If you’ve ever watched a Twitch streamer play poker online, chances are you’ve noticed a bunch of colorful numbers floating next to each of their opponents at the table.
This means they’re using a poker HUD (“heads-up display”), a piece of computer software that displays analytics about your opponents based on hands you’ve previously played against them. The HUD overlays on your poker tables so you can reference the information as and when you need it.
Some streamers choose to hide their HUD when streaming, while others display them, giving the viewers an insight into how they examine and apply the information in-game. It’s safe to say all high-level poker players use them.
In his BBZ Bundle, Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond breaks down which statistics he uses in his HUD, and which he believes are the most important.
Here’s a look at what BBZ looks at to help inform his decisions in-game.
NOTE: For aspiring players who are new to HUDs, your HUD needn’t be as detailed as BBZ’s. We’ll list the ‘must-have’ stats you should include in your own HUD at the end.
NUMBER OF HANDS
This stat simply shows you how many hands you have played against an opponent.
“This tells me how relevant the data set I’m working with is,” says BBZ. “In a perfect world, we have a few hundred hands or more on someone, but often we’re making do with less.
“My general philosophy around HUD use is that bigger data sets are better by a large margin, so I have a focus on pre-flop data even when I’m making post-flop decisions.”
3-BET / FOLD TO 3-BET
These stats will give you an understanding of how aggressive your opponent is playing, but also how wide a range they’re opening. If your opponent has a high fold-to-3-bet percentage, this incentivises us to 3-bet them more often.
But remember: if your sample size is too small, this information could work against you. All players go on hot streaks where they might pick up 10 premium starting hands over a 30-hand sample, for example, and 3-bet every time. This doesn’t mean they’re always over 3-betting.
LIMP / LIMP-FOLD / ISOLATE LIMPERS
This stat particularly targets play from the small blind.
“These blind vs blind stats are very helpful,” says BBZ. “Some people don’t limp very often, others limp 100%. They should be limping around 85% but it can be very helpful to know if someone is trying to limp 100%.”
RAISE FIRST IN (RFI) BY POSITION
(from left to right: SB, BTN, CO, MP, EP)
BBZ pairs this line with the line above it. “This pairing will give you a very good understanding of what someone is doing in the small blind. It’s very important to have access to that. The most relevant info is going to be the positions with the widest ranges.”
BBZ then groups the next three lines together.
BIG BLIND (BB) FOLD / BB 3-BET / BB CALL
SMALL BLIND (SB) FOLD / SB 3-BET / SB CALL
BUTTON (BTN) FOLD / BTN 3-BET / BTN CALL
“These three lines are extraordinarily important to me,” says BBZ. “People who have gone through my content know that I really emphasise the steal positions–big blind, small blind, button, late positions in general–and the reason for that is that’s where poker takes place.
“Knowing how someone plays under the gun when you’re UTG+1 isn’t as relevant because you might be six-handed a lot, four-handed a lot etc.
“All wide ranges happen around the late positions, so this where I want the most information. This is where opportunities lie. This is where people might overdo it, underdo it, etc.”
Next BBZ has some generic post-flop stats that he likes to keep tabs on.
FOLD TO C-BET ON FLOP: “Lots of exploits open up if someone is folding too much.”
BET VS MISSED C-BET: (i.e. bet when checked to)
CHECK FOLD PERCENTAGE (i.e. Fold to bet on flop)
C-BET IN POSITION
C-BET OUT OF POSITION
Preflop stats are very important. BBZ believes that both a player’s fold to c-bet percentage and their c-bet flop percentage offer many simple exploits.
“I like looking into these numbers because someone’s aggregate c-bet is great to have, but obviously we deploy very different strategies as the IP vs OOP c-bettor,” says BBZ. “If I flat someone on the button or in the cutoff vs MP or EP, it can be very helpful to know if someone is continuing to c-bet when they’re OOP at a high clip, or whether they’re using a more reasonable strategy that involves a lot of checking in general.”
When BBZ is in-game, you’ll see him referencing these preflop stats a lot as that’s where he has the most samples.
“You’ll see me bluff catching rivers when someone opens too much, for example. What a balanced range might come down to in a spot could be just a few value bets. They could be constrained to just a few value bets, so if I can come up with a few extra bluffs, that might make the difference between a -EV bluff catcher and a +EV bluff catcher.
WHICH STATS SHOULD YOU USE?
To keep your HUD simple and easy to use while you grow your data set, we suggest you have the following stats on display:
NUMBER OF HANDS
This shows you how relevant your data set is. The bigger the number, the better.
“Voluntarily put money into pot” shows you what percentage of hands an opponent is playing overall.
“Pre-flop raise” shows you the percentage of hands an opponent is opening.
This shows you the percentage of hands an opponent is 3-betting vs an open.
FOLD TO 3-BET
This shows you the percentage of hands an opponent is folding to 3-bets after they have opened.
This shows you how often an opponent is c-betting on flops. If the number is very high over a large sample, it’s likely they lack some fundamentals.
FOLD TO C-BET
This shows you how often an opponent is folding to c-bets on flops. The bigger the number, the more aggressively you can c-bet.
This simple HUD set-up will give you the basic information you need to inform your decisions. The larger your data set becomes, the more detailed you can make it. And remember, you can always click on an opponent’s tab to see a more detailed breakdown of all statistics.