A HUD is a very helpful tool that is unique to online poker that helps us visualize real-time data about our opponents. Poker is a game of information, and the more we have, the better we should be able to play. So setting up your poker HUD, using the best stats, and gleaning the correct information can give you a huge advantage.
Configuring Your Poker HUD
Using a poker HUD is something you should heavily consider, assuming you are not using one already. But information is useless unless you understand how to utilize it. So this guide will be all about the HUD stats you can consider using – and how to use them better. (And if you don’t already have a HUD, grab a free 30-day trial of PokerTracker 4 and see how great it is playing with one!)
Note: this guide will be more about the HUD stats that I use. We can spout out stats all day that are useful, but at the end of the day, there is limited space for stats, and we should use the stats that we are most familiar with and can understand their usage and implementation. It should also be noted that a HUD is personal. Different player types will use different stats. I tend to LAG and you will notice lots of my stats revolve around knowing how often a player is going to fold to a play that I make. If you play ABC poker, you may want to consider stats that revolve around how often your opponent will call with worse hands. Experiment with stats that work well for you and use the information that allows you to optimize your time at the tables.
If you want to save yourself some time and buy a premade poker HUD that includes all of the stats and custom popups that I use, grab the Ninja HUD for just $9 today:
Basics HUD Stats:
VPIP is one of the most important stats. It tells us how often our opponents are putting money into the pot voluntarily (so posting the blind and never putting another cent into the pot that hand does not count as VPIP). I personally color-code this stat so I can quickly see if someone is playing too many hands, too few, and get a quick idea on their player type.
This stat goes hand-in-hand with VPIP (and is also color-coded). It tells us how often this player is raising preflop. This stat should be taken in consideration with VPIP. A 15% PFR might seem high, but there is a massive difference in player type between a 17/15 and a 72/15. This stat can also be heavily tied with ATS.
AF & AFq:
These numbers are used to quickly gauge aggression. A high AF (Aggression Factor) or AFq (Aggression Frequency) implies that a player’s actions are typically more aggressive than passive. AF looks at this in ratio form and compares aggressive actions to passive actions (so an AF of 4 means they essentially take an aggressive action 4 times as often as they take a passive one), and AFq looks at this number through a percentage form. The exact formulas for these stats can differ slightly between software, so check your poker database & HUD software to see exactly how they calculate it.
ATS (Attempt To Steal)
A player’s attempt to steal lets us know how often a player tries to steal the blinds in poker. It gives us an immediate idea of the player’s positional awareness which is invaluable to us. So a player might be 16/13 with an ATS of 35%, and another 16/13 with an ATS of 15%. The player with the ATS of 15% is not very positionally aware, and doesn’t weight hands played from LP the same way the higher 35% ATS player would. So it helps us frame lots of information, everything from their 3B range to their open raise range from MP2. Also, remember that ATS is relative to a player’s VPIP and PFR.
ATS is very useful in that it can help us build our 3b range. Say they steal, have a high ATS and a high Foldv3B, then we can mathematically go into Poker Stove, do some O-Range v Cont-Range calculations, and figure out an optimal 3B range, size, and frequency.
This stat tells us how often a player 3 bets preflop. This stat can help us frame a players range and frequency when they 3B, but can also help us exploit a poker player whether or not we steal or make a certain play preflop (like 4b/fold/flat). Make sure to check positional stats on 3B’s, as many players are tight 3B’rs in EP/MP, but have large 3B ranges from the button and blinds (usually due to their high resteal %s).
Knowing how often a player CB’s the flop is very important to us. If a player has a high CB, say 80%+, then we know that they will often times fire a flop CB regardless of their hand value. If a player has a low CB, say 40%, and they fire a flop CB, we can assume they probably have a stronger hand value. Remember, hand values are relative, so take everything with a huge grain of salt like always.
We can sometimes use CB to help us plan hands preflop. And we can also use their CB stat, coupled with their flop action, to make better players. Say a 14/8 CB: 55% raises UTG, and we call OTB with 22 and see a heads up flop. The flop is J♠ 6♣ 5♥, and he checks to us. Well, his CB% makes us think he would only CB his strong hands, and thus his check is weak. So we can fire a bet here and expect him to fold a large % of the time, folding out the logical AK/77/88/99/TT part of his range.
Another very important stat. We always want to take sample size into consideration. If we have 500 hands on someone, then we can assume their stats are more “real” than someone with only 30 hands. I consider 200 hands a starting sample, 500 a decent sample size, and 1K+ a great sample size. But also remember that people do change their styles. So I only show stats from the last 3months for players. Old stats are useless if they were 11/7 but now play 16/14.
