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

What is a Good WTSD in Poker?


People often ask me what is a good WTSD (went to showdown percentage) in poker. This is a popular HUD stat that is usually abbreviated as WTSD or WTSD%.

WTSD essentially tells you what percentage of the time somebody goes to showdown. Showdown in poker is when the cards are flipped over on the river and the person with the best hand wins the pot.

So WTSD is very important when determining what type of poker player you are up against.

In general, a WTSD below 25 is a tight poker player who only goes to showdown with good hands. And somebody with a WTSD above 25 is typically a looser poker player who goes to showdown with mediocre hands. Most recreational poker players will have a WTSD of 30 or higher.

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


What is WTSD and How Can You Use It to Your Advantage?


So as mentioned, WTSD is basically the percentage of the time that somebody goes to showdown in poker. But why is this important?

I always have this stat included near the very top of my Custom PokerTracker HUD because it tells me a lot about what type of poker player I am up against.

And more importantly, WTSD tells me if I can bluff them or not!

When I encounter somebody with a super low WTSD% in poker of like 21, I know that this is a risk averse person who only likes to go to showdown with a really strong poker hand.

So, as you can imagine, I am going to bluff this type of player very often.

On the flip side though, if I encounter somebody with a WTSD% of 33, I know that this is a loose undisciplined player who will probably call me down with a wide range of hands.

So, as you can probably guess, this is the type of player who I will NOT bluff very often.

Here is a good example of how to bluff the regulars:



What WTSD Should You Aim For?


So what WTSD should you aim for yourself? Well, it does depend a little bit upon whether you play 6max or full ring.

But in general I suggest that you aim for a WTSD in the mid to late 20's.

In fact, if I had to recommend some exact numbers then I would say aim for a WTSD of 25 in full ring and a WTSD of 27 in 6max.

This is the type of player who is hard to bluff but also hard to value bet against. And this is because they have a well balanced calling versus folding range.

Or in other words, this is the type of player who I don't know if I can bluff or not. And in general, this is how you want to be in all aspects of poker.

That is, balanced.

As I mentioned above, it is super easy for me when I see somebody on my PokerTracker HUD with a WTSD of 21 (bluff them). And when I see somebody with a WTSD of 33 it is also very easy (don't bluff them).

Both of these players are unbalanced. One folds too much. The other calls too much. You want to aim to be somewhere in the middle of this.

You need to know when to make a disciplined lay-down versus a tight player. But you also need to know when to make a loose call versus an aggressive player.


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Good WTSD in Zoom, Tournaments, Heads Up, PLO


Now I do need to mention here that the data I have been discussing in this article mostly applies just to 9 person full ring poker games or 6max. And this also includes Zoom by the way.

If you play poker tournaments, heads up or pot limit omaha for example, then the numbers for WTSD% are going to be different.

For example in a heads up poker game you simply have to go to showdown much more often or the other player is just going to run you over.

This is similar for other formats as well. In tournaments it may even vary by the stage of the tournament.

Because early on in tournaments the stacks are often deep like in a cash game. However, in the later stages of a poker tournament the stacks are typically less than 20 big blinds for most players.

Therefore, most of your strategy is going to based around push/fold. This will lead to an extremely low WTSD.

So depending on the poker games that you play, you will have to adjust these WTSD numbers.

For a much deeper discussion of calling ranges on the river versus various player types in cash games, tournaments and sit and gos, check out The Upswing Poker Lab.


WTSD% and Sample Size - Very Important


The last thing you need to know about WTSD% is that sample size is very important. Unlike some other stats like VPIP and PFR, which are both preflop stats, WTSD is a postflop stat.

And what this means is that you are going to need a much bigger sample size in order to obtain reliable information about somebody's play style.

Because after all, you just don't get an opportunity to go to showdown in poker all that often. So for me personally, I don't even look at somebody's WTSD unless I have at least 100 hands on them.

If you want to know much more about how to use HUD stats correctly I cover all of this in much more detail in my best selling poker book, Modern Small Stakes.


Final Thoughts


So what is a good WTSD percentage in poker? This is a stat that I refer to very frequently on my PokerTracker HUD.

Well, in 6max and full ring cash games somewhere in the mid to late 20's is where most good winnings players will usually be found in my experience.

And if you want to get really specific and break it down to 6max versus full ring, then I would say a good WTSD in 6max would be something like 27 and a good WTSD in full ring would be 25.

Players with a WTSD in the low 20s or below are typically folding too much before showdown. And players above 30 are typically going to showdown too often with bad hands.

I will say though, that despite everything I have said in this article, WTSD is a very tricky stat to analyze sometimes.

And this is because depending on your play style, sometimes you can make it work even with a really high or really low WTSD.

As I always say, your winrate is really the only stat that actually matters in poker.

So if you are doing well with a WTSD that is much higher or lower than I recommend in this article, then please just keep doing what you are doing.

Also be careful if you play other formats like tournaments, sit and gos, heads up or PLO, because you may have to adjust these WTSD numbers.

Lastly, if you want to know the exact poker strategies that I use to make $1k+ per month in low stakes poker games, make sure you grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.

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

What is a Good WTSD Percentage in Poker?

6 comments:

  1. Great article as always.When you finish the optimal hud stats series,i suggest anyone who uses a hud,color code the stats according to the set values you input. Ex if vpip>30 green color,if less than 16 red collor etc.A disable a stat completely if the suggested number of hands played for it to be reliable, is not fullfilled.

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    1. Thanks Jimmy and yes this is a great idea. I often set values and specific colors on my HUD to make it easier to quickly identify player types.

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  2. Hey Nathan, great article. I was always struggling with this stat, over the last 50k hands im winning at 19bb/100 at nl5z but i have my wtsd at 31 and i think i should improve my fold v river bet stat.
    Do you have any idea of the optimal value that i would have to have folding the river?
    In that case i will achieve that value of 27 wtsd.

    Thanks for all


    Greetings from argentina

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    1. Hey Kevin,

      Thanks I am glad you enjoyed this article! Even though I say to shoot for around a 27 WTSD in this article, the most important stat of all is your winrate. 19bb/100 is excellent, nice job!

      So even though a 31 WTSD is a bit high in my experience, clearly you are making it work. So I would change nothing.

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  3. I think, PT4 suggest a somewhat wider range of numbers for WTSD as being normal for winning players than the numbers quoted in this article. Its also important to understand, that a number like WTSD is influenzed by many factors, as is by the way aggression factor. Its not only, how often you call, its also how often you bet or raise, because when your opponent fold, you dont get to showdown.

    So a high WTSD could indicate, that you are to much of a calling station. It could however also indicate, that you are not betting enough. For instance you might check back the river to often instead of betting for thin value or bluffing.

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    1. Hey Lars,

      Lot's of good points. This article and the AF one were tough to write because what you say is definitely true.

      This is especially true at higher limits where players are much more aggressive. So a highly aggressive player might have a low WTSD simply because they bluff everybody out of the pot.

      Imagine what Mike Postle's WTSD must be haha!

      GTO also becomes much more important in high stakes games so having a low AF isn't actually a bad thing, it's just a sign of well balanced betting/raising and calling frequencies.

      However, since most of the people who read my blog play NL2, NL5 or NL10, which are full of passive players for the most part, I decided to just leave the numbers as is.

      Thanks for pointing that out though.

      It is very important to realize that AF or WTSD can be affected heavily by various play styles and the numbers in this article (like nearly everything I write), is pretty much meant to be applicable to the micro stakes games only.

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