Want to maximize your win-rate?
Then you always need to be on the lookout for ways to exploit your opponents. One of the best ways to do that is by using a HUD with poker statistics.
What is a HUD in poker? Short for Heads-Up Display, a HUD is a tool used in online poker games to track and display opponents’ poker statistics in real time. PokerTracker 4, Hold’em Manager 2, and DriveHUD are examples of poker hand tracking programs that include a HUD.
Playing with a HUD can give you a big edge if used correctly. Using it properly, though, is not something that comes easily. Every time we are dealing with poker statistics, it’s very easy to misinterpret them and deduct incorrectly, in which case a HUD can actually decrease your edge.
Here is an example of what a HUD can look like on screen:
If these numbers seem overwhelming, don’t worry. In this article I am going to go over 10 of the most important stats you should include on your HUD, either on the main display or in a pop-up.
I’ll also go over an advanced HUD stat stack using the 4th, 5th, and 6th stats on this list. That stat stack is explained at the end of the 6th stat on this list (right here).
Let’s jump into it!
The 10 Most Important Poker Statistics for Your HUD
Click any of these stats to jump to a fundamental explanation of what it is, why it’s important, and how to use it:
- VPIP: Voluntarily Put [Money] Into Pot
- PFR: Preflop Raise
- 3-Bet Frequency
- WTSD: Went To Showdown
- W$SD/WSD: Won Money At Showdown
- WWSF: Won When Saw Flop
- Fold to 3-Bet After Raising
- Preflop Squeeze
- Flop C-Bet
- Fold to Flop C-Bet
1. VPIP: Voluntarily Put [Money] Into Pot
This is a must-have stat on your HUD.
VPIP shows you how often your opponent has voluntarily put money into the pot preflop, either by raising or calling. This is fundamental information for player profiling, especially when correlated with Preflop Raise (PFR).
A player that has at least a basic preflop understanding will generally VPIP around 20-30% of the time in a 6-handed game, with 25% being very close to the norm. If a player is playing significantly less hands, they are probably a nit. And if they are playing a lot more hands, they are likely a recreational player.
You will need around 300 hands on this player to be confident enough in what the stat shows you. That said, players on either extreme can oftentimes be identified sooner. For example, if a player has a 70% VPIP after 50 hands, it is very likely they are a loose recreational player.
2. PFR: Preflop Raise
PFR tells you how often a player has entered the pot preflop by raising. This includes raising first in, 3-betting, and cold 4/5-betting.
This statistic creates even more context for your opponent’s preflop strategy. When used in conjunction with VPIP, it will be enough to form a player profile.
A player that has at least a basic understanding of preflop strategy will have between 15-25% preflop raise, with 19% being close to the norm.
Similarly to VPIP, you will need around 300 hands on this player to be confident enough in the number you are seeing.
This is an important stat to have in your arsenal as it shows how often your opponent 3-bets before the flop. It will prove useful for building both your preflop opening ranges and your defending range against your opponent’s 3-bet.
A good overall 3-betting frequency will be something around 6-10%, with 8% being close to the average for good players.
Some adjustments that you can make vs tight or loose 3-bettors are:
- When a very aggressive 3-bettor is behind, open-raise a slightly tighter range than usual.
- With only tight 3-bettors behind, you can profitably open-raise a slightly wider range.
- When you face a 3-bet from an aggressive player, continue more often by 4-betting and calling with more hands than usual.
For an accurate read on the stat, you will need around 1000 hands on a player.
4. WTSD: Went To Showdown
This is a very important postflop statistic that tells you how frequently a player reaches showdown after seeing a flop. It is useful for identifying how much of a calling station your opponent is.
For example, if a player saw the flop 10 times and went to showdown 4 times in a session, that player’s WTSD is 40% for that session.
This stat is to be used in conjunction with Won Money at Showdown (W$SD or WSD) and Won When Saw Flop (WWSF), which I will go over shortly.
A good WTSD frequency is somewhere around 27-32%, with 30% being a good place to aim for. Too low and you are probably over-folding postflop; too high and you are probably calling too often.
Since the vast majority of pots do not go past preflop (only 17% of hands see the flop), this stat requires a much bigger sample for an accurate read to be made — aim to have around 8,000 hands on a player before making notable adjustments based on WTSD.
5. WSD: Won Money at Showdown
Also abbreviated as W$SD, this stat tells you how often your opponent has won when they reached showdown. As alluded to above, this stat isn’t too helpful on his own, but it can be helpful when used in conjunction with WTSD.
