If you’re serious about improving as a poker player, having a poker HUD is a must. However, it’s up to you to decide how to set your HUD and what HUD stats to include – and with hundreds to choose from it’s hard to know which to choose which is why we’ll be breaking down the most important HUD stats to make mathematically-driven decisions.
How To Pick Poker HUD Stats
The key to picking good HUD stats is to think about what information you’d like to have on your opponent while you’re playing, coupled with how often you’ll use that information. For example, it’s useful to know how many hands your opponent plays pre-flop and that’s a piece of information that you should factor into your decisions during a hand so a stat like this should make it into your HUD.
On the other hand, a stat like “River 3b” vs “x/r” might be useful to you when you’re in that scenario in a big pot but it doesn’t come around often enough to warrant taking up valuable screen real estate so a stat like that shouldn’t be on your HUD screen.
Narrowing down the hundreds of available stats into a set of 10-30 useful stats can be the difference between your HUD being a help or a hindrance.
If you’ve gotten this far and are still wondering what a HUD is, check out our other article on HUDs here which goes into more detail about what they are and why they’re useful.
Essential Poker HUD Stats
These are the stats that form the foundation of every good poker HUD. They’re heavily based around pre-flop and flop stats as those situations make up the majority of your decisions when you play.
Some of these acronyms may seem a little complicated but don’t worry, we’ll break them down as we go.
The majority of the essential stats revolve around pre-flop as how you play pre-flop is the foundation upon which your game is built. Not only can you find out the range of hands your opponent plays by tracking pre-flop stats but you can tell a lot about how a player plays the game by how they play pre-flop.
VPIP stands for Voluntarily Put In Pre-flop and it tracks the number of times your opponent chooses to put chips in play pre-flop. This tracks both calls and raises, and displays a number between 1 and 100 based on the percentage of hands they play. From this number, you can work out how loose or tight your opponent is.
PFR stands for Pre-Flop Raise and tracks the number of times your opponent raises pre-flop. Unlike VPIP, this stat doesn’t count calls and therefore can be used in conjunction with VPIP to find out your opponent’s “calling gap”. This gap between how many hands a player calls vs how many hands they raise shows you how passive or aggressive your opponent is, the larger the gap the more passive they are.
RFI is an extension of the PFR stat as it tracks the number of times your opponent raises pre-flop when it folds to them. Therefore it doesn’t count 3bets or 4bets, only open raises.
You can compare this stat to the PFR stat to see what percentage of your opponent’s pre-flop raises are made up of open raises. If the PFR and RFI stats are very similar it shows a low amount of aggression once a player has entered the pot.
This stat shows how often a player 3bets or re-raises after there has been an open raise pre-flop. The higher the number, the more aggressive they are. This is useful to determine a player’s 3betting strategy as some players choose to 3bet a lot of hands vs an open and some players call a lot of hands vs an open.
Conversely, this stat shows how often a player folds against a pre-flop 3bet, the higher the number the more often they fold. This is a great stat to look out for as it can highlight some opportunities to make money. For example, if a player has a 90% F23b you can profitably 3bet any two cards against them.
Similar to the 3b stat, the 4b stat shows how often a player 4bets when they face an open raise and a 3bet. The frequency that people 4bet is another place where strategies diverge as some players advocate calling a lot vs 3bets and others advocate 4betting a lot. Knowing what strategy your opponent uses can be inferred by how high their 4b stat is.
The “st” in this stat stands for steal and it measures how often a player raises from the CO, BTN, and SB combined. These are sometimes called the steal positions as you only need to get a couple of players to fold to win or ‘steal’ the blinds. The higher this number is, the more often your opponent attempts to steal from these positions.
On the other side of the coin is how often a player folds to a steal attempt when in the blinds which is what this stat shows. Some players don’t adjust their blind defense range depending on the position the raiser is in which is a huge leak. This stat will highlight those players as their F2St number will be extremely high.
Our last two stats are going to be based on flop play. The flop is the most common postflop street as it comes first, which makes it the most important postflop street to have stats on.
Our first postflop stat shows how often a player will continuation bet (or c-bet) after they’ve raised pre-flop. Some players will c-bet every single hand which makes their range very weak and some players will only c-bet when they’ve made a hand which makes their range very strong.
By looking at this number you’ll get a good idea of which kind of opponent you’re up against and you can act accordingly.
If you’re the player who has raised and is deciding whether or not to c-bet, a useful piece of information is how often your opponent folds to c-bets which is what this stat shows.
If you see your opponent has a high fold to c-bet stat, not only do you know that your bet is likely to get through but if it doesn’t you’ll know that their range is a lot stronger than usual which allows you to make better decisions on the turn.
Just these 10 stats alone would make a competent HUD for most, if not all beginner players.
Advanced Poker HUD Stats
When you start to build up a significant sample in a particular player pool you may find it necessary to add in more advanced HUD stats to break down more niche aspects of your opponent’s game where you can find their leaks.
