Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Poker HUD Stat Sample Sizes Explained

Poker HUD Stat Sample Sizes
I often talk about the benefits of using a HUD when playing online poker on this blog. Having important information on my opponents displayed directly on my screen has no doubt helped me make 10's of thousands more dollars over the years.

However, a key problem that I have seen again and again especially with students is not understanding poker HUD stat sample sizes correctly.

You see, it doesn't matter if you have all of the right stats and the best custom HUD layout on earth. If you don't know how to use sample sizes and interpret the stats correctly, then the data can't help you. In fact, in some ways it can even be dangerous if you are consistently drawing incorrect conclusions about your opponents.

So I decided to write up this poker HUD sample size guide to once and for all give you all the numbers you need to know to understand your HUD stats better. No more sample size errors ever again!


Poker Hud Stat Sample Sizes


Before I even begin I am assuming that most people reading this article already know what a poker HUD (heads up display) is. If you don't then I would suggest reading my article on what a HUD is and why it will help you with online poker. You can find that post here.

Also, if you need help setting up your HUD here is a short video tutorial that I created explaining how to do everything (in 5 minutes or less).




Lastly, if you want to know every single HUD stat that I personally use and download my custom HUD for yourself, then check out this article of mine.

All of the poker HUD stats discussed below will be based off of my Pokertracker 4 Full custom HUD as discussed in the article above. Alright, let's get to it!


Poker HUD Stats and Sample Size Needed


Number of Hands - X

There is a reason why in all of my custom HUDs that I put number of hands first right after the player name. And I recommend that you ALWAYS put it there as well.

Poker HUD reg stats

The reason why is because this is the sample size that you have on somebody. For example, I have 1100 hands on the reg above.

This is always the very first thing that you should look at before anything else. Every stat below is dependant upon it.


Preflop HUD Stats


VPIP - 20 hands

VPIP (voluntarily put money in pot) is basically the percentage of hands that somebody plays. This is a crucially important stat in understanding their player type. You need about 20 hands in order to get accurate information for this stat.

So if you play 6-max then this is approximately 3 orbits (blinds pass you 3 times). If you play full ring, then approximately 2 orbits.


PFR - 20 hands

Preflop raise percentage is another absolutely crucial stat to include on your HUD. Just like VPIP, you need a sample size of about 20 hands before drawing any conclusions from this stat.


AF - 100 hands

Another extremely useful stat is AF (aggression factor). This is a mathematical representation of how passive or aggressive someone is. You need 100 hands on your opponent before drawing any conclusions here.


Fold to Steal - 100 hands

Highly useful stat when determining how often someone folds their blinds to a steal attempt. You want to make sure you have 100 hands before using this stat.


Attempt to Steal - 100 hands

Attempt to Steal is another stat that I use all the time to determine how often somebody tries to steal the blinds. Once again, you want to have a sample size of about 100 hands before looking at this stat.


Fold to 3Bet - 100 hands

Another highly useful preflop stat especially when I am considering light 3Betting someone. You want 100 hands minimum here to be able to draw useful information from this stat.


Fold to 4Bet - 500 hands

Definitely a highly useful preflop stat especially versus the regs and once you start moving up the stakes where 3Betting and 4Betting are a lot more prevalent.

However, with 4Bet stats like this you need a much bigger sample size, I suggest 500 hands. The reason why is because 4Bets don't actually happen that often even in aggressive games. Therefore, a considerable sample size is needed.


3Bet Preflop - 100 hands

Obviously a crucial stat to have on your HUD these days at the micros. This tells you how often somebody re-raises preflop. I typically like to have about 100 hands on my opponent before putting too much stock into this stat.


4Bet Ratio - 500 hands

I personally prefer using 4Bet ratio over 4Bet percentage, some people might disagree. Regardless of which one you use, like I mentioned before you need a large sample size with 4Bet stats. I suggest 500 hands.


Postflop HUD Stats


Fold to Flop CBet - 100 hands

On to the postflop stats now. I use Fold to Flop CBet quite frequently with close decisions on whether to bet the flop or not. I like to have 100 hands on them.


Fold to Turn CBet - 300 hands

I use this stat a lot as well when considering whether to double barrel someone or not. You need quite a bit bigger sample here though because people don't face a turn CBet nearly as often. I like to have at least 300 hands.


Fold to River CBet - 1000 hands

I don't use this stat quite as often but sometimes it can be useful in determining whether or not to triple barrel someone. You need a huge sample. 1000 hands is really a very rough estimate. But make sure you have at least this many hands on them.


CBet Flop - 100 hands

I use this stat a lot when determining how I am going to win the hand. I want to know how often (or not so often) that they fire a CBet. 100 hands is usually a good enough sample size here.


CBet Turn - 300 hands

Another very important stat that I frequently use especially when setting up a float on the flop. If there is a big drop off here from CBet Flop, then they are a prime target. I like to have a sample size of at least 300 hands here.