A good W$SD is somewhere between 49% and 54%. A correct frequency is dependent on the other two statistics mentioned. For example, a player who has a low Went to Showdown (WTSD) frequency will usually have a relatively high WSD and vice versa. In other words, if you rarely reach showdown, it’s probably because you’re a tight player who usually has a strong hand when you go the distance in a hand.
In general, if your WSD is too low, then it means you are probably calling too many bad hands and/or bluffing too much earlier in the hand. If it’s too high, it means that you are probably either not bluff-catching enough and/or not bluffing enough.
The sample required for a decently accurate read is the same as WTSD, above 8,000 hands.
6. WWSF: Won When Saw Flop
Tying up the 3 statistics that work together…
WWSF refers to how often your opponent has won the pot after seeing the flop.
A decent WWSF frequency is anywhere between 45% and 53%, with a good average being around 48%. Too low? That means that your opponent is not bluffing enough and/or giving up too much. Too high? That means that you are bluffing and/or bluff-catching too much.
The sample required for a reasonably accurate read is the same as the one for the previous two: 8,000 or more hands.
7. Fold to 3-Bet After Raising
This statistic tells you how often your opponent has folded to a 3-bet after raising preflop.
Important warning: When you’re adding this to your HUD, you will also see a plain “Fold to 3-Bet” stat — don’t pick that one. Make sure “after raising” is specified in some way. The plain fold to 3-bet stat also includes the hands in which the player hadn’t put money into the pot, but had folded to a 3-bet (e.g. they fold in the big blind after the cutoff raised and the button 3-bet).
This stat should be further sub-divided into Out of Position (OOP) and In Position (IP) because the correct frequencies are different for each of them. Given the same 3-bet size, you should fold more when OOP than when IP because of the power that being in position grants you (realizing equity better).
The appropriate folding frequencies are somewhere around 40-45% when IP and 45-50% when OOP.
The sample size needed here is around 1,500 hands.
8. Preflop Squeeze
Preflop squeeze tells you how often a player has re-raised after another player has raised first in and someone else cold-called. This stat is useful for determining how much you should defend against 3-bet squeezes.
A typical squeeze frequency is around 7-9%. This means that if you see someone rocking a 12% squeeze, for example, you can start calling and 4-betting lighter.
The sample needed here is pretty high, upwards of 3,000 hands or so, due to how rare the situation is.
9. Flop C-Bet
This statistic refers to how often a player has continuation bet (c-bet) on the flop after raising preflop. This stat needs to be divided into 3-bet pots and single raised pots and then further sub-divided into In Position and Out of Position.
Without going into too much detail (as it’s a complex topic and beyond the scope of this article), there can be large fluctuations in what the correct frequencies are for each of them.
In general, it’s better to have a high flop c-bet when in position and when out of position in 3-bet pots (50-70%, but lower can be good as well). It’s usually better to be on the lower side when out of position in single raised pots (0-30%, but higher can be good too).
The sample size is not that important here since the fluctuations can be huge. What is important, however, is getting a general sense of what your opponent’s approach is. If you really want a figure, I’d estimate you need at least a few thousand hands on a player to make this stat reliable.
10. Fold to Flop C-bet
Fold to Flop C-Bet tells you how often a player has called a raise preflop and then folded to a continuation bet on the flop. As with Flop C-bet, this stat needs to be divided for single raised pots and 3-bet pots and then further sub-divided into In Position and Out of Position.
The correct frequency will depend on the bet size that is used, so it’s hard to give precise numbers to look/aim for. Generally speaking, the folding frequency should be on the lower side — below 50%.
The sample size is not that important since the fluctuations are big depending on bet sized used on average. If you really want a figure, I’d (again) estimate you need at least a few thousand hands on a player to make this stat reliable.
These 10 poker stats (more like 18 when you include all of the sub-stats) are the must have numbers that you should include on your HUD.
I will end this article by professing that you should not over-rely on poker statistics. It’s very easy to come up with very erroneous conclusions if the sample size is too small, and that will lead to poor plays based on unreliable evidence.
Furthermore, it’s important to realize that regulars play differently against recreational players than they do against other regulars, so you may get untrustworthy information even if the sample seems big enough. Thankfully, some software, such as Hand2Note, has a function that allows you to exclude Regular vs Recreational hands from the statistics, resulting in cleaner data.
That’s all for this article! Please drop any questions or feedback in the comments below.
If you want to learn a super quick and effective way to identify leaks in your opponents’ games, read How to Destroy Your Opponent After Seeing One Showdown.
The method you’ll learn in that article works great in live games as well as online, though I don’t expect many live players have reached this point of an online HUD article 😁.
Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!