Any player who wants to achieve remarkable results in a poker game should pay due attention to stats. They might seem intimidating at first, but soon enough you will understand that statistics in poker are simple and instrumental.
Take a look at our fundamental explanation of what poker statistics are and how to put them to good use.
Learn the Terms
Once you master the terminology behind poker statistics, you will easily move forward to reading them. People who play poker passionately will not hesitate to throw terms like “AF,” “PFR” or “VP$IP” around.
They are just short forms of different poker stats that skilled players monitor in order to determine their playing style and their opponents’.
VP$IP or VPIP stands for “Voluntarily Put $ (Money) in Pot” or “Voluntarily Put Into Pot”, whereas PFR stands for “Preflop Raise”. RFI represents “Raise First In” and WTSD means “Went to Showdown”.
As you can see, all of these are abbreviations and it shouldn’t take more than a look or two to logically associate them with appropriate actions/data.
Understand Basic Statistics First
If you are new to reading poker statistics, don’t be too hard on yourself. Yes, all of them are relevant, but for a novice you can focus on vital stats first.
The essential poker statistics are Voluntarily Put $ in Pot (VPIP), Preflop Raise (PFR) and Postflop Aggression Frequency (Agg).
VPIP covers the money you add to the pot before the flop without counting the Big Blind, the Small Blind, or the Ante. It is a percentage that shows how often you called, bet, or raised. A good number for VPIP is between 15% and 20%, generally speaking.
The optimal percentage can vary depending on the type of poker or the number of players at the table.
Preflop Raise indicates how often you have raised before the flop. Lower values are usually associated with passive players, and higher values with aggressive players.
In this case, aggressiveness is good. PFR can’t be higher than the maximum value of your VPIP. Ideally, it should be somewhat lower, between 2% and 3% lower than the VPIP.
Postflop Aggression Frequency indicates exactly that – how aggressively you act postflop. As this number gets higher, you are playing more aggressively (playing top-quality hole cards).
Make sure that you interpret Agg in combination with VPIP. If you have the optimal percentage for VPIP, the Agg should be in the 50%-60% range.
Additional Statistics for Optimal Results
As you advance as a poker player, you’ll want to consider more stats, such as how much you have won in regards to the Big Blind. Your win rate should be positive. If not, you are losing money.
RFI stat should usually be in the 20-30% range for a successful player. You are being too aggressive if the value goes beyond that. A significantly lower percentage indicates that you have opportunities to raise, but you aren’t taking them.
Other stats you should consider keeping track of are Cbet Flop, WTSD, Aggression % by street, River Call Efficiency, 3-Bet, W$SD (Won Money At Showdown) and WWSF (Won When Saw Flop).
There are over a dozen poker stats you should be mindful of, both essential and sub-stats. For easier handling and interpreting, keep them all on your HUD (Heads-Up Display).
Use Poker Hand Tracking Programs
HUD is a tool used in online poker games to track and display poker statistics in real time. By applying handy software, you can obtain an edge over the game.
Various poker hand tracking programs nowadays include a HUD, so with a bit of online practice you should become proficient in reading stats soon enough.