What Are The Best HUD Stats To Use?

These are some of the best HUD stats to use if you use third-party software when playing online poker

You sometimes see screenshots of poker pros’ tables that are full of numbers next to each player. These figures come from their Heads-Up Display, or HUD as it is abbreviated to. There are hundreds of HUD stats available, literally hundreds, but you only need to concern yourself with a handful of them.

Third-party software, including Holdem Manager and PokerTracker, are common tools in the online poker world. Players use them for post-game analysis and for real-time HUD stats. They work by taking the information written in your hand histories and converting it into a database. The software displays HUD stats on your screen against the relevant opponent if you have played at least one hand against them.

Using HUD stats is not cheating. It is similar to writing physical notes, except it is quicker and easier to read. Not all online poker sites allow the use of real-time HUD stats. Partypoker, for example, takes active measures to prevent third-party tools from working; being found using a HUD while playing at their site results in a ban.

Always check the terms and conditions of your favorite site before considering using HUD stats. Reach out to the support team if you cannot find the information in the T&Cs.

VPIP and PFR Are The Most Important HUD Stats

You already know there are hundreds of HUD stats to choose from but are any of them vital? Yes, is the short answer. VPIP and PFR are the two statistics that form any HUD worth your time.

VPIP stands for voluntarily put money in pot and shows you how loose or tight an opponent is. VPIP is displayed as a percentage, so 20 means the player plays 20% of their hands. You can deduce their range of hands based on this figure.

The ideal VPIP for 6-max online cash games is in the region of 21-26%. Any less, and the player is very tight, any higher, and the player is loose.

PFR stands for preflop raise and shows the percentage of hands dealt your opponent enters the pot with a raise. Any hand worth playing in an unopened pot at a six-handed cash game is worth opening with a raise. This means VPIP and PRF should be relatively close to one another. An ideal PFR is in the 17-22% range.

Someone with a 25 VPIP and 20 PFR is likely to give you a major headache at the tables.

Other Statistics to Consider

HUD stats are there to paint a picture of your opponent. Some players love as many stats on screen as possible. Others concentrate on preflop. I fall into the latter camp because postflop is easier to navigate if you have preflop sewn up.

3Bet% is the percentage of the time someone three-bets an opening raise before the flop. This is a crucial stat to have at hand because it plays a role in which hands you can open with a raise. For example, you should open tighter if the player to your left is a habitual three-bettor. Between 7-10% is a solid 3Bet% at a short-handed table.

Opposite of 3Bet% but equally as important is the Fold to 3Bet stat. This should be around 43-54% in an ideal world. Players with high Fold to 3Bet HUD stats are perfect for bullying, especially if they open many hands. Conversely, you may consider calling with your strong hands if they frequently fold to a three-bet

Pay attention to the 4Bet statistic. The majority of players do not like four-betting, but Game Theory Optimal strategy states you should be four-betting preflop between 14-21% of the time when someone three-bets you. Someone who hardly ever four-bet but then fires in that fourth bet has a monster holding.

Do Not Forget About These Stats

The HUD stats mentioned above give you a solid base on which to build on. Other stats to consider adding include ATS (Attempt To Steal) and Fold to Steal. Having these HUD stats on show makes it easier to win money from the blinds and defend your own blinds with a higher success rate.

Throw AF, or aggression factor, into the mix too. AF is available in PokerTracker and uses a formula to arrive at a number. It takes the total times bet, adds them to the total times raised before dividing that number by the total times you called. Between two and three is a good figure. Any less, and the player is not aggressive enough. Any higher, and they are a maniac.

Be aware that some HUD stats take different sample sizes to become relevant. For example, VPIP and PFR start to take shape in around 250-400 hands, but four-betting stats take upwards of 10,000 hands.

Use your own reads to supplement your HUD stats, and never rely solely on this software. The only thing worse than having no information on an opponent is having incorrect info.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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