Intermediate HUD Stats:
This is a very helpful stat for us. If we know that a player is folding a ton of CB’s, then we would want to CB our air almost always, regardless of texture, because they have a tendency to just fold outright. If we know that a player has a low FoldvCB, say 35%, then we would want to value bet relentlessly them like a feind, and either consider not CB-ing or throwing multiple barrels as a bluff. You can also use “CallflopCB” if you want, but that doesn’t take into consideration how often they raise CB’s, and my style is based around folds in the first place, so I use FoldvCB.
For players that resteal a lot, this stat is a must. It tells us how often this player folds when facing a 3-Bet. This could mean that they open raised, or even that they through-called and got 3B. If I am ever going to consider a resteal, I want to check how often this player steals and then I can do some simple O-Range vs. Cont-Range calculations to see if I can make an outright profitable 3B. As the game continues to mature, expect this number to constantly get smaller. Having an 80% Foldv3B used to be standard, but now a days, most good stealers are keeping their Foldv3B down around 65%.
You can use this stat for many uses. If you are considering a squeeze, you can look a the Foldv3B of the original raiser and the through-callers. You can consider this for bluffing. You can also consider this for VB 3B sizing. If you know someone has a Foldv3B of 15%, and that they are constantly calling 3B’s regardless, then when you 3B AA you should consider using a larger size for some extra outright value. Also remember this is relative to open raise. It is pretty standard to see a 10/8 with a Foldv3B of 40%. Well that is because his O-range is so inherently strong that he is not often releasing hands when you 3B him.
This lets us know how often our opponents are folding in spots that we raise preflop, CB flop, and fire the turn again. This is useful both when we are bluffing (taking advantage of light floaters with heavy turn continuance ranges) or VB-ing (taking advantage of players that rarely release a pair as the pot continues to grow). Again, you can also use “CallvTurnCB” if you are a TAG and considering going for multiple barrels with like KQ on a Qxxx board.
A stat I don’t personally keep on my HUD, but it certainly has usage. If you see someone has a very high WTSD, then you know that they are rarely releasing single pair hands, and they tend to get very sticky with hands they deem valuable. Make sure to keep VPIP in mind when considering this stat. A 12/10 that has a WTSD of 25% is not even close to the person playing 60/5 with a WTSD of 25%. The 12/10 has an inherently stronger range when he plays pots, and thus will show them down. The 60/5 has an inherently weaker range, yet still gets to SD a decent amount, and thus with weaker hand values.
Another stat I don’t personally use in real-time. This stat tells us how often they win money when they get to showdown. This is helpful for knowing how often they are getting to SD with weak vs. strong hands. This stat should be looked at with WTSD in mind. If you see an 18/12 with a WTSD: 16% and W$@SD: 60%, then you know they are getting to SD only with the strongest hands, and usually releasing marginal stuff somewhere along the line. But if you see a 42/17 with a WTSD: 34% and W$@SD: 41%, then you should consider only VB-ing this person, and occasionally consider a “light”VB.
Advanced HUD Stats:
Blind Specific Fold & Resteal:
I am just starting to use these more often in my own game, and they are super helpful as the game becomes more aggressive in terms of stealing and restealing. I keep both the SB resteal&foldvsteal and the BB resteal&foldvsteal up now. I don’t need to keep “callvsteal” up because 100-resteal-foldvsteal = callvsteal…and again, my HUD real estate is too precious to waste on things I can calculate myself in .2 seconds. Keeping both of these stats up help me know who I should be stealing from, who I might consider avoiding, and who I need to have a plan and balanced 4B range against. It also keeps me from having to go to the pop up and waste time that might portray “I am checking your stats to consider light 4B-ing you, so just one sec while I look at some more things please.”
Certainly an important stat for those that fight for pots. I always like to know if someone is only continuing with the toppest part of their range when I CR them. If they are, then I can certainly consider bluff CR-ing their CB.
This is also useful when I flop big hands. Say I flop a set but their FoldvFlopCR is 85%. Then I probably don’t want to CR them as they will fold too often. So maybe I consider a check/call flop and donk turn. Or consider a check/call flop and CR turn. Again, a line change that I never would have considered optimally unless I had the information available.
I love this stat. It lets me know how often they win when they call the river. Now I can’t just use this as a stand-alone stat, but I can take it into consideration of the entire hand. If I take the donk line (bet flop/check turn/bet river), and know they have a very low RiverCallWin%, then I can consider maybe betting a pinch more when I am VB-ing. I also know not to bluff the rivers against this person because they will station it often.
