Automated Hand History Importing

PokerTracker 4 version 4.0.x
October 8, 2019
  • Introduction

    Auto importing allows you to automatically import hands while you are playing.  If you wish to import existing hands manually, please consult the Manual Import tutorial

    To configure your sites to auto import, see the site-specific guides in the Documentation - this guide only explains how to use the general auto import options.  To begin auto importing, click "Play Poker" and then "Get Hands While Playing"

    Auto Import In PokerTracker 4

  • Starting and Stopping Auto Import

    Once your tables are open and you are ready to auto import, push "Get Hands While Playing".  This will automatically import any hands that you play on correctly configured sites.  If it is working correctly, you will see your hands begin to populate down below.  If no hands are appearing, you may need to reconfigure the import settings for the site(s) you are trying to play on.

    Importing Hands PT4

    When are finishing auto importing, simply push "Stop Getting Hands".

    Stop Auto Import PT4

  • Import Statistics

    Import Status PokerTracker 4

    Hands shows the number of hands which have been imported during the current import.


    Errors shows how many hands failed to import due to errors in the hand history.

    You can see which hands failed by scrolling through the View Import Status tab. 

    View Import Status PT4

    Duplicates shows any hands which are being read but have already been imported into the database.

    These 'duplicate' hands are NOT imported again, they are rejected as duplicates.

    Tip! You should not see any duplicates during normal use of Auto Import. If you do, it is probably because you have old hand history files remaining in your hand history folders; to avoid this enable the Move Processed Files To option (see the next section of this tutorial).

    Tournament Summaries shows the number of tournament summaries which have been imported during the current import.

  • Auto Import Preferences

    You can configure the auto import settings by going to "Configure" and then "Site & Import Options" from the main menu.  Click on the "Preferences" tab and your window will look like this:

    Windows Import Configuration

    PokerTracker Import Configuration

    Mac OS X Import Configuration

    Auto Import Configuration PT4

    • Processed Files

      Windows Processed Files

      Processed Hands In PT4


      Mac OS X Processed Files

      When PokerTracker 4 has imported the hands from a hand history file the information is stored in a PT4 database.

      When this has been done, the hand history files are no longer needed (except as a backup in case you need to re-import them).
      If the hand history files are left in the original hand history folder then they will have to be re-read every time Auto Import is started. This can take quite a while, especially as the number of old files builds up.

      To prevent this slow-down you should have the Move Processed Files To option enabled and specify a folder which is completely separate to anywhere you are importing from.  To change where the files are moved to click the ... button to the right.  It is also recommended to enable both "Separate by Site" and "Separate by Date", as they will organize your hand histories within the processed hands folder for easy retrieval.


      • The files are only moved when Auto Import is stopped.
      • If tables are still open then the files can be locked open and may not be able to be moved.

      If you see the Duplicates count increase when you start Auto Import then you should make sure this option is enabled and let it run until all the counts stop increasing then stop it and the processed files should be moved.
      See the Tutorial - Preventing Duplicates for more information.

    • Observed Hands
      Observed Hands Option In PT4

      If you are using a site which allows and writes hand histories for observed hands then PokerTracker 4 can import these observed hands.

      If you don't want this to happen then you can disable the Import Observed Hands option.

    • Adjust Stakes

      Adjust Stakes Option In PT4

      Certain poker sites don't indicate whether a table is a heads up table, 6max, or full ring.  This can create issues when you are playing a full ring table with 5 players on it, a 6max table with 2 players on it, etc.  To help with this issue, PokerTracker 4 suggests enabling "Automatically Apply 'Treat As'" so that it can estimate the table type based upon the number of tables at the table.  For further information, consult the Adjusting Stakes Tutorial

    • Tournament Summary

      Tournament Summary PT4

      When enabled, "Overwrite Existing Data" tells PokerTracker 4 to overwrite existing tournament summary data when imported.  It is recommended to only enable this option when necessary.

    • Databases

      Importing Into A Poker Tracker 4 Database

      This section defines which database hands will be imported into.

      If you have more than one database you can import 'played' hands and 'observed' hands into separate databases, should you wish to.
      To change this, simply click the drop down menu and select the appropriate database. To use the active database choose "[Current Active Database]".

      If you want to use separate 'played' and 'observed' databases please see the Tutorial: Managing Multiple Databases for one possible way to handle it.

  • Troubleshooting
    • Hands Will Not Auto Import

      Make sure your poker software is installed in English (not just writing hand histories in English), and is configured to write hand histories to file.

      Check that hand history files are being written as you play, and that the site's configuration is looking at the correct folder - select your site and click the Configuration button.
      Please check out our Quick Start Guide, and see the Documentation for site-specific setup guides.

      If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, make sure that both PokerTracker 4 and your poker site are being run as Administrator. This is different to being logged in as an Administrator.
      Setting software to run in administrator mode

    • My Imports Start Slowly

      This is often caused by PokerTracker 4 having to re-read an existing set of hand history files.

      If you enable the 'Move Processed Files To' option in the Import Configuration > Preferences it should prevent this, but if you continue to have problems please read the Tutorial: Moving Processed Files: Unable To Get Hands While Playing.

    • Short-handed Tables Are Not Labelled Correctly

      Not all sites report the size of their tables in the hand history, so if you are playing a 6 seat table at one of these sites it will be imported as a full ring table and not separated into its own limit labelled as (6 max).

      To counter this, you can enable the "Automatically Apply 'Treat As'" setting and any hands imported (either Auto or Manual Import) with less than 6 players will be counted as 6-max. Hands with 2 players will be counted as heads up. This is not a foolproof solution, but it does work in many scenarios on most poker networks. 

    • Can I import Observed Hands?

      This depends on the site, PokerTracker will allow the import of observed hands if the poker room saves observed hands, commonly this occurs when the user is playing at the table, but is sitting out. 

      Not all sites write hand histories for observed tables - you normally need to be dealt into a hand for the history to be written. 

      PokerStars has a unique policy of allowing tracking software to import 30 hands per session to aid with table selection.  To use this function, make sure the "Import Observed Hands" option in enabled in the Import Configuration window, and make sure that the PokerStars Memory Grabber is enabled.  It should be noted that the Memory Grabber does not work with the Zoom tables, and the Memory Grabber is not available on the Mac OS X Lion operating system due to the way the OS addresses security issues.  The Memory Grabber will work with legacy versions of the Mac OS prior to Lion.