Assigning colors to your HUD stats can help you quickly sort through information. As mentioned in the comments in Part 1 of this post, it is probably best to use the familiar green (go), yellow (yield) and red (stop) that we are all familiar with. And I would use something totally different like blue for number of hands.
So it might look something like this in Holdem Manager:
A couple of quick points before you start playing poker with your new HUD layout:
- Open up a HEM replayer window and see what it looks like first. Keep tinkering with the options until you are satisfied with it.
- Start playing poker on a single table and import the hands. Right click and drag each block of stats to the corresponding player.
- Go to Hud Options > Table Preferences and make sure that "lock the layout" is checked. This will prevent you from accidentally moving the display around while playing.
Interpreting the stats
Now to the important part. There is no point in having all these pretty numbers on your screen if you don't know how to apply them correctly during actual poker hands. I have probably blown through
But I am not alone. You can see unfortunate conclusions being drawn all the time when hands get discussed in poker forums. And of course, people make bad judgements at the tables all the time.
Sample Size, Sample Size, Sample Size
The most important stat on your HUD is the number of hands. It is the first thing that you should look at before anything else. In fact, it might be a good idea to create a minimum sample before a stat even shows up on your display:
We want to make poker decisions based on statistically significant information. That is, information which is very unlikely to have occurred by chance. In fact, if we draw incorrect conclusions about an opponent, it could be downright dangerous and worse than having no information at all!
With regards to the stats on my HUD display, I have some rough sample size guidelines that I use before applying them to a poker hand. I should note however that I am by no means a statistician. Or even very good at math in general! These are only approximations from my experience.
VPIP and PFR converge towards their true value faster than any other stats. After just a few orbits or 15-20 hands you can be pretty sure what type of player you are up against.
For instance, somebody showing up as a 15/10 on your HUD after 20 hands is almost certainly going to be a TAG or a nit. They might actually be a 12/8 or even a 18/15 but there is very little chance that they are semi loose or a LAG. And there is almost zero chance that they are a fish.
With other stats such as steal, aggression factor, fold to cbet and cbet you need a bigger sample size. I prefer to have around 100 hands.
The reason for this is pretty simple. You have a chance to VPIP or PFR pretty much every single hand. Except for the rare walk or all in in front of you. You DO NOT have an opportunity to steal the blinds or make a cbet every hand. It might be every 6th or 7th hand. So you should adjust your minimum sample size accordingly.
And even rarer are your opportunities to do things like fold to a turn cbet, make a turn cbet or fold to a 3bet. I prefer several hundred hands before coming to any conclusions in these sorts of categories.
Lastly, stuff like river and 4bet stats require such a large sample size that they are almost not even worth looking at. A thousand hands or more on someone is probably a good rule of thumb.
One of the easiest ways to make sure that you are drawing good conclusions on your data is to see if there is a bracketed number to the right of it in the full HEM popup display.
The number in brackets is the amount of opportunities that that person has had to perform the action. If it is a small number then you probably don't want to put too much stock into those stats. If it is a big number or there is no number at all (I believe HEM stops displaying the number of opportunities at 99), then you can draw a lot more meaningful information.
In the above popup for instance, we probably don't want to rely much at all on this person's fold to cbet, raise cbet or donk bet stats. With his steal stats, we can be pretty sure that he doesn't do it very often. And we can be very sure that he doesn't 3bet light.
I hope this series of posts was helpful to those who aren't very familiar with using a HUD. I highly recommend using these tools if you take poker at all serious. And this doesn't just apply to cash games. SnG and MTT players should make full use them as well.
Let me know what you guys think in the comments.
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