3 Common Mistakes When (Not)Using a Poker HUD

1.    Not using a HUD

Many players don‘t use a HUD because they think they don‘t play enough volume to get sample sizes. Which is not true most of the time and they miss out on alot of hidden value by not using  the correct stats and auto notes that don ‘t need big sample sizes.

Sure you need a big sample to see how often somebody folds to a river Cbet.

But there are several stats that work great with very small sample sizes and can be very usefull to profile player types.


Here is an example:

Open Limp (no SB), this is how often a player limps first in with SB and overlimps filtered out.

This is the single best  indicator to spot a recreational player, fish or whale.

And it starts to give reliable information with a sample size as low as 1 hand.

It‘s important to take out the SB limps since these days many players use a solid SB limp strategy which skews the result when the goal is to spot a recreational player in the blink of an eye.

There are several other stats and auto notes that don‘t need big samples to give reliable and valuable information.


If you want to learn more about how to use a HUD with small sample sizes.

Take a look at this  FREE 90 minute lesson about „Optimising HUD use with small sample sizes“.

2. Overadjust and relentless hard exploid in an unsustainable way

It‘s very easy to make your overall strategy worse just by overadjusting.

Alot of the hard exploids based on HUD stats are unsustainable strategies.


An example:

We play the Sunday Million and our stackdepth is 30bb effective.

We open from the BTN 2.2bb  and SB 3bets us to 7bb we see a guy 3bets alot 22% and Fold to 4bet alot 80%.

The hard counter is to 4bet jam full range.

And this might be a good strategy in the beginning and printing money the first times you do it. But the moment they see you 4bet jam trash hands like A3o or J7s then there is a big chance this player will make a note on you and stop 3bet bluffing you in specific. This counter-counter strategy is so easy to execute and punishes you very hard.

Making all your 4bet bluffs very negative expected value (EV). So even versus a guy with 3bet 22% and fold to 4bet 80% we need to very carefully select  which combos we 4bet jam just to sustain our winning strategy.


3. Look at the wrong postflop stats for small sample sizes

When I talk about small sample sizes I mean less then  250 hands on the player in question.


Hurtfull postflop stats with small sample sizes:

·        XR, Fold to XR, Cbet, Fold to Cbet, Probe, Float, fold to delayed cbet, ...

·        All blind vs blind stats

·        Positional RFIs & Resteals

·        SQZ & positional 3bets


If these are the stats you have been using and you actually adjust your strategies on them then there is a good chance you are hurting your game by using a HUD in the wrong way.


Usefull postflop stats with small sample sizes:

·        Aggression Frequency


That‘s right! Only one usefull set of stats.

There are several stats that represent postflop aggression (AF,AgQ, ...)

But the one that is the least skewed is Aggression %, it is a custom stat in pokertracker 4.



 „(Bet OR Raise) / (Bet OR Raise opportunity)“ 

Taking no folds in the equation.


We use these for flop, turn and river.

For flop this Ag% is an overal indicatior of flop Cbet, XR & Bet vs missed cbet.


The values for flop can be interpret like this:

Common Mistakes 3


In a similar way we interpret for turn and river aggression.

To see the full explanations take a look at this free lesson.




ü  Don‘t hard exploid relentless in an unsustainable way

ü  Don‘t use the classic postflop stats when dealing with small sample sizes

ü  Do use a HUD to profile players even when you have only small sample sizes



About the author:

Niels Herregodts is a Belgian professional  poker player, product manager and poker landscape expert located in Kyiv, Ukraine. For over 10 years he has been active in the poker industry. Until this day Niels plays poker on a regular base.