By Joe - November 10, 2023

A Heads-Up Display (HUD) is a customizable overlay that displays real-time statistical information about your opponents, hand history, and gameplay on the virtual poker table. This data helps you analyze and exploit your opponents, adjust your strategy, and ultimately make better-informed decisions. In this detailed article, you’ll learn about popular HUD tools and software, how to customize your display, and key HUD stats for pre-flop, post-flop, and player tendencies. Finally, we discuss how to adapt your strategy using HUD stats and offer tips for improving your understanding and usage of this powerful poker tool.

I’ve spent countless hours playing at online casinos with on-screen displays or HUDs without paying much attention to the stats. But over time, I’ve learned to factor in the data and the HUD has helped to improve my gameplay. The stats are put there to provide information, so why not use them? Whether you’re a new or seasoned gamer, understanding the data on the HUD and how to apply it can enhance your performance.

digital poker cards
playing poker using HUD tools

A HUD (Heads-Up Display) is a visual tool used in video games, simulators, and modern vehicles to showcase important information right in front of the player or user. This allows the user to view crucial data without taking their eyes off their primary focus. In gaming, HUDs typically display various indicators such as health status, ammunition, objectives, and more – all in real-time.

Although HUD seems like a relatively straightforward concept, mastering the use and comprehension of it can give you a significant advantage in gaming and simulation scenarios by making your experience more efficient and enjoyable.

Benefits of Using HUD in Online Poker

There are several benefits of using a HUD in online poker, including:

Reading Opponents: A HUD gives you a better understanding of your opponents by displaying their statistics, which helps you identify tendencies, predict their moves, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Tracking Your Gameplay and Performance: HUD can record and save your entire hand history, enabling you to review and analyze your game later. Identifying your areas of strength and weakness can help you improve your overall performance.

Multi-Table Play: Using a HUD can be extremely beneficial when playing multiple tables simultaneously. The real-time information provided by the HUD helps you make better decisions across multiple games without getting overwhelmed.

Developing Reads on Unknown Players: When facing a new opponent, a HUD gives you immediate access to their data and playing style, enabling you to make informed decisions and quickly adjust your game strategy

Displaying Statistics in a HUD

A HUD typically displays a variety of customizable statistics, each providing different insights into an opponent’s style and tendencies. Some of the essential statistics displayed in a HUD are:


VPIP (Voluntarily Put Money in Pot): This statistic indicates the percentage of hands in which a player willingly enters the pot, reflecting their overall level of looseness or tightness.


PFR (Pre-Flop Raise): This percentage represents the frequency with which a player raises pre-flop, showing their level of aggression.


AF (Aggression Factor): This value measures a player’s aggression post-flop by comparing the number of times they bet or raise versus the number of times they call. A higher value indicates a more aggressive player.


3-Bet: This percentage represents the frequency with which a player makes a three-bet pre-flop, showcasing their re-raising tendencies.


C-Bet (Continuation Bet): C-Bet percentage indicates how often a player continues betting post-flop after raising pre-flop, revealing their follow-through aggression.

These are just a few examples of the statistics provided by a HUD. Many other statistics are available, providing detailed insights into various aspects of gameplay.

Interpreting Data from a HUD

Interpreting data from your HUD is an essential skill in online poker, as it allows you to exploit weaknesses in your opponents’ gameplay and adapt your strategy accordingly:


Knowing your opponents’ HUD stats, pick up on certain tendencies and patterns, like when they play too tight, too aggressive, or too passive, and use this information to your advantage.


Avoid playing against strong players with similar statistics as your own, as their gameplay may likely be as strong or stronger than yours. Instead, seek out weaker players with observable tendencies you can exploit.


Keep in mind that the HUD statistics are not definitive but serve as guiding tools for decision-making. Develop a balanced approach using HUD data and your own experience and intuition.

Choosing a HUD Software

Several HUD software options are available, each offering distinct features and benefits. When choosing HUD software, consider factors such as compatibility with your preferred poker site, customizability, ease of use, and price. Some popular HUD software options include:

PokerTracker 4

Hold’em Manager 3




Many of these options offer trial periods or free versions with limited features so that you can test the software and determine its suitability for your needs.

A HUD is an invaluable tool for online poker players, offering real-time insights into opponents’ gameplay, tracking your performance, and assisting with multi-table play. Mastering the use and interpretation of HUD data can lead to a significant edge over your competition, improving your decision-making and overall success in online poker.