As we get larger samples on players, we can start to drill down into specific pre-flop scenarios to find weaknesses in our opponent’s game.
We’ve covered RFI in the basic stats but this takes it one step further and will show the RFI frequency for each position. This allows you to break down just how your opponent plays pre-flop and can show you whether or not they’re too loose or too tight from a specific position.
The previous F2St stat combined the SB and BB fold vs steal stats and put them into one stat whereas these stats uncombine them. This is particularly useful as if you see that the players in the SB and BB both have low SB and BB F2St percentages you can tighten your range, saving you money.
SB/BB 3b vs St
Similar to the SB/BB F2St stat, this stat shows how often a player will 3bet vs a steal from the SB and BB. It’s becoming more and more common to play a 3bet or fold strategy from the SB so using these stats in conjunction can help you determine if that’s what your opponent is doing.
Usually, 4betting spots are infrequent enough that it’s hard to get a significant sample of how your opponent reacts to your 4bets. However, if you play a lot of hands against particular knowing if they overfold or overcall to 4bets can help earn/save you a lot of money.
A squeeze in poker is a raise after there has been a raise and a call and that’s what the ‘sqz’ stands for in this stat. It’s called this as the caller in the middle can be squeezed out of the pot by two aggressive actions and will often fold. Knowing how often a player will make a squeeze play when given the opportunity will allow you to know how strong their range is when they do it against you.
R1L stands for Raise vs 1 Limper, or how often a player raises when there has been a limp in front of them. Some players will raise a wide range against a limp to either isolate the limper or win the pot pre-flop and some players won’t change their raising strategy much at all. Knowing if your opponent is raising wider than normal will allow you to exploit them.
Here we’ll start to look at more in-depth flop scenarios that we can use to exploit our opponents.
DBF stands for donk-bet flop and tracks how often a player will donk bet on the flop. Just because a donk bet is often a fishy action, it doesn’t mean that knowing the frequency at which they do it isn’t useful. If a player has a low DBF frequency then it’s likely they’re only doing it when they have a strong hand and similarly if they have a high DBF frequency their range is likely very weak and can be attacked with a raise.
FXF stands for Flop Check-Fold and tells you how often a player check folds on the flop both as the pre-flop raiser and pre-flop caller. It’s very hard to play well when out of position and it’s easy to end up check folding too often, being able to see how often your opponents check fold can allow you to bet and win pots more often in position.
F2FXR shows how often a player folds to a flop check-raise and can be used with the Cbet stat to make inferences about turn ranges. For example, if a player has a high CBet stat and a low F2FXR stat we know that they’re c-betting most of their range on the flop and not folding a lot to check-raises which makes their turn range weaker than average.
B vs MCB
This stat will tell you how often a player will Bet vs a Missed Cbet which is particularly useful if you don’t plan on c-betting every hand. It can help you decide whether or not to slow play a strong hand as if a player has a high B vs MCB you don’t have to worry as much about missing a bet as they’ll often bet for you.
With a larger hand sample, we can get more reliable stats on how our opponents play turns and rivers.
AF stands for Aggression Factor which is a mathematical expression of how aggressive a player is on a particular street.
To get the AF number:
- the HUD takes the number of bets and the number of raises,
- and divides it by the number of calls.
For example, if on the flop your opponent has made 4 bets, 2 raises and 2 calls their aggression factor would be 4 because
(4+2)/2 = 4.
The useful thing about having an AF for each street is that it can show you if a player is more aggressive on one street but more passive on another.
Turn and River CBet stats become more and more useful the more hands you play against opponents. Most of the time the hand sample isn’t significant enough to get a meaningful sample on how players play on turns and rivers but if you’re playing a lot in the same player pools you can quickly get a good enough sample.
Similar to the T/R CB you need to have a good sample on a player before these stats will become useful as they don’t happen as frequently as pre-flop and flop spots. Once you do have the sample it’s useful to see if a player is overfolding a specific street as you can start to increase your bluffing frequency if they do.
These stats give information about your opponent’s hands once they reach showdown and can possibly make the difference between a river call and a river fold in a close spot.
This stat tells you how often a player wins money at showdown. This may not seem useful but it can tell you a lot about what kind of player they are. If they have a low W$SD it means they’re getting to showdown with a lot of weak hands, which in turn indicates they’re bluffing a lot.
On the other hand, if they have a high W$SD it means they’re getting to showdown with a lot of strong hands, so if they’re betting the river they likely have it.
This stat tells you how often a player will get to showdown once they’ve seen the flop. The more often a player goes to showdown, the less likely they are to fold to a bet so if this number is high they’re likely a calling station.
A high WTSD number also indicates passivity as they’re not betting and making their opponent fold very often. Conversely, a low WTSD number usually indicates a tight-aggressive player.
Whilst these are the HUD stats I think are useful and have in my HUD, you can add any stat you like to your own if you think it will benefit your game.