How to Set Up Your Poker HUD - Part 1

Hud Setup BlackRain79Having the right HUD (heads up display) setup is very important to your success as a poker player. I only clued in to this concept a little over a year ago. I have actually played the majority of my five million+ hands without any HUD at all.

Really dumb idea.

But to my defense, pretty much everybody was a terrible calling station fish back then. So I actually only had to keep a mental note on the handful of other nits like me.

These days you need a HUD especially if you are playing more than a couple poker tables.

[Note: I now have a much more comprehensive and up to date blog post on how to set up your HUD for today's games which you can find here.]

Fish are always going to be pretty straightforward to play against. Bet, bet, bet when you have it. Don't bluff them too much etc. But they are the minority in the player pool now. You need to have the right information on hand to take profitable lines against all the different regs.

And really, the best reason of all to use a HUD is for the database program that it is built on. Having detailed information on yourself and everybody that you have ever played against is the best tool that you can have to improve your game.

The best program and HUD that I have ever used is PokerTracker. It has probably paid for itself hundreds of times over at the poker tables. It also has an unbelievable amount of information that has really helped me improve my game. I will go into many of the features within PokerTracker that I use to study and improve in future posts. So look out for that.

But back to HUD's. I have seen countless different setups over the years. Some people like a lot of information on their screen. Some like minimal. Some like lots of flashy colors and icons. I don't think it really matters too much what approach you take.

The most important thing is that the information, as displayed on your screen, makes logical sense to you and allows you to quickly and accurately make high quality poker decisions.

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Here is my HUD setup:

Hud Setup BlackRain79And here is what it looks like on my screen (I removed the player name):

Hud Setup BlackRain79
As you can see I am sort of in the minimalist camp. I don't like to have a whole lot of unnecessary clutter on my screen. I prefer to keep all the information inside a nice neat little box beside the player.

The most important stats for me by far are located on the first row: VPIP, PFR and aggression Factor. And the other important stat is the number of hands which I put down on the bottom right in blue. I don't use the color blue for any other stat so that it always stands out.

I rarely pay much attention to the entire second row to be honest. And the 3bet stats are reasonably useful but not so much at NL10 and below since there isn't a lot of light 3betting. Fold to 3bet is fairly useful at those stakes though since there are plenty of nits who fold to 3bets too much.

The biggest reason that I prefer to have just the basic stats on my screen is that I can simply make use of the popup (left click on the player name) if I need to know more. Same player as above:

Hud Setup BlackRain79With the popup I often look at things like PFR by position, 3bet by position, steal, aggression factor by street, raise cbet, donk bet and 4bet range (if the sample is huge). However, I don't look at this information often enough to warrant having it take up valuable real estate on my screen.

So my advice would be to have only the essential stats on your display but make liberal use of the full popup when you need it.

In part 2 of this post I am going to talk about the coloring system that I use as well as how to interpret some of the information.

Once again, to download PokerTracker right now and try it for yourself, click here.

What does your HUD setup look like?

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poker hud setup


  1. Do you like to use Agg Factor or Agg Freq % ??? Someone told me the Agg Freq % is more accurate ?? I like to use the Steal and 3bet one also . Because if they are stealing on the btn more than 40% you can profit from the Sb and BB from them hehehehehe...

  2. I also use colors . Like a street signal. Green stats means go get them fish , yellow means caution but standard player and red means stop and think because hes a nit..

  3. I don't know much about Agg Freq. to be honest. I have just always used Agg Factor. That is a great idea to use the colors like traffic lights.

  4. Yea i set them up so like on VPIP if its under 14 it will turn Red if its between 15-39 it will turn yellow and over 40 will turn green

  5. I really enjoyed the article. I use a color system that helps with multitabling so I can identify colors rather then crunching numbers in my head. BTW I wish my hud actually looked like a fighter pilots HUD haha. Great blog! Im going to follow and keep up with your great articles.

  6. Thanks for the kind words. Ya I really think its important to personalize your HUD with colors that make sense to you. I think the human brain responds to a color faster than a number.

  7. Hi Nathan, great book.

    Could you link to the xml of your HUD setup somewhere to make it really easy for us to add to our Holdem Manager? Especially now HM2 is out, none of the stats in your HUD have the same names anymore...

  8. Hey Adam,

    I am not really sure how to do that. Sorry it took so long to get back to you here as well. Am on vacation and traveling with not so great internet. Let me know how to do the xml and I will try and get it up hosted or whatever soon. Thanks.

  9. Hi Nathan

    I'm reading your book and on page 30 you shouw us wich stats you use on your HUD.
    You suggets the use of color coding, but as a beginning player i'm finding this rather difficult. For example i dont really know what a high or low Fold to 3bet percentage is.
    So could you share your color coding with all the beginners here?

  10. Hi Nathan

    I'm reading your book and on page 30 you shouw us wich stats you use on your HUD.
    You suggets the use of color coding, but as a beginning player i'm finding this rather difficult. For example i dont really know what a high or low Fold to 3bet percentage is.
    So could you share your color coding with all the beginners here?

  11. Hey benneman,

    I'll just post my numbers for full ring. You will need to adjust them in some cases for 6max. And they are just the rough numbers that I use from memory as I don't have access to my HEM right now.

    VPIP: Low, 12 and below. Med, 13-30. High, 31+

    PFR: Low, 8 and below. Med, 8-15. High, 15+

    AF: Low, 1-2. Med, 3-4. High, 5+

    Fold to flop cbet: Low, 60 or less. High 61 or more.

    Fold to turn cbet: I don't really even use this stat that much. Need too big of a sample.

    Flop cbet: Low, 60 or less. High 61 or more.

    Turn cbet: Don't use much, same reasons as above.

    3bet: Low, 1-3. Med, 4-5. High 6+

    Fold to 3bet: Low, 60 or less. High 61 or more

    Colours are basically just the traffic lights like I suggest in the book and part 2 of this article. Use red for low, yellow for med and green for high. But it is totally up to you. Many people use other colours as well. I use slightly different ones because I am use to them.

  12. would you change these color ranges much for 6 handed?

  13. For 6max I use all the same colors. I will adjust the ranges a little bit for VPIP, PFR and 3bet. These stats are the most likely to increase a fair bit from full ring to 6max.