Heads-Up Display (HUD) is an essential tool for online poker players, designed to help them gain a competitive edge by providing vital statistics and information about their opponents. It functions by collecting and analyzing data from hand histories, tracking players’ performance and strategies, and presenting real-time statistics during gameplay. In the world of online poker, understanding and employing a HUD can help improve decision-making, enhance game strategies, and increase players’ overall ROI (Return on investment).


Improved Decision Making: A HUD provides insight into opponents’ tendencies by displaying their statistics on matters such as the percentage of hands they play or how aggressively they bet. By evaluating this information and adapting your strategy accordingly, you can make better decisions on when to call, raise, or fold. Understanding when an opponent is likely to bluff or when they typically hold strong hands can also help you identify profitable situations more accurately. Furthermore, having access to real-time data allows you to make well-informed decisions quickly, which is crucial for effective multitasking.


Enhanced Game Strategies: Through statistical analysis, a HUD can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents, allowing you to exploit their game patterns. By recognizing and adapting to your opponent’s tendencies, you can adjust your play style and counter their strategies effectively. Furthermore, a HUD can provide valuable data on the population tendencies – i.e., the overall playing patterns commonly observed among different player groups or stakes. This understanding can further enhance your game plan and allow you to exploit general tendencies while honing in on specific opponents’ weaknesses.


Increased Return-On-Investment (ROI):  In the world of online poker, maximizing your ROI is vital to long-term success. A HUD can assist you in achieving higher and more consistent profits by identifying profitable spots to exploit on-the-fly. By identifying and adjusting to your opponent’s strategies, you’re more likely to win pots and less likely to suffer significant losses. As a result, employing a HUD can give you a greater edge over your competition and, ultimately, increase your overall ROI.

informed decision making in poker using HUD
increasing ROI using HUD tools in poker

Various HUD tools and software are available for online poker players, each offering a different set of features, coverage, and ease of use. Here are some of the most popular HUD options in the online poker industry:

  • PokerTracker

    PokerTracker is a widely used and well-regarded HUD software that provides comprehensive data analysis and customizable tracking features for various online poker sites. It offers a user-friendly interface and detailed statistics on your opponents, helping you make better decisions and exploit weaknesses.

  • Holdem Manager

    Holdem Manager is another popular HUD that offers powerful analysis tools and customizable functions for Texas Hold’em and Omaha players. With numerous features such as an integrated hand history replayer and situational views, this software strives to present valuable insights to improve your overall game.

  • DriveHUD

    DriveHUD is a more recent entry to the HUD market and covers a wide range of poker sites and game types. It offers unique features such as tilt metric tracking to help players better manage their emotions during play and an intuitive, sleek interface design.

Customizing your HUD is vital to optimizing its usefulness at the online poker table. Not only does a tailored HUD increase efficiency and enhance decision-making, but it also allows you to focus on the most relevant statistics for your specific play style.


Choose the Right Stats: There are hundreds of statistics available in most HUD software, but not all of them will be relevant to your needs. Identify the key stats that provide the most valuable insights for your game and focus on those. Examples include VPIP (Voluntarily Put $ in Pot), PFR (Pre-Flop Raise), and AF (Aggression Factor).


Group Stats by Category: Organize the selected stats into groups based on their relevance to specific situations, such as preflop, post-flop, or blind aspects of the game. This organization will help you quickly locate and analyze the relevant data during play.


Configure Display Settings: Ensure your HUD’s layout is visually appealing, uncluttered, and easy to read on-the-fly. Customize the font size, colors, and positioning to create an efficient and functional display that complements, rather than distracts from, your gaming experience.

By understanding the importance of a HUD in online poker, selecting the right software, and customizing it to your specific needs, you can enhance your gameplay, gain an advantage over your opponents, and maximize your ROI.

Making Effective Use of Your HUD The key to effective session reviews with your HUD is not to focus solely on the raw numbers but to concentrate on understanding and interpreting the data. Start by analyzing the most relevant statistics: VPIP (Voluntarily Put Money In Pot), PFR (Pre-Flop Raise), and 3-Bet %, which will give you an idea of players’ tendencies.

