Guide to Reading Poker Tracking Stats. Improve your Game, plus Learn to Read your Opponents.
This guide is meant to be a starting point for beginners, and is subject to your own interpretation. There are no hard and fast rules when using tracking software(or Poker in general), as this is just a tool. When analyzing your opponents, tracking software works best in conjunction with your own live reads and observations. Don't stop paying attention! It must be noted that the more hands you have recorded, the more accurate your stats will be. It is generally accepted that 10,000 hands recorded is the starting point for accurate statistical analysis. So please don't read too far into the stats while they are building, as short term variances will have a higher than normal effect. Please feel free to submit your comments and ideas to improve this guide for all. Enjoy!
Important Statistics to Know and Learn:
Lets start with the basics by knowing whether you are a winning or a losing player. With the Big blinds won/100 hands, $ won/100 hands and Total winnings stats. Do you know where you stand overall? While basic, this is one of the most important things for you to know. The easiest indicator to read is the Total Winnings amount. Its not hard to miss whether you are winning or losing. Take it a step further and use the $ Won/100 Hands Chart to see your average rate.
Flops Seen is one of those numbers that is relative to the game structure, table size, and the style you are playing. A larger number generally equals looser play. While this can be acceptable for micro/fixed limits, small tables, and those comfortable in an aggressive playing style. For beginning purposes, players looking to start to improve basic performance should be around 20-30% Flops Seen. Tournament players generally should be on the tighter end, even down to 15% is acceptable. While Ring players are allowed to be a little looser and can go as high as 40%+ safely.
% Voluntarily Put Money in Pot (VP$IP): This statistic is how often you put money into the pot when you have nothing in the pot so far. In general, you only want to be playing hands when they'll make you money in the long term. Only some of the possible starting hands are profitable, so you'll be folding much more often than calling or raising. In general, a VP$IP% of 16-24% is considered reasonable, with 16% being tight, and 24% being somewhat loose. Once you reach 50-75 hands on an opponent, you can start to make determinations as to how tight/loose they are playing. You want to seek out players that have VPIP's above
Using VP$IP can also be helpful in trying to put starting hand ranges on your opponents. With a lower VP$IP you can imagine your opponent only playing their premium hands, where a player with a higher VP$IP can be in with a much looser range. Using the chart on the right will help you visualize hand ranges based on VPIP percentages.
Pre-flop raise% This is the % of times a player raises pre-flop. Raising pre-flop gives you a few advantages. First, it gets opponents to fold. No matter what cards they fold, your odds of winning the hand increase. It may even force a better hand to fold, in which case you've made a major upset. Raising can also clear out opponents in front of you, giving you better position for the rest of the hand. In general, raising between 9% and 13% of the time is reasonable. A percentage below that is too weak, and a percentage above that is too reckless. When reading the Pre-flop raise% on your opponents during game play, you will want to respect the Pre-Flop raises more from the tight, passive players and less from the more aggressive.
Post-flop aggression % ("Aggression frequency")This indicates how aggressive you or your opponents are, post-flop. It is calculated by counting the number of hands in which you've either bet or raised, and dividing this by the number of hands in which you've either bet, raised, called, or folded, and multiplying by 100. The higher this number, the more aggressively you are playing. A good number to be around would be at least 40%. If it’s not, you’re probably giving up too soon on your good hands, and that will cost you money in the long run. Note that this measure must be interpreted in combination with Flops Seen. Players who see very few flops will naturally tend to have a higher aggression % because they are only playing top-quality hole cards.
Blind stealing attempts% This indicates how often you attempt to steal the blinds when you had the opportunity to do so. (Poker Copilot considers that you have a blind-stealing opportunity when you are "on the button" (last before the blinds to make an action), and every player so far has folded) An attempt to steal the blinds is when you raised when given a blind-stealing opportunity. A good player attempts to steal the blinds often, but not always. A good number to shoot for should be around 30%, with a minimum of 20% and a max of 38%.