I can certainly use this stat with things like WTSD and W$@SD. If I know they are going to SD a ton, and their RiverCallWin% is very low, then I can consider VB-ing them to death. If their RiverCallWin% is high though, I can usually infer that they are only getting to SD with the strongest of hands. So that player is unlikely to pay off a VB with a wide range of hands.
HUD Pop Up:
As you get stronger with stats and your sample sizes begin to build on certain players, you can start using your pop up to get more detailed information on your opponents. The things I check the most often:
If I see someone is a 15/12 and they raise UTG, I don’t really get a great idea on their range from there. I can assume it is tight, but there is a huge difference in my play if a player has a 5% raise from UTG vs. a 11% raise from UTG. The pop up can give me a more detailed look at their “exact” range from each position. A tighter EP PFR tends to imply they have the strongest of hands and there are more IO against their range. A wider EP PFR tends to imply they have a wider range that might not offer as much in IO, and thus calling might be less ideal.
3B% By Position:
If a player is 14/12 and has a 3b: 3% I might not be able to draw too much from that. But if I see that person has an EP3B: 0%, MP3B: 1%, LP3B: 5% and Blinds3B: 7%, I can start to get an idea on how they are 3B-ing in general. So if this person 3B’s my steals, I can see they are probably doing it with a wider range more often than not, and can consider either 4B-ing or floating due to having more information.
3B + CB:
I don’t keep this stat on my normal HUD, but will habitually check my pop up (even before I decide to flat a 3B) to plan out whether or not I am floating lots of flops, especially with mediocre pairs. If someone is 3B-ing wide, and not CB-ing often, then I know I can float more liberally and stab when they check to me. If someone is 3B-ing wide and CB-ing like 100%, then I know I can float and raise lots of CB’s when I miss. Again, more information just helps me make better plays.
Call Open Raise:
This is a stat I am considering putting on my HUD. This helps me put someone on a more specified range when they call my open raises. If I see their COR is 5% then I know they are really only calling my open raises with pairs (22-QQ). If it is bigger, then I can see they are calling wider and wider (going from SC’s, to BBs, etc)
Correlation Between HUD Stats:
Stats can be useful on their own, but if we look at stats coupled with other stats, we can get a more valid image and more correct idea of a player. This section will look at stat correlation that I use to get a better idea of ranges, player types, and also frame a plan of action for a hand.
VPIP & PFR Gap:
I do not use AF/AFq as I have found very little usage for it in my player profiling experience. But, I get a good idea of aggression based on this gap. Say we have a player who is 15/X. If that player has relatively small gap, then I can assume that player is more aggressive. They understand open raising as opposed to open limping…they probably CB more as a result, and are probably more positionally aware. But, if that player has a larger relative gap, then I can generally assume more passivity. The player will open limp more, cold call more, and be more fit-or-fold postflop. This gap takes FR momentum theory into consideration, and has a tendency to put you on the right track for stereotyping.
But also note that I have used the word “relatively” quite a bit. Say we have two players. A 12/10 and a 42/10. Both have a PFR of 10, but they are both very different player types given the width in gap. We can also use it from a “how far is the gap” POV. Say we have a 14/10 (with a 4 point gap) and then someone who is 24/18 (a 6 point gap). Well we don’t just want to say the 14/10 is more aggressive because his gap is closer together…because in the relative sense, the 24/18 is going to be much more aggressive in general.
ATS & 3B:
Let’s take a look at two different players. One is 15/12 with an ATS: 35% and 3b: 4%. The other is a 15/12 with an ATS: 16% and 3b: 4%. Both have the same VPIP/PFR/3B%, but we notice that their ATS differ significantly. So what can we infer from this?
Well we can assume that the player with the higher ATS is more positionally aware. They understand playing lots of hands from LP v EP, and they steal as an effect of that understanding. But, we see they have the same 3B%, so why do we care?
Well we care because each of these players would be 3B-ing for entirely different reasons. Say it folds to us OTB, we steal with T9s, and the BB 3B’s us. If he is the 15/12/35/4, then he is doing so because he understands you are stealing, and is thus restealing. If the 15/12/16/4 3B’s you, it is not as likely that he is restealing. He is 3B-ing because he feels his hand is strong enough to 3B you. So his range is going to be de-polarized, and the 15/12/35/4 is going be fairly polarized more often than not. This means you can approach them both differently in respect to your 4b/flat/fold game.
