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Playing poker with a Gamepad

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by Aarnimetsa, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Aarnimetsa

    Aarnimetsa Well-Known Member
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    Let's start a topic about playing poker with something else than keyboard and mouse. I'm currently using three different modes of operation. First of all, I'm playing with my mouse and having a lot of hotkeys with my mouse (I love my Performance Mouse MX!). My second mode of operation is playing completely left-handed with a Razer MMO-keyboard with just a lot of hotkeys. Third mode of operation would be playing with both hands, but utilizing a Playstation 3 controller. The most interesting alternative for most people would be the Playstation 3 controller.

    So I'll start by discussing how I'm controlling the poker software. I'm not having distinct bet size hotkeys, I'll only have basic bet and shove, but I'll have buttons to increase and decrease the betsize. I have programmed my Tableninja to suggest me quite sensible betsizes and I'll just adjust it when it goes. When my bet size is pretty sensible, I don't need to adjust that much. It doesn't work perfectly and sometimes I'm raising way more preflop, because of some weird Tableninja bug, but mainly it works great.

    I did chose Playstation 3 controller because I had them at home and they're pretty easy to get working with a computer. There's also enough buttons for me. Xbox 360s controller could be even better, but I don't have one home. With Wii controller it felt to be just too hard for me and honestly thinking I can't have enough buttons if I can't get left hand four-way control working as five distinct buttons. To get Playstation 3 controller working, I just need to have a MiniUSB cable and MotionInJoy driver software. I could get it working with some bluetooth-sticks, but I haven't thought it's that important. I have just bought a long enough wire. :D

    Basically all the magic is done by Tableninja, that translates the buttons as commands for PokerStars. At the beginning I was playing with just keyboard and mouse, so I have made my Tableninja settings work as good as they can with keyboard and mouse. Basically I have four extra keys (+ basic left click and right click) in my mouse and a wheel to adjust bet sizing. I can also move fluidly between the controller and mouse, both work at the same time.

    [​IMG]

    So you can see here which buttons I use for betting, calling, checking, etc. Practically I never use check button, but fold-button does the checking if it's free. Or Call-button works for checking as well. You can also see that I have hotkeys for raising betsize and lowering betsize.

    [​IMG]

    In the Table Control-tab we will adjust the settings in a way that I don't necessarily need the mouse to select a table. So I'll use Table in Foreground and to make it sure, I have put my options to jump the mouse cursor to the activated table. This is to add extra stuff for me to notice which table is active. I'm also having frames to show the active table. I did use purple and red while I did this post, but now I use green and red, so that I'll have a lot of contrast between active table and table that requires action. Mixing them up can be quite costly.

    Most people aren't taking into account that you'll want to have Cycling Hotkeys if you're playing stacked. Sometimes you'll get a table popping over another when your table gets changed or something weird. Without Tableninja, you would need to minimize the table at the top right corner to get the next table where you'll have action.

    We'll also see that there are Set Table Aside Hotkeys. I'll use them to move tables to four distinct stacks. My main stack and three other places I'll utilize to see tables that are more important. I'm using my top right spot as another stack for all the bubbles and then I have two additional spaces where I can see all the hands. I'm using it if I want to follow a certain player or if I'm having an expensive tourney that I'm mixing with my SNGs.

    To tie it all together, I have used Xpadder (you'll need to pay for it) to translate PS3 controller input to different keys. It's just the software that works easiest for translating joystick for something useful. It should work for everything that you can see as a joystick in Windows. First one to use a steering wheel and pedals to play poker?

    [​IMG]

    You'll see from my Xpadder settings that I'm adjusting the Set Aside Tables with triggers. Then I'm using the D-pad to set bet sizes and getting active tables or moving back in my table stacks. On the right side I can then fold, call or bet. I have put the buttons in the same order they appear in the software, so that the leftmost is always folding and rightmost is betting.

    I'd think that you don't necessarily even need Tableninja any more, you can now get everything else than the Setting Table Aside-hotkeys working with PokerStars software's own hotkeys. I'd think you could use Placemint to adjust the table positions for free. Only thing you would be missing from Tableninja then is sitting back in the tables if you're timing out. It shouldn't be a problem though, because you can use the small play button on PokerStars tables to see if you're sitting out on some tables and resit every table you're sitting out in if you time out.
     
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  2. Neo1186

    Neo1186 Well-Known Member

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    Great thread!

    I started playing poker with my mouse and my right hand started to hurt after a while. Then I switched to my left hand and my left hand started to hurt after a while. Then I mixed it up, and now both hands hurt :clap:

    So I just ordered a 360 gamepad for PC. I was thinking about a cheaper one but from reviews it looked like they all fall apart after a couple of weeks of intense use. Since from now on my time playing poker will stay constant or even increase I guess a pad is a good option, hope it helps my hands or I have to use voice commands in the future :D

    So I give you an update, I will also try some free tools to map gamepad buttons to keyboard buttons before I buy Xpadder.

