What is a Good AF in Poker? (Optimal Numbers)

What is a Good AF in Poker?

People often ask me what is a good AF (Aggression Factor) in poker. And this is very important to know because AF is one of the most reliable HUD stats available for determining player type.

In general, an AF of 1 is extremely passive, an AF of 2 is moderately passive, an AF of 3 is a normal moderately aggressive player, and any AF of 4 and above is starting to get into over-aggressive territory. Most winning players have an AF near 3.

Let's dig into these numbers a bit deeper though.

What is AF in Poker?

AF stands for aggression factor and it is a mathematical expression of how aggressive or passive you are postflop (flop, turn and river). AF is an important poker statistic that is widely used in tracking programs like PokerTracker.

In fact, here is the literal definition of AF that you can find within the PokerTracker software:

"Ratio of the times a player makes a postflop aggressive action (a bet or raise) to the times they call.  For example, a player with an AF of 2 has bet or raised twice as many times as they have called."

As a mathematical expression here is what AF would look like:

(Total Bets) + (Total Raises) / (Total Calls) = AF.

So as you can see, AF, which is also referred to sometimes as TAF (total aggression factor), is simply a ratio of how many times you bet or raise after the flop versus how many times you call.

Betting and raising in poker are both considered to be aggressive plays while calling is considered to be a passive play.

So essentially, the higher your AF number is, the more often you are betting or raising. Or in other words, the higher your AF number, the more aggressive you are as a poker player.

Since aggression is a big key to success in poker, it is important that you have at least a moderately high Aggression Factor.

How Can You Use Aggression Factor to Improve Your Poker Game?

So how can you actually use Aggression Factor at the poker tables to improve your poker results? Well, there is a reason why AF is one of the very first stats that I have on my Custom PokerTracker HUD.

It is because I use this poker statistic all the time to determine the type of poker player I am up against.

For example, most tight players (Nits) have a low AF of around 2. And this makes sense because what do Nits do? They sit around waiting for the nuts.

Recreational players (fish) also tend to have an extremely low AF, usually 1. And this also makes sense because what do fish do? They play all sorts of terrible hands and they absolutely love to call you down with anything.

TAG (tight and aggressive) and LAG (loose and aggressive) players on the other hand tend to have a higher aggression factor of 3 or more.

How to Beat a LAG (example hand):

And this also makes sense because these players tend to be very aggressive after the flop betting, raising and trying to steal every pot they can.

So the AF HUD stat is very useful because it often allows me (in conjunction with other stats like VPIP and PFR), to quickly determine what type of poker player I am up against.

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AF and Sample Size - This is Extremely Important

I do need to warn you though that unlike VPIP and PFR, the AF stat does require a much larger sample size (number of hands).

With VPIP and PFR all you need is about 20 hands on somebody before you can be highly certain that the VPIP and PFR values that are showing on your HUD for them are accurate.

This is not the case at all with AF. In fact, I recommend having a sample of at least 100 hands on somebody before you draw any conclusions about them based on their AF.

And this is because AF is a postflop stat whereas VPIP and PFR are both preflop stats.

You get an opportunity to take a preflop action every single hand. You do not get an opportunity to take a postflop opportunity every hand, not even close.

So this is why Aggression Factor requires a much large sample size (at least 100 hands in my opinion). And it is very important that you understand this before using this HUD stat.

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Final Thoughts

So what is a good AF in poker?

Well, at the risk of sounding like there is only one true way to win at poker (because there isn't), in my experience having played millions and millions of hands of online poker, most of biggest winners on my PokerTracker HUD gravitate towards an AF of 3.

Does this mean that you can't win at poker if your AF is 2 or 4? No of course not. There are many examples of big winners with an AF of 2 or 4.

However, I think outside of these boundaries it is a bit of a stretch. There are very few (if any?) long term winning poker players with an AF of 1 or 5+ in my experience.

When I see someone with an AF of 1 this is almost always a recreational player (fish). And when I see someone with an AF of 5+ this is almost always a recreational player (maniac).

I probably don't even need to tell you that both of these are significant long term losing player types.

One of the most important things to remember when using the Aggression Factor HUD stat is sample size. You need 100 hands at a bare minimum before relying on this data.

VPIP and PFR are different because they are preflop stats. You do not need anywhere near as big of a sample size for these two stats.

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What do you think is a good AF? Let me know in the comments below.

What is a Good AF in Poker?

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