Are Poker HUDs Worth It? (It Might Surprise You)

Are Poker HUDs Worth It?

People often ask me these days if it is worth it to use a poker HUD. Or do you really need to use a poker HUD in order to win at online poker?

And my answer is pretty much always the same.

If you are serious about online poker, then yes, using a HUD is definitely worth it. As an online poker pro, using a HUD has helped me earn tens of thousands of dollars more over the years.

However, the reason why using a poker HUD helps you so much is actually not what most people think.

Yes, a poker HUD can give you great reads and real-time data on your opponents while playing online poker, that will help you make much better decisions against them.

But there is an even more important reason why a HUD is worth it if you take online poker seriously, which might surprise you, and I will discuss it below.

Are Poker HUDs Worth It For Online Poker?

First off though, let's talk about the actual HUD itself. 

HUD by the way stands for "heads up display" and these are the numbers that you can get on your online poker screen beside each player.

Here is what it looks like on my online poker table. I blacked out the names of each player by the way to protect their privacy.

Do you need a HUD for online poker?

These HUD data numbers tell you everything possible about your opponents such as: 
  • The percentage of hands your opponent plays (helps you put them on a range of hands)
  • The percentage of hands your opponent raises (also helps you put them on a hand)
  • How often your opponent attempts to steal the blinds (helps you know when to defend your blinds)
  • How often your opponent bets the flop (helps determine your postflop strategy)
  • How often your opponent bets the turn (again, helps tremendously in your postflop strategy)
  • How often your opponent will fold if you raise the turn (helps you decide to bluff the turn or not)
  • How often your opponent will fold if you bet the river (helps you decide to bluff the river or not)
And so much more, there are literally hundreds of HUD stats like this.

This is incredibly useful stuff especially if you multi-table online poker games. And it will help you make much better poker decisions, because you have precise reads on each opponent at your poker table.

This is one of the biggest reasons why using a good poker HUD is absolutely worth it, if you take online poker seriously.

These numbers also update themselves in real-time by the way (after every single hand). And they are also right there again if you play against the same player at any time again in the future.

All of this HUD data comes from your hand histories by the way, essentially the hands that you have already played against others.

Every online poker site creates a hand history (text file) for every hand you play which you can automatically download to your computer. This is where the HUD program gets the data.

These hand histories provide every single bit of information there is possible about a specific hand of poker. 

Now sure, you could study all the data from these hand histories yourself and write it all down with a pencil and paper.

But why? Why not just let your poker HUD do it for you and display it right on your screen?

What Poker HUD Stats Should You Use?

Recently I made an entire video explaining the 12 poker HUD stats that I have used for nearly a decade now as an online poker pro.

By the way, you can get the exact HUD that I use right here.

The bottom line though is that if you take online poker seriously, and you plan to multi-table, there is no doubt that using a good HUD is going to help you tremendously.

Because it gives you pinpoint reads on every single player at your tables which also get updated in real time as you play more hands against them.

This helps you make much better decisions at the poker table because you know exactly what player type you are up against and their tendencies.

If you are at all serious about having some real success with online poker, I recommend at least trying out the free trial of a good HUD.

I have used the PokerTracker HUD for almost ten years now as a pro and it is also the #1 choice of online poker pros.

There is no doubt that it has helped me make tens of thousands of dollars more at the online poker tables over the years, just with the HUD alone.

You can try out the free trial of the PokerTracker HUD right here.

What Else Can a Poker HUD Do?

Now here's the thing though.

The HUD feature of a program like PokerTracker is actually only the tip of the iceberg, and this is the part that surprises a lot of people.

The HUD isn't even the most valuable part of why I use it!

The most important reason why I, and most other online poker pros use a HUD like PokerTracker, is the database built into the program, which gives you the ability to analyze your hands and fix your leaks.

You can essentially run filters to find out exactly where you are losing money at the poker tables in any situation imaginable, and with any hand (i.e. Ace King in 3-bet pots from the blinds).