    Are here some people playing poker with gamepad?
     
  3. Aarnimetsa

    Aarnimetsa Well-Known Member
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    I'd think some of the better gamepads for PC allow for key mapping in their own software.

    I'm a bit unsure, do you even need Xpadder any more, if you just want to play on a gamepad - on Tableninja they have worked on gamepad support. It just wasn't working when I wrote the article. Xpadder however makes it well worth it if you play with multiple different systems. For example I'm playing sometimes with just my left hand on Razer Nostromo, sometimes on the PS3 controller (which was NOT supposed to be connected to PC), sometimes on keyboard and mouse. Always when some part starts to ache, I'm switching controls. Even when I'm feeling tired by the way I'm sitting, because you can sit quite in different positions if you compare gamepad, or keyboard and mouse.
     
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  4. Neo1186

    Neo1186 Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to make an update, so after a week of gamepad in the mix I can say that my hands are feeling much better now.

    I also starting to get the hang of it. In the beginning some stupid things happened like folding hands I wanted to call, checking instead of betting and raising hands I wanted to fold etc. Funny that I had none of those problems when I was playing videogames in the past, but now for money I seem to be a bit more nervous to hit the right buttons :lol:

    But these problems are now gone after getting used to the pad and having a decent button layout, also still room for improvement. I use the free shareware version of JoyToKey for button mapping, works nicely, also you should make sure that you run PokerStars and JoyToKey both as administrator.

    Only slight gripe I have is that in the PokerStars Settings is no option to set a Hotkey for "increment bet" like in TableNinja. So I set up a stick of the pad as a mousewheel which moves the betslider pretty roughly and set up the D-Pad with some standard sizings like 2.5, 3 bb, half pot and another button for smoother mouswheel-up to increment the bet. The problem is that sometimes I'm not incrementing the bet but scrolling the chat/info window for some reason and have to click with the mouse on the betslider in order to focus on it (or something) and then I can control it.

    Aside from that I really like the gamepad and mixing it up really reduced the stress on my hands.
     
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  5. Aarnimetsa

    Aarnimetsa Well-Known Member
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    It will take time to learn hotkeys and you will be doing stupid stuff while you're learning.

    Have you put on Stars that a mouse wheel would increase your betsize for just a small blind? I'd think that fixes pretty much all the gripes I have had with the betting, a resolution of just a big blind is too much, but with a resolution of small blind it will be pretty good to my uses at least.

    JoyToKey seems to be quite cheap alternative to Xpadder. Although as Xpadder has worked perfectly for me, I won't be changing it :)
     
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  6. Neo1186

    Neo1186 Well-Known Member

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    Hi, yes I have put increase for just a small blind, it's very handy. Also have to say I improved alot, I think I had one miss-press in the last whole week, and my hands are thankful for the alternative. I even like to use one of the gamepad-sticks as mouse control and play that way, just to slow myself down on some spots when I notice I'm making decisions too fast. Overall great imrpvoement.
     
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  7. danitah

    danitah Well-Known Member

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    I tried playing with a gamepad a while back. I think if you are playing tons of tables stacked it's a very good way to play. Problem for me is if I'm playing like 9 tables tiled and I either have to make decisions in the order they are required, or I have to use 'next table' and 'previous table' buttons to jump between tables to make decisions in the order I want and it can feel a bit ineffective if I want to spend extra time on a decision. Not sure if I explained that well :P
     
  8. Aarnimetsa

    Aarnimetsa Well-Known Member
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    I'd think even for tiled you should learn to do the decisions in the order of most urgent decision first, instead of doing the decision that you're focused on first. It requires a bit of training to do the decision that is available for you right now and to train yourself not to look at a certain decision point in the canvas of tables, but rather to look for where the next decision to be made is. I'd think you can play a lot more tables if you're paying attention to what table is most urgent to deal with right now and playing with a gamepad always gets you the most critical table, when you don't have the easy option to just move your mouse to a table you like.
     
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  9. Christian

    Christian Active Member

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    I play with a gamepad (xbox360 controller) since about 6 month now and it works great for me. I have no more problems with pain in the hand and I'm much quicker now. I have all set up in Table Ninja 2 and x padder is not required. I have set the A-button for fold, B is bet, x is moving to the active table, y is all in. pressing the jog wheels gives me different layouts (stacked, tiled and multistack). with jog wheel 1 I can flip throw tables, with jogwheel 2 I can increase or decrease my betsizing. The upper buttons are for table aside slots when I play stacked. So I can move tables that need my attention to two different slots. All in all it works great and I never had a problem with it. Of course it took some time to get used to the buttons, but after one day it becomes ingrained. If anybody has questions on setting it up feel free to ask me! :tup:
     
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  10. Aarnimetsa

    Aarnimetsa Well-Known Member
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    Xpadder is great in that regard that you can reuse the hotkeys. Like I can use mouse + hotkeys or a Razer left handed gaming keyboard and a PS3 joystick buttons all mixed. So even if I play on a certain device, I can then move it quickly to another, which I think isn't possible if you use real joystick buttons.
     
