In online poker, there is a feature called “the HUD”. That acronym stands for heads-up display. A HUD is essentially a series of informational graphics that appear in various places on the screen. These HUDs help in paying attention to everything that is going on, and in most cases they are customizable. I will explain the main features of HUDs usually available when playing online poker.
Obtaining and Using a HUD
You must purchase a poker HUD in order to use it. There a few available, but they all cost some money. Using a HUD during poker games allows it to collect stats based on your hands played while it is active. They are also completely legal on most online poker sites. It collects and displays different the information you choose. It allows you to see the statistics of your actions and potential opponents’ based on your hand history. It is best not to use too many different stats on the screen. However, some HUD stats are really important and can help you win games more frequently.
HUDs are generally used when multi-tabling. Multi-tabling, or playing 2 or more tables at the same time, is more difficult than single-tabling. Using a HUD can help you keep track of what to do and what has happened while you were not focused on that table. Many online poker players use a HUD in order to keep track of several tables at a time. Recreational players tend to not multi-table as much and have less of a need for HUDs.
There are some very important statistics to have available if you want to make the most of your HUD. One is VPIP. That stands for Voluntarily Put in Pot. This statistic shows how active a player is about putting money in the pot, getting a good average after about 40-50 hands. Another statistic is PFR, or preflop raise.
That tells you how often a player raises preflop. Together, VPIP and PFR tell you how much and how often players are willing to bet overall, as long as the sample size of played hands is good. A stat to display about how often players raise after the flop is AGG.
A few other useful stats are:
- 3bet – useful for telling how often a player reraises on the opening bet
- Fold to 3bet – useful for telling how often a player raises and then folds to a 3bet
- Cbet Flop – tells how often a player commits to a continuation bet, useful for figuring out when to float the flop
- Fold to Flop Cbet – tells the opposite of the previous stat
- Turn Cbet – similar to Cbet flop but tracks the turn
- Fold to Turn Cbet – similar to Fold to Flop, but for the turn
- Attempt to Steal (LP or SB) – tells when players are likely to steal in certain situations
- Fold to (LP or SB) Steal – tells how players are likely to respond to people stealing
Disadvantages and Dangers of Using a HUD
One danger of playing with a HUD is that you become too reliant on data and stats. While many successful players do use a HUD, it’s not perfect. Using HUD can make you bet based on stats alone.
Having too much data can also get inside your head and make you feel like you can’t play without it. That is bad, especially because, on some sites or in some games (usually cash games and tournaments), HUDs are not allowed. Also, when some sites go through updates, the HUDs also need to be updated before they can be used, leaving you without their assistances. Lastly, HUDs are of no help to you at live poker tables!
In the end, poker HUDs are useful pieces of software that show you data based on hand histories. They can be useful, but you should be careful to not become too reliant upon them.