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Basic HUD Stats Explained

on 16/11/15 /posted by  admin

Jivaro HUD

Every poker player that's even remotely serious about his or her hobby starts using a HUD at some point in his or her career. Once you realize that the use of Holdem Manager, Poker Tracker, and Jivaro can significantly increase your winrate, there's no going back to the old HUD-less ways.

That being said, everyone has to start somewhere and with stats like "bet vs. missed cbet in position in 3bet pot" at your fingertips it's best to start small to avoid confusion! In this article, we'll try to make sense of some basic stats that you should consider including in your HUD.

Total Hands

Total number of hands on player 'x' in our database. This is by far the most important statistic and probably the only one you can't do without. While it doesn't tell us a lot on its own it helps us to put every other statistic in context and estimate their reliability. This stat is our sample size, it's the number that tells us if we should even bother looking at all the other ones. 

While basic statistics like VPIP and PFR (more on those later) can tell us something about our opponents almost right away "river bet vs. missed cbet in position in 3bet pot" that I mentioned before would require literally thousands if not tens of thousands of hands to be noteworthy. As a general rule, you need at least a few hundred hands on your opponent for most of the popular HUD stats to be reasonably reliable.
Very specific stats (4bet, river cbet, WWSF etc.) require thousands of hands to be accurate.
However, if you're not looking for specific ranges, but for player tendencies (how aggressive/passive or how loose/tight certain villain is) even 40-60 hands can be enough for that purpose.

VPIP - Voluntarily put money into the pot.

This statistic tells us how often a player decides to play a hand of his or her own volition by either calling or raising (big blind preflop check doesn't count). VPIP is one of the most useful statistics especially when it comes to ring games and tournaments. It can tell us how tight or lose certain player is.

In the case of 6-max, no-limit hold'em cash games anything below 17-18% VPIP is probably too tight and anything above 27-28% is most likely too loose for a winning player. When you see someone with VPIP of 40% or more you can immediately tell that he plays way too many hands, if you play against someone with VPIP of 10% it's probably best to go out of his way (feel free to steal his blinds mercilessly though).

PFR - Pre-flop raise

Jivaro HUDThe difference between PFR and VPIP is that PFR includes only the hands that villain decides to open preflop by raising. This statistic can tell us how aggressive or passive the preflop game of a certain player is. PFR works best as a source of information when combined with VPIP.

For example, VPIP 20% PFR 18% look like the preflop statistics of a competent regular but the same PFR combined with 55% VPIP tells us an entirely different story. A large gap between VPIP and PFR indicates that villain calls to much. A small gap (1-2%) means that villain is calling with a narrow range consisting of mostly pocket pairs strong suited broadway cards etc.
While you can still be a winning player with 6-8% gap, 1-4% is the recommended range.

BU(CO/SB) Steal

% of the time a player tries to steal the blinds by raising in the BU (CO/SB) position.This tells us how often certain player decides to steal the blinds on the button (or cut-off/small blind if we choose a different variant of the same statistic) position. Based on this value we can figure out our own blind defense strategy.
Recommended button steal percentage changed a lot throughout the years with 50-60% being fairly common nowadays.
Steal % of a certain player can tell us a lot about his positional awareness. If there's a big difference between the steal and PFR (for example PFR 18% and BU Steal 45%) our opponent most likely knows what he's doing. Small difference (for example PFR 22% BU Steal 30%) indicates that villain isn't positionally aware and his ranges don't change that much based on position.

BB(SB) Fold to Steal 

When the BB(SB) faces a raise from either the CO/BU (or SB) and they fold.
Another steal related statistic. Fold to Steal is very useful when we decide how aggressive our preflop BU and SB game should be. If you do some quick pot odds calculations assuming that your BU preflop open sizing is 2,5BB and SB sizing is 3BB you need roughly 62,5% fold equity for your raise to automatically show a profit in the long run.