Identifying Leaks with HUD Stats

Regularly reviewing your sessions using your HUD stats provides valuable insights into your performance and the weaknesses in your opponents’ gameplay. By identifying areas where you are deviating from optimal play and observing how your opponents exploit those mistakes, you can adapt your strategy to overcome these weaknesses.

Interactive Session Reviews with HUD Stats

Holdem Manager and PokerTracker both offer an interactive replay feature that allows you to review your hands while keeping the HUD stats visible, providing a richer context for your decision-making process. By using this tool, you can pause and analyze every action you took during the hand, consider alternative lines of play, and work on developing your instincts for future hands.

Creating an effective HUD layout is crucial for maximizing the information you gather as well as keeping the data organized and easy to access during a live game. A good HUD layout should display essential information concisely and intuitively.


Choosing Key Statistics: A good HUD layout should include information on VPIP, PFR, 3-Bet %, and other vital stats. However, it’s also important to consider customizing the HUD based on your specific game format, skillset, and opponents. Experiment with different stats and see which ones provide the most significant advantage.


Color Coding and Organization: Implementing a color-coding system is a useful way to group statistics and help you quickly process information during a live game. Organize the information logically, positioning similar stats next to each other (e.g., pre-flop statistics together, post-flop statistics together) to make the layout more navigable.

improving strategy and skill using HUD
analysing opponent tendencies using HUD tools

As your skill and understanding of poker improve over time, so should your HUD. Regularly review and revise the statistics you include in your HUD based on your needs and evolving strategy. Maintaining a flexible and adaptable approach will enable you to maintain an edge over your opponents.


Refining Your HUD Based on New Skills and Strategies: As you learn new concepts and strategies, integrate related HUD stats into your layout to complement your evolving understanding of the game. For example, if you’re working on playing more aggressively in position, consider adding statistics such as fold-to-3-bet% and steal attempts.


Adjusting for Opponent Tendencies: The player pool and opponents you face may change over time, requiring adjustments to your HUD. If you notice your opponents adopting radically different playing styles or strategies, ensure your HUD is well-equipped to exploit their weaknesses.

Continuous development and adjustments of your HUD layout should be an integral part of your growth as a poker player, ensuring that you are always collecting and utilizing the most relevant data to make informed decisions during gameplay.

  • VPIP (Voluntarily Put Money In Pot)

    VPIP (Voluntarily Put Money In Pot) is a crucial pre-flop poker statistic that indicates the frequency with which a player puts money into the pot when they have the opportunity. This metric is expressed as a percentage and illustrates a player’s overall level of participation in the game. VPIP is instrumental in determining a player’s style and how aggressive or passive they are during the pre-flop stage.

    A player with a high VPIP percentage is generally considered loose and likely to play a wide range of hands. Conversely, a player with a low VPIP percentage is considered tight and may only play a limited selection of strong hands. Understanding an opponent’s VPIP can help you make informed decisions about how to adapt your strategy and exploit their tendencies.

    As a guideline, a VPIP of 15-20% is considered tight, while a VPIP of 25-35% is seen as loose. However, it is important to remember that optimal VPIP ranges may vary according to different factors, such as table dynamics, stack sizes, and game formats.

  • PFR (Pre-Flop Raise)

    PFR (Pre-Flop Raise) is another vital poker statistic that measures the frequency with which a player raises before the flop. Like VPIP, PFR is expressed as a percentage, which helps to evaluate a player’s level of aggression during the pre-flop stage. By comparing a player’s PFR with their VPIP, you can gain an in-depth understanding of their playing style and how often they are likely to enter a pot with a raise.

    A tight player will typically have a low PFR, meaning they only raise in selective circumstances and with strong hands. In comparison, a loose player will have a high PFR, suggesting they frequently raise with a wider range of hands. Bear in mind that optimal PFR ranges may vary depending on different factors, including table structure and personal playing style.

  • 3-Bet (Third Pre-Flop Raise)

    A 3-bet is the term used to describe the third pre-flop raise in a given hand. This HUD statistic is critical in understanding a player’s aggressiveness and the strength of their hands when re-raising an opponent’s initial pre-flop raise. Typically, a high 3-bet percentage suggests that a player may be more aggressive with frequent re-raises, whereas a low percentage indicates a more conservative approach.

    Understanding an opponent’s 3-bet tendencies allows you to develop a better counter-strategy, ranging from folding weaker hands to 4-betting with a more robust range of holdings. Again, optimal 3-bet ranges may vary depending on multiple factors, including table dynamics and individual gameplay.