CBet River - 1000 hands

I don't use this stat a ton but it can be useful sometimes against the aggressive regs when I am considering making a huge call-down. The sample size needed here can vary widely. 1000 is a bare minimum for me though.


Fold to Raise After Flop CBet - 300 hands

This stat is useful when I am considering raising the flop. I want to know if they fold or not and how often. People don't get their Flop CBets raised that often. So I usually look for at least a 300 hand sample size here.


Fold to Raise After Turn CBet - 1000 hands

I also use this stat sometimes when looking to make a really big play like bluff-raising the turn as I discuss in my new book.

The problem with this stat though is that it requires an enormous sample size. People just don't raise double barrels very often. So I only use this stat versus aggressive regs who I have a long history with. I want at least 1k hands on them.


Fold to Turn Float Bet - 300 hands

This stat is useful when I am setting up a flop float like I discussed above. I am looking for a wide gap between CBet Flop and CBet Turn. And then this stat tells me if they actually fold or not when I bet the turn. You need a pretty big sample though to draw accurate data. I usually want at least 300 hands on them.


Fold to River Float Bet - 1000 hands

The double float is another one of my favorite plays these days to use against the aggressive regs in particular. A lot of micro stakes regs will fire two bullets, but they often don't have the heart to fire the third.

So if I double float (float both the flop and turn), this stat tells me if they going to fold when I bet the river or not. Once again though with river stats, you are going to need an enormous sample size. I only bother with this stat if I have at least 1k hands on someone.


Pokertracker HUD Number of Opportunities 


Now while the numbers above for sample sizes should give you some good general guidelines to follow, there is another even more accurate way to make sure that you HUD data is solid.

And this is to check the number of opportunities. This is easy to do in Pokertracker 4 because you can just hover your mouse over the HUD box and see it for yourself:

Pokertracker HUD number of opportunities

After the value it will list the number of opportunities in brackets.

The player above for instance has only ever had 1 opportunity to CBet the river, so the 100% value is literally useless information. It would be a clear sample size error to make any poker decisions based off this.

Hovering over the stats is especially useful with some of those 4Bet and river stats that I discussed before. The sample sizes that I suggested above were just really rough estimates. The number of opportunities will tell you for sure if you have enough data or not.

Now of course how many opportunities you need is kind of up to you. For me personally I usually want at least 5 to even bother looking, and 10 to be sure.

For instance, if I want to know how often somebody folds to a 4Bet preflop, I would like them to have had a bare minimum of 5 opportunities to fold to a 4Bet in the past. And it is much better if they have had 10 opportunities.

If they folded only 3 times out of 10, this tells me a lot compared to someone who folded 7 times out of 10 for instance. I would be much more likely to 4Bet light versus the latter player.

You get the idea though. If you are ever in doubt about the sample size when using your Pokertracker HUD, just hover over with your mouse and get the exact data.


Final Thoughts


Understanding sample sizes when using your poker HUD is absolutely crucial. A lot of people make all kinds of mistakes by drawing incorrect conclusions from insufficient data.

Hopefully this little guide will prevent you from making sample size errors with your poker HUD in the future. And if you are ever in doubt, just check the number of opportunities.

Make sure to let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about the HUD stats or sample size numbers listed in this article.

Lastly, to learn how I created some of the highest winnings in online poker history at the micros, make sure you pick up a copy of my free poker ebook.

Poker HUD Stat Sample Sizes

9 comments:

  1. For us noob that I trying to take advantage of that hudon, is there a way you can help us define a color group for each stats. Ex: between 0-15 vpip red, 16-25 vpip yellow and 26++ green

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    Replies
    1. Sorry autocorrect... for us noob that are trying to take advantage of that hud**

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    2. Hi Charles,

      People ask me this a lot. I will make a note and probably write and article for it in the future.

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    3. Hi Nathan,
      I would look forward to this article as well!!
      Thanks

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    4. Awesome, got it noted. Very likely will write it in the near future :)

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    5. Also color code the downloadable hud you gave us

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  2. I think it all takes away from the actual hand itself. I.e. it might propel you into making moves that don't otherwise make sense. Bluffing too much cos of your HUD can also be costly. On top of that, I think for for example the zoom games especially the biggest part of the playerpool adheres to a general sort of strategy, that can be combatted much more safely by simply playing a GTO approach, instead of having your HUD lure you into exploitative play. I Still make tons of easy money even today on zoom 25nl and zoom 50nl. Never used a HUD IN ALL those years, and when I did experiment with it it cost me. Cheers, Tom.

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    Replies
    1. Nice work Tom, thanks for your thoughts!

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  3. Huds should only be used a guide. I actually starting playing better when I stopped using one. It forces you to think about ranges and board textures more, rather than relying on stats.

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