Do poker pros use HUDs?

This is the cash game filter inside PokerTracker above. You can filter for literally any scenario, with any poker hand, to see whether you are winning or losing, and find out how to improve your play.

There is also a separate tournament filter by the way for tournament and sit and go poker players to improve their game as well.

This kind of information is absolutely vital to your success in online poker because you can figure out exactly where you are losing money and how to fix it.

You can also study your opponents (and this is absolutely huge!) to find out what poker strategies they are using which might be better than you. 

And also of course, you can create new ways to beat them by studying their leaks.

I am constantly studying the best players in my poker games, when I am not playing, in order to learn what they might be doing better than me, and also to create new strategies to beat them (next time we meet).

Spending time in PokerTracker like this working on my own game (and studying my opponents) has been one of the absolute biggest keys to my success as a 10+ year professional poker player.

Do Poker Pros Use a HUD?

Let me briefly answer a few more common questions now that I get about poker HUDs. As mentioned, the vast majority of online poker pros who take the game seriously use a HUD these days. 

Not only does a poker HUD help significantly in getting reads while playing online poker, but as I just mentioned, a HUD program like PokerTracker helps you identify your leaks at the poker table and fix them.

If you take online poker seriously and have any aspirations to becoming a semi-pro or becoming a full time pro one day, using a HUD is pretty much a no brainer.

How Do You Setup a Poker HUD?

I get asked a lot about how to setup a poker HUD on your online poker table. Now, luckily it doesn't require too much computer technical knowledge.

In fact, I think nearly anyone can setup a poker HUD in a matter of minutes.

But I decided to make a video showing you exactly how to do it anyways, walking you through how to setup the PokerTracker HUD that I use, step by step, in less than 5 minutes.

You can get the PokerTracker HUD that I use right here.

Are Poker HUDs Legal?

The majority of online poker rooms these days allow the use of HUDs like PokerTracker. But it is best to make sure that the poker site you play on does allow them.

The best way to do this is to either find their "list of allowed software" page on their website or to just send them an email directly.

Are Poker HUDs Allowed on PokerStars?

Yes, PokerStars allows the use of HUDs. I have been using the PokerTracker HUD on PokerStars since 2005. It also works in Zoom games on PokerStars (more on that below).

Are Poker HUDs Allowed on 888 Poker?

Yes, 888 Poker is another major online poker room which allows the use of HUDs.

What Percentage of Online Poker Players Use a HUD?

This one is a little bit difficult to answer but it is probably about 20% of online poker players who use a HUD in small stakes games, and 80% or more in high stakes games.

Of course, the vast majority of people who use a poker HUD will be online poker pros or people who take the game seriously.

Most recreational poker players for example, regardless of what stakes they are playing, will not be using a poker HUD.

What is the Best Free HUD For PokerStars?

PokerTracker is the best free poker HUD to use on PokerStars. While the full version is not free, you can test drive the HUD for yourself on PokerStars.

This will allow you to see if it is right for you or not. You can download the free trial version of PokerTracker for both PC or Mac, right here.

What is the Best Poker HUD For Mac?

Unfortunately there are not many poker HUDs that are compatible with a Mac, which is what I use. 

However, the #1 poker HUD these days, PokerTracker, is compatible with Macs. This is what I use on my Macbook Air when I am playing online poker.

How Much Do Poker HUDs Cost?

Most poker HUDs are a one time payment, which is indeed the case with my top recommended poker HUD, PokerTracker.

The small stakes Hold'em version of PokerTracker 4 costs $64.99 and works in No Limit/Pot Limit Hold'em Cash Games up to .25/.50 blinds and Limit Hold'em Cash Games up to .50/1.00 Blinds.

The full version of the Hold'em PokerTracker 4 HUD costs $99.99 and works at all stakes for both No Limit and Limit cash games as well as tournaments and sit and gos.