Check raise% This percentage measures the number of times you have check raised in a hand. A general percentage to shoot for is 0.70%. You should be above 0.50% and under 2%.
Fold BB% / Fold CB%(% player Folds Blind/% player Folds to C-Bet) This is a measure of how often your opponent fold to a bet. This is a very handy stat. The higher the number, the more likely it is they will fold to your bet.The lower the number, the more likely they will call your bet. Trying to steal a pot against a player with a very low fold % is not very smart. You will see that players under 35% will call a lot of bets. They chase plain and simple, they are known as calling stations. You will also see opponents that have fold to bet% of 65% and higher. You can steal many pots from this type of player with next to nothing. Pay attention to each fold%. You will be in many situations where you have position on a player that has a very low fold% on both the flop and the turn, but a dramatically higher fold% on the river. These players will also generally have a high win % when they bet on the river. If they check to you on the river, you can bet and chances are they will fold. Pay attention to fold% and how that relates to SD%. If a player has a high fold% combined with a low SD%, that is a green light to try and steal pots from them.
Went to showdown% This is a measure of how often you were still in the action when the hand went to showdown. Showdown occurs when the final round of betting is complete and at least two players are still in. WTSD% should be around 25-30% range for Full Ring Tables, and around 33-40% for 6max games, but will vary depending on your table. Tournament numbers should be a little tighter.
A player with higher than normal WTSD% generally makes them a calling station. These are the players which you should always value bet, as they are most likely going to pay you off. If you fall into this category, you need to look at what hands you are showing down and why. You are most likely giving too much value to your marginal holdings, and not showing enough respect to some of your opponents raises.
Players with real low WTSD% stats are the weak-tight opponents. These players fold way too much and basically play fit or fold poker. There are two general categories which these players fit in. The first are the players that see many flops, but give-up on the turn frequently. Against a player like this, you should be more prone to fire that extra barrel or value bet smaller holdings with the intent of it being the last money you put into the pot. The other type of player is the one that just gives up or folds too much in general. These often fit into the sub 15 VPIP category, but not always. You should be opening up your steal ranges and continuation betting almost all the time against them. When these players get to the river though, you should be careful as these players tend to showdown solid hands.
Won at showdown% This stat indicates how often you won a hand in a showdown. It is calculated as a percentage of all hands in which you went to showdown. A good range for W$SD is usually 50-55%. If your W$SD is much higher than 55%, you are probably folding to much. Likewise, you are probably calling down too much if this number is much lower than 50%.
Won Without Showdown% This indicates how often you won a hand without going to showdown because all other players folded. It is calculated as a percentage of all hands played. A good percentage to have is around 35%. If you are not reaching 35% there are three possible leaks you need to examine. 1)You are playing too many marginal hands. It is one thing to speculate here and there but too much is no good. 2) You are getting blown off too many hands by aggression. Remember, most flops miss most players. 3) You are not winning pots based on position and are not continuation betting enough.
When using a HUD, you get an on table numerical look into the players you are up against. What stats should you have displayed on your HUD? This is a personal decision, but most suggest having VPIP/PFR/Agg, and Times Played as a minimum. I personally include FCB, and WtS. You should feel free to change the stats on the fly as you probe your opponents statistically. Using the guidelines we went over before will now help you to determine the best way to play each player according to any holes or weaknesses you might find in their game. Don't forget that these are just stats and the best information you can have are your reads and observations during play.
This guide should give you a good starting point and solid foundation in evaluating your own and your opponents statistics. As you develop more you will find that these numbers will vary depending on your playing style, and the actual game you play. As you read and study more about poker, you will find these stats mentioned constantly, hopefully now you have a better understanding of what they mean and get more from those lessons/study. I would highly recommend "Kill Everyone" by Lee Nelson, Tysen Streib, and Kim Lee for a more advanced statistical look into No Limit Holdem.