This means that if certain players fold to steal stat is higher than 62,5% you can steal with any two cards. In practice, it's obviously a bit more complex. First of all, you need an adequate sample size to determine if fold to steal stat is even reliable. Second of all if you start pushing the issue villain might adjust to your overaggressive gameplan.

If your opponent is on the edge of that auto-profit fold to steal percentage and other stats (beforementioned VPIP and PFR for example) suggest that he might be a competent poker player the possibility that he's able to adjust is relatively high and the higher the fold to steal percentage is the lower the possibility of that adjustment becomes.

Preflop 3bet

Pre Flop RaiseBig Blind is bet 1, raise is bet 2 and the next bet is a 3-Bet. 3bet preflop is the first stat that we have to be careful about using with a small sample size.
Again, when it comes to overall tendencies this statistic can tell us something about our opponent fairly quickly but if you're looking for a specific range you need thousands of hands on your opponent.
This stat can tell us how we should react to our opponent 3bets. For example, someone with 3% 3bet most likely won't have any bluffs in his range (TT-AA, AQ+ is the top 3% of hands). Someone with 6% 3bet might incorporate some bluffs into his range. 14% 3bet will almost certainly be bluff heavy.

Fold to 3bet

How often a player folds to a 3Bet. This statistic - similarly to fold to steal - can tell us if our 3bets will automatically show a profit in the long run when playing against a certain player (assuming fairly standard 9BB 3bet sizing you need roughly 67% fold equity for that to be true). 

Furthermore, we can try to construct the optimal range based on the villain's fold to 3bet percentage. For example, we should be 3betting linear range against someone with low fold to 3bet and polarized range vs. someone with high fold to 3bet stat. Like with every other statistic, it's important to look at it in conjunction with other numbers in our HUD. 

Two players can have exactly the same fold to 3bet of 40%, but their actual ranges will differ greatly based on their PFR. Someone with PFR 40% and fold to 3bet 40% will have a wide calling range and we can 3bet him for value very often, another player with PFR 10% and fold to 3bet 40% will still have a strong 3bet calling range simply because his raising range is very narrow to begin with.

AF - Aggression factor 

AF is usually calculated by using this formula: (Bets + Raises)/Calls. Poker player with AF 4 is four times as likely to make an aggressive action versus a calling action. Most players fall somewhere in between 1-3 on the AF scale with values below 1 being very passive and values above 3 being very aggressive. 

If you're facing a raise on the flop made by a player with AF 0.4 he's probably never bluffing and you need a very strong hand to continue. Conversely, if a player with AF 6 raises your cbet he's most likely bluff heavy and you should take that into consideration when deciding what your play should be. Keep in mind that you need a fairly large sample size to rely on aggression factor stat.

Flop Cbet 

Post Flop Stats

How often a player bets the flop after being the preflop raiser. In hold'em you'll catch a piece of the flop roughly 33% of the time and since you shouldn't just give up with weaker parts of your range (especially if you have some sort of equity in form of overcards or backdoor draws etc.) 

it's a good idea to keep your cbet somewhere in the 55%-75% range. Cbet should be looked at in conjunction with PFR. For example player with PFR 44% and Cbet 80% will have a very weak cbetting range, but this won't be the case for a player with PFR 11% and 80% Cbet simply because his preflop range is really strong to begin with.

Fold to Cbet 

How often a player folds to cbets after calling pre-flop. This stat shows how fit-or-fold certain opponent plays. As we've learned before in hold'em, you'll catch a piece of the flop about 33% of the time and since it's probably a good idea to float with some marginal parts of your range recommended fold to cbet value will hover somewhere around 50%.
HUD stats described above should be enough to kickstart your adventure with tracking software. Always remember that stats shouldn't be looked at in isolation but in conjunction with other values and any additional information you might have like table dynamic, history or notes.

HUD is not a get out of jail free card and if you treat it like that it can do more harm than good. Using a HUD, like everything else in poker requires skill and experience. It's a very useful tool in the game of small edges but nothing more than that. Keep that in mind and with the help of a HUD you'll increase your win rate in no time!

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