  • Fold to 3-Bet

    The Fold to 3-Bet statistic measures the percentage of times a player folds to a 3-bet after they have made the initial pre-flop raise. This figure is crucial in understanding a player’s tendencies to react to aggression, as well as the frequency with which they may be folding potentially strong hands.

    A high fold to 3-bet percentage suggests that the player may be more prone to folding in the face of aggression, offering opportunities for exploitation through well-timed 3-bets. On the other hand, a low percentage indicates a player who is less likely to fold, necessitating a more cautious approach when contemplating 3-betting against them.

  • 4-Bet (Fourth Pre-Flop Raise)

    A 4-bet is the term used for the fourth pre-flop raise in a given hand. This HUD statistic provides insights into a player’s tendencies for re-raising after their initial pre-flop raise has been 3-bet by another player. A high 4-bet percentage suggests an aggressive player who frequently defends their initial raise with further raises, while a low percentage implies a more passive player who may be hesitant to commit more chips.

    Analyzing an opponent’s 4-bet frequency can help you determine the strength of their hands, as well as their willingness to continue the fight for the pot after facing aggression. This information is crucial for adjusting your playing style to exploit their tendencies.

  • Opening Positions

    The opening position in poker refers to the first player to voluntarily put money into the pot after the blinds. In HUD statistics, opening positions reveal the percentage of hands a player chooses to play from various positions at the table.

    By evaluating an opponent’s opening position HUD data, you can gain insight into their playing style and the quality of hands they are likely to play from each position. This information can then be used to exploit their tendencies by making well-timed attacks and leveraging position-based advantages.

    Pre-flop HUD statistics provide essential insights into an opponent’s playing style and tendencies. By understanding these metrics, you can gain a competitive edge by adapting your strategy and exploiting weaknesses in your opponent’s game plan.

betting using HUD in poker
opening position analysis using HUD


Post-flop play in poker refers to the actions taken after the first three community cards, known as the flop, have been dealt. The first betting round is known as pre-flop, so post-flop play pertains to all decisions made after the initial betting round. Understanding and interpreting post-flop HUD stats is crucial for any poker player looking to gain an edge over opponents and improve their overall strategy. Some of the key HUD stats to consider during post-flop play include continuation bet (C-bet) percentages, Fold to Continuation Bet (FtoCB) percentages, and player tendencies such as check-raise and donk bet percentages. Here we will discuss these post-flop HUD stats in detail.

Fold to Continuation Bet (FtoCB)

Fold to Continuation Bet, or FtoCB is a critical post-flop statistic that shows the percentage of times a player folds to a continuation bet after seeing the flop. This stat is calculated by dividing the number of times a player folds to a continuation bet by the total opportunities to face a continuation bet. This information is paramount in helping you determine how likely your opponent is to fold to a continuation bet and can help you adjust your post-flop strategy.

A high FtoCB percentage indicates that a player is more likely to fold to continuation bets, which means you can exploit this tendency by frequently making continuation bets against them. On the other hand, a low FtoCB percentage shows that your opponent is likely to call or raise your continuation bets, so you should consider being more cautious and selective when deciding whether to continue betting.

Continuation Bet (C-bet)

The continuation bet (C-bet) is a post-flop statistic that represents the percentage of times a player made a bet on the flop when they were the initial pre-flop raiser. C-bet percentage is calculated by dividing the number of times a player makes a bet on the flop after raising pre-flop by the total opportunities they had to make a bet as the pre-flop raiser.

A high C-bet percentage indicates that an opponent frequently bets on the flop after raising pre-flop, which may suggest that they are betting with a wide range of hands, including strong and weak ones, as well as bluffs. Alternatively, a low C-bet percentage implies that the player is more selective when betting on the flop, likely doing so only with strong hands. Understanding an opponent’s C-bet tendencies can help you make more informed decisions about whether to call, raise, or fold when facing a continuation bet.

Check-Raise and Donk Bet Percentages

Another important aspect of the post-flop strategy includes identifying your opponent’s check-raise and donk bet percentages. A check-raise occurs when a player checks initially and then raises after an opponent bets. The check-raise percentage reveals the frequency at which an opponent employs this tactic. A high check-raise percentage could signify that a player is more aggressive post-flop, whereas a low percentage may indicate a more conservative approach.