If you are just starting out in online poker then I recommend getting the cheaper small stakes version of PokerTracker for now.

Because you can always simply upgrade to the full version later on once you reach higher stakes games.

Does PokerTracker Work for Tournaments and Sit and Gos?

Yes, PokerTracker works for both multi-table tournaments and sit and gos as well. There are custom HUD stats that you can use for poker tournaments and sngs.

Using a good poker HUD like PokerTracker is highly recommended for tournaments in particular, because you often get moved to a different table and lose your reads.

If you have your PokerTracker HUD running though, it keeps track of all your reads and HUD stats for you, even if you haven't played against that player for months or years.

Does PokerTracker Work in Zoom Poker Games?

Yes, PokerTracker works in Zoom poker games on PokerStars. Due to the fast paced nature of Zoom poker, the PokerTracker HUD really helps you get better reads.

I personally always use a HUD when I am playing Zoom. You can see below what it looks like on my Zoom poker table.

Does Pokerstars allow HUDs?

Since you are moved to a random table after every single hand in Zoom poker, it can be very difficult to get good reads in Zoom without using a HUD.

So if you play Zoom (or any other fast fold variety of the poker), I would highly recommending investing in a good poker HUD.

Does PokerTracker Work in Pot Limit Omaha Games?

Yes, PokerTracker also works with Omaha poker games as well. There is both a small stakes and a full version of the PokerTracker HUD for Omaha poker games. 

The PokerTracker 4 Omaha small stakes version costs $64.99. The PokerTracker 4 Omaha full version costs $99.99.

Once again, if you are just starting out in Omaha poker games I would recommend just opting for the cheaper small stakes version for now. 

Because you can always easily upgrade in the the higher stakes version in the future. 

What is the Best Poker HUD for Beginners?

Having tried multiple poker HUDs, I would say that the PokerTracker HUD is the easiest for beginners to get started with.

It has the most options, the most HUD stats and the most user friendly "non-techy" interface on any poker HUD I have ever used.

And the best part is that you can just try it out for free to see if it helps you or not. You can get the free trial version of the PokerTracker HUD right here.

Is Using a Poker HUD Cheating?

Using a poker HUD is not cheating because all a poker HUD does is gather data from your own hand histories (the small text documents that all online poker sites create when a hand is played).

You could technically get out your pencil and paper and collect the data yourself, but that would literally take forever. This is where a poker HUD helps tremendously.

As always though, you should always check with the poker site you play on first before using a HUD. But they are allowed on most major online poker sites.

Should You Use a Poker HUD?

If you are brand new to online poker, then you probably don't need to worry about using a HUD too much yet.

But once you get serious about online poker, I would highly suggest at least trying out the free trial version of PokerTracker to see if it is a good fit for you.

For me personally, as a 10+ year online poker pro, using a good HUD like this has helped me earn tens of thousands of dollars more at the poker tables.

And the ability to study my own hands away from the tables, fix my leaks, and also study my best opponents in my poker games as well, has helped me tremendously.

When people ask me what has been the #1 key to my poker success over the years, I always tell them, it is the hours spent away from the tables, studying my game and improving in PokerTracker.

So it is an absolute no brainer in my opinion to use a poker HUD (and the database program to fix your leaks), if you take online poker seriously at all.

Final Thoughts

Using a poker HUD these days is vital to your success in online poker. 

Not only does it help you get better reads in the fast paced world of multi-tabling online poker, but it also allows you to study your game away from the tables and fix your leaks.

This is why I always suggest using a good HUD like PokerTracker for anyone who is serious about online poker.

Most online poker pros these days are using one, and I personally always have my HUD running at the online poker tables, when I am playing.

Once again, if you want to use the poker HUD that I have personally used as a 10+ year online poker pro, you can get it right here.


Please note that the links above are affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, if you choose to purchase the full version of PokerTracker 4, I may earn a small commission.

Are Poker HUDs Worth It?