. Let’s start with Hold’em Manager 2. Once again, the program is more intuitive compared to its competitor. It offers plenty of different filters and sets of filters that are premade. This saves time and gives each inexperienced user a good starting point when creating reports and searching for leaks in his game. If you want more advanced look into these options, I have a great course covering how to find mistakes and analyze your game! Simply put, finding the correct filters with HM2 is fast and easy and it is my preferred option.

However, Poker Tracker 4 shows some muscles in this category as well. While it lacks the simplicity and ease of use of HM2, it is more flexible in other areas. You can create your filters from scratch and use the “AND”, “NOT”, and “OR” functions to add, remove, or combine all kinds of conditions. While the process is much more time-consuming compared to HM2, it allows you to be more precise and break your reports in many situations. Obviously, this is handy in some areas, but 99% of player will not feel this advantage and sticking with HM2 will be a faster and more natural option.

1 point to Holdem Manager 2

Heads Up Display (HUD)

The Heads Up Display or simply HUD is probably the main reason people use these programs. The feature provides real-time data for each player on the table and includes all the stats you have for your opponents. This provides an immense advantage, as you have very solid predictors of the behavior of each player on the table and can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Let us start with the HUD of Poker Tracker 4. It comes with a couple of predefined configurations that can help users who don’t have a clue. All the essential data is included, and you can quickly add/remove stats by drag-and-dropping individual data pieces. Another critical component is that you can quickly add color benchmarks that will indicate when a certain number is in the range you’re looking for. The overall impression is that Poker Tracker 4 has a robust HUD and will provide everything you need. Let’s move on to the competition and see how things stand with Hold’em Manager 2. The first thing we noticed is that there are more default configurations of the HUD. This means that beginners will probably have an easier time finding a working setup. If you decide to customize the HUD, it’s a bit harder compared to PT4, and you will need more time to get hold of every option. However, the program has some excellent add-ons such as notecaddy pop-ups. This is the difference-maker, as it enables you to get extremely powerful custom stats and could give you an extra edge on the table.

So, in my opinion, PT4 is easier to use, but when you understand nuances of these apps HM2 gives you more options and that what matters at the end.

One final note here. I recommend you to find a coach or pay for pre-made configuration, as the HUD is crucial. Unless you have tons of experience, you probably won’t be able to get the best out of it on your own. If you are playing cash games, you can get my personal advanced poker HUD, and you will instantly see the difference. For other formats, you will have to look around, but investing in good HUD will pay for itself in no-time.

1 point to Holdem Manager 2

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Additional Poker Software

Both Poker Tracker 4 and Hold’em Manager 2 have a bunch of extra applications that work with the main software. They are related to finding leaks, easier multi-tabling, odds calculation, having advanced stats and many more.

This is probably the area where there is the biggest difference between the two programs. Simply put, Poker Tracker 4 decided to add plenty of additional tools that are free to use while Hold’em Manager’s add-ons come at a price. As you could expect, the paid versions are much better and are worth it, if you have the desire to invest. The tools of PT4 are not bad, but are way more limited and won’t have such a significant impact on your game.

If you want to increase your edge even more than take a look at a list of the best poker tools and put some of those weapons in your arsenal!

1 point to Holdem Manager 2

So Hold’Em Manager 2 or Poker Tracker 4?

It’s time to draw the line and see which tracking software is better. To be fair, both have their advantages, but the match ended 3:2 with a slight edge of Holdem Manager 2. 

In my opinion, HM2 is slightly better and prevails if you are ready to pay for the extra tools that come with the program and want more powerful options. Moreover, it gives you more advantages for cash games and probably even MTTs, but if you are playing Spin & Goes than PT4 will help you more. So in the end, you should choose based on your preferred game, but my vote goes to HM2.

Both Holdem Manager 2 and Poker Tracker 4 has FREE TRIALS so you can get both and see for yourself!

If you want to dig deeper into advanced poker strategy, learn more about check-raising and other vital concepts, you can always check out my complete training program “Poker Formula For Success” and make your life even easier at the tables!

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