The donk bet is a post-flop play where a player, out of position, leads with a bet instead of checking. This stat calculates the percentage of times a player makes a donk bet when out of position given the opportunity. A higher donk bet percentage demonstrates that a player is more likely to bet out of position, while a low percentage reflects a tendency to check in these situations.

By understanding and analyzing these key post-flop HUD stats, you can adapt your strategy to exploit your opponent’s tendencies and tendencies, leading to better decision-making and, ultimately, more success at the poker table.

using HUD for poker play
winning in poker using HUD

To optimize your HUD understanding and usage, actively engage in mindful playing or simulation sessions. Pay attention to how you access and utilize the HUD components while participating in various stages and scenarios. Over time, you will improve your ability to read and decipher HUD elements within the context of the game or simulation, allowing for advanced strategic planning and more efficient performance.

By understanding the importance of HUD elements and practicing these techniques, you will develop a mastery of HUD usage, enhancing your overall gaming and simulation experiences.


What are HUD stats, and how can they be useful in poker games?

HUD stats, or Heads-Up Display statistics, are a poker tool that helps players gain insights into their opponents’ tendencies and playing styles. By collecting and displaying crucial data, such as the percentage of hands played, HUD stats can assist players in making better-informed decisions during a game.

Can you explain what VPIP and PFR stand for in HUD stats?

VPIP (Voluntarily Put $ in Pot) measures the frequency a player participates in a hand; it reflects their overall looseness or tightness. PFR (Pre-Flop Raise) indicates how aggressive or passive a player is in raising before the flop. These two stats provide a good understanding of an opponent’s playing style.

What does the 3-Bet stat represent, and how can it be useful while playing poker?

The 3-Bet stat represents the percentage of times a player re-raises pre-flop. Knowing this information can be valuable in determining how aggressive or passive an opponent is in re-raising situations, helping players adapt their strategies accordingly and make more informed decisions during a game.

How does the AF (Aggression Factor) in HUD stats contribute to understanding an opponent’s gameplay?

The Aggression Factor (AF) is a metric that measures the ratio of aggressive actions (bets and raises) to passive actions (calls) a player takes. A high AF suggests a player is more aggressive, while a low AF indicates a passive style. Analyzing an opponent’s AF can help players identify potential bluffs or strong hands.

What is the significance of the WTSD (Went to Showdown) stat in poker HUD stats?

WTSD (Went to Showdown) represents the percentage of hands where a player sees the showdown after seeing the flop. A high WTSD percentage indicates the player is more likely to call and reach showdowns, while a low percentage suggests they may be prone to bluffing or folding weaker hands.

Can HUD stats be relied upon while playing online poker, or should they be used in conjunction with other strategies?

While HUD stats provide valuable insights into opponents’ tendencies and playing styles, they should not be solely relied upon. Players should also consider factors like table dynamics, opponents’ stack sizes, and tournament stages. Combining HUD stats with a solid understanding of poker fundamentals will aid in making well-informed decisions.

How do you read HUD stats?

To read HUD (Heads-Up Display) stats in poker, focus on key metrics like VPIP (Voluntary Put Money in Pot), PFR (Pre-Flop Raise), and AF (Aggression Factor). Look for patterns in these numbers to gauge how often a player folds, bets, or raises, giving you insights into their playing style and helping you make informed decisions at the table.

What are the best HUD stats to use?

For poker players, the most essential HUD stats include VPIP (Voluntarily Put $ in Pot), PFR (Pre-Flop Raise), AF (Aggression Factor), 3Bet% (Three-Bet Percentage), and ATS (Attempt to Steal). These key metrics offer a solid foundation for strategic decision-making at the poker table.

What is a good went to showdown percentage?

A good Went to Showdown (WTSD) percentage typically falls around 25% for many poker players. This number reflects a balanced approach to reaching the showdown after seeing the flop. Consistently higher WTSD percentages may suggest a player holds onto hands post-flop more often than is typically advisable.

What should my poker stats be?

Ideal poker stats feature a VPIP of 15-20% and an aggression frequency of 50-60%. These percentages suggest balanced gameplay, where you’re selectively aggressive with quality hands. Straying too high indicates loose play with weaker hands, while significantly lower percentages hint at overpost-flop postflop play.