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  11. danitah

    danitah Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it's really nice to switch effortlessly between my mouse and gamepad and I have hotkeys on both.

    Here is my current gamepad layout in xpadder. Maybe it can help people who are setting up their gamepad, but of course you don't need most of this stuff.



    slot = Moves the table to first available slot (or back to stack if it's already in a slot)
    alt-stack = Moves the table to a designated hotkey-stack.
    res = Moves all tables back to stack.
    prev/next = Cycles between tables.
    First Action = Goes to most urgent table.
    hotk = Enable/disable hotkeys (in PS only)
    rep = Open replayer
    20-100% = Sets bet amount to % of pot
    F&W = Fold & Watch (for zoom)

    Media hotkeys are for controlling music, 'Del Song' removes the current song from playlist :)
     

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  12. Tona Imogene

    Tona Imogene New Member

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    That's sick! I believe most gamers (and even non-gamers) who have a passion for poker will find this very useful. It's quite difficult to play poker using keyboards, not gonna lie.
     
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  13. Christian

    Christian Active Member

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    Hey Danitah,
    I use my xbox 360 controller again and table optimizer. I saw u have a check/fold button in your configuration. How you did that? In table optimizer I don't have an option that I "Never fold when checking is free". Is such an option in PS software? I can't find it! I just want to have check and fold on the same button, that I can't accidently fold when checking is for free. Thx
     
  14. danitah

    danitah Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it's in PokerStars. When you try to open fold it should show a dialog asking you if you really want to fold when you can check, and you probably clicked on 'don't show again' without telling it to always check if possible.

    To fix you have to locate your user.ini file:

    Go to Help -> Open My Settings Folder in PokerStars.

    Before making any changes you should make a backup of the user.ini file in case something goes wrong, and close PokerStars so it reloads the changes when you open it again.

    Open the user.ini file in notepad, click CTRL+F to search, and search for the line saying: CheckIsFree=

    There should be a line saying CheckIsFree=(some number)

    Delete that line, and save.

    Now the next time you try to open fold you should get a dialog asking if you want to fold, and you should be able to select something like 'Always check if possible'.

    Found most of this in google so haven't tried it myself, but I think it should work.
     
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  15. Christian

    Christian Active Member

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    Thank u very much Danitah! That was exactly what I was looking for and it works now! :clap:
    I searched my ass off in google but couldn't find it.
     
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  16. Christian

    Christian Active Member

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    Hey guys,
    I bought a new laptop yesterday with windows 10 on it (before I was on windows 7). I use a software called table optimizer. There is a function, where I can set hotkey table slots, that means I can put tables into the slots via hotkeys during the session. On my old laptop I used some buttons of my Logitech performance mx gaming mouse for that so I could comfortably play with my mouse and put the tables aside when needed. I simply had to go in the hotkey fields on table optimizer click the deserved mouse button and voila it worked. Now I have a problem on windows 10. If I try to set my mouse buttons as hotkeys, it doesn't work with all buttons only with some. The zoom button, mouse wheel right left click and the button where your thumb is laying on (don't know how it's called) doesn't work anymore as hotkeys. I go into the required field in table optimizer press the button and nothing happens. Could it be that windows 10 is using thoose buttons, because when I press the zoom button a little loupe pops of for zoom. Does anybody know how I can turn off thoose mouse buttons in windows 10, that I can use them again for my requirements? Or does anybody have anoher idea what the problem could be? Thx guys
     
  17. boza774

    boza774 New Member

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    Do you run TO as administrator?? Thats only thing I can think of right now
     
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  18. Christian

    Christian Active Member

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    Yes I do!
     
  19. danitah

    danitah Well-Known Member

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    Does it work if you try using some other button for hotkey? If so, you should be able to change what your mouse buttons do with the and use that for the hotkey instead. (see here)
     
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  20. Christian

    Christian Active Member

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    Yeah I already found out myself that I have to install setpoint for switching the mouse buttons. It still didn't work til I found out that you have to run setpoint as an admin. Now all is fine. It's so weird what you have to do nowadays to solve an easy problem like that! :crazy: But thx guys! Now I have to finish my 25 cent 45 men one tabling, which I used to try it out. :D
     
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