ATS/Blind Specific Resteal & Foldv3B:
I personally love this one as it makes my preflop life a breeze in aggressive positional situations. Now, it may seem like a pain to look at so much at once, but it gets easier the more you do it. This correlation often times gives me an idea on their Foldv4B. We cannot really use the natural Foldv4B stat because we often times don’t have a very large sample size on how a player reacts to 4B’s, esp 4B’s in a specific situation.
So I like to use ATS and Blind Specific Resteal to see how often they will be aggressive and resteal my steal. If they have a high ATS and Resteal, then we know they are positionally aware and understand aggressive 3B-ing a steal. Now, say we have a player who is 17/15 ATS: 42% SBresteal: 9% Fv3B: 72%. I steal with 44 OTB, he 3B’s and it folds back to us. I know from his ATS that he is positionally aware and understands what I am doing. His SBresteal tells me that he understands restealing and is most likely doing this with a polarized range given the range he is using and he is OOP. And his Foldv3B is over 70%, telling me he is selective with the hands he continues with as the pot sizes gets large.
We can estimate from all of this that his 3B range is nice and wide, very bottom-side polarized, and that he will fold to a 4B more often than not. There is usually a strong correlation between Foldv3B and Foldv4B, and couple that with the width of his natural resteal range, a 4B can be a very profitable play here (as a flat call is meh in current game conditions). From here, it just becomes a simple O-Range vs. Cont-Range calculation to select the optimal size/frequency/hand range.
Limp/Call & FoldvCB:
I love using this combination of stats for isolating players. If I see a player has a Limp/Call of 80% and a FoldvCB of 80%, then you can be damn sure that I am going to isolate them with ATC. I will probably even size my raise larger because I know they are going to call a ton preflop and give it up a ton postflop. This is just printing money, and I like printing money.
We can also use this for other player types. Say someone has a Limp/Call of 72% and a FoldvCB of 45%, then I know they are calling a lot preflop, but not always just going to roll over to the CB. So I need not only change my thoughts on sizing preflop, but also change my hand range because I can no longer just rely on getting a fold on the flop a ton. Again, we can make better plays, everything from size/plan/hand range given information gleaned from stat correlation.
FoldvCB & FoldvTurnCB:
Being I play a very aggressive style, these stats together make postflop play much easier. The correlation between these two stats can make line planning, even from preflop, 90x easier. Say we have a player who has a FoldvCB: 40% and a FoldvTurnCB: 90%. This means this player has a tendency to float CB’s liberally, but only continue onwards from the turn with the strongest of their hands. This would be the type of person I would liberally double barrel as a bluff, but rarely double barrel with a TP type hand.
We can also use this when considering value lines. Say we open raise with 77 and a 20/10 3b: 2% FoldvCB: 76% FoldvTurnCB: 33% calls in position and we see a flop of J73. We CB and he calls. The turn comes a 3 and it is our action. We know that he folds to CB’s a decent amount, so when he continues, he does so with a hand that he deems as fairly strong. But we also see that once he calls the CB, he tends not to fold to double barrels. So we can make a largely sized value double barrel, say 85%PSB, in order to max value all the way down. If he had a FoldvTurnCB of 75% then I might make a smaller bet to encourage a wider part of his range to continue, or even go for a CR instead. Again, take lines that are based on more than just his VPIP and PFR.
When playing, consider using stats that work well for you, and also consider how the stats interrelate so we can make more optimal decisions. Lots of these correlations I have written about I have noticed through my own post-sessions analysis of players. They are all fairly logical, and I’m sure there are hundreds that I have yet to find. Always be looking to see how you can use different stats to come up with better lines (in sizing/planning/our hand range) while playing.
Hopefully this helps a ton for those of you new to stats and HUDs. This should be a great starter point getting you away from the default HUDs. Again, poker is a game of information, so get information and process it as best as possible to make life easier and more profitable.
If you want to go further, I suggest grabbing the Advanced PokerTracker 4 Pack which includes both of my custom HUDs (NINJA & Bacon) plus training videos showing you how to analyze your own stats, find your own leaks, and even do hardcore stat breakdowns on your opponents so you can find their weaknesses from a statistical perspective. Or, if you don’t have PT4 yet, you can grab a 30-day free trial and see how excellent this software is…
- HUDs are good
- Pick stats that work well in your own playstyle
- Certain stats correlate heavily with other stats that can give us great amounts of information
- Explore stat correlation on your own to find things that work for you
- Enjoy and good luck!