Online Poker Stats – How to Use Statistics to Crush Your Competition
Over the past couple of decades, online poker has evolved from a fun pastime to a fully-formed branch of the entertainment industry – and a lucrative one at that.
The best online poker players know how to utilize every tool at their disposal and employ math to increase their chances of winning in the long run.
A big part of being successful in online Texas Hold’em is understanding the essential statistics and using them to your advantage.
If you want to become more successful at online poker and crush your opponents at the virtual tables, here are the 16 crucial online poker stats you need to master.
Why Are Poker Statistics Important?
Poker is a game of probabilities. If you want to make optimal decisions on every hand, you must have a solid mathematical understanding of everything that makes the game what it is.
Fortunately, when playing online, you have a convenient and straightforward way of accessing in-depth and helpful poker statistics.
Of course, we’re talking about using a HUD. The Heads Up Display can be your most trusted ally in beating your opponents.
When used correctly, a HUD will display your opponent’s stats in real-time and give you the necessary edge to end up on top. With all of this in mind, using a HUD won’t do you much good if you don’t have a deep understanding of all of the stats it displays every second.
Without a solid grasp of online poker stats and how they impact your winning odds, you’re just watching numbers on the screen, lacking any insight into what they mean and how they can help you get the edge.
To make all of the comprehensive information on this page easier to digest, we’ll divide the online poker stats into two separate categories – pre-flop stats and post-flop stats.
With that in mind, let’s dive right into the crucial pre-flop information you should pay attention to when playing online poker.
Crucial Pre-Flop Stats
Pre-flop poker stats can show you a lot about player’s tendencies, so knowing where to look will help you make much better decisions in the long run.
The Voluntarily Put Into Pot, or VPIP, is one of the essential pre-flop stats you should always have on your HUD.
It’s an extremely convenient tool for profiling your opponents in terms of their pre-flop game.
VPIP shows the player’s tendencies for voluntarily putting money into the pot before the flop is out. This can be either by raising or calling.
The VPIP will allow you to determine whether you’re going up a skilled player or a recreational one who doesn’t have that good understanding of the game. That said, the VPIP stat requires a large sample to be efficient in determining the player’s tendencies.
You’ll need at least 250 to 300 hands to accurately and confidently understand your opponent. As a rule of thumb, an average-skilled player with a basic understanding of the game will VPIP around 25 percent of the time.
The Pre-flop Raise (PFR) is another one in the group of essential online poker stats, describing how often your opponent has entered the pot pre-flop by raising.
This can be either through raising first in, 3-betting, or via cold 4-bets and 5-bets. Similar to VPIP, you’ll need to have a sample of at least 250 to 300 of your opponent’s hands to get an accurate number.
When used with VPIP, the PFR can greatly contribute to your success in reading through your opponent’s pre-flop tendencies and maximizing your success. In that context, the norm for average poker players is to preflop raise around 20%.
Understanding the 3-bet statistic will help you build up your defending range, as well as your pre-flop opening ranges.
When it comes to specific numbers, most poker players 3-bet around 5 to 10 percent of the time. Good and above-average players go for this move around 8 percent of the time.
When you have a good grasp on how often your opponent will go for the 3-bet move, you’ll be able to make adjustments based on how loose or tight they play.
For example, if you’re facing an overly-tight 3-bettor who’s behind, you can open-raise with a wider range. Oppositely to this, if an aggressive 3-bettor is behind, you should open-raise on a tighter range.
Formulating precise and accurate statistics on the 3-bet requires a significantly larger sample than you need for PFR and VPIP poker stats. You’ll require around 1,000 poker hands to confidently determine your opponent’s propensity for 3-betting.
Fold to 3-Bet
The fold to 3-bet statistic shows you how often the other player has folded to a 3-bet after raising pre-flop.
The basic fold to 3-bet stat is a good tool, but you should ideally look for a HUD feature that specifies “Fold to 3-bet after raising” as this is a more useful stat because it doesn’t include the opponent’s hands in which he didn’t put the money in the pot.
This stat isn’t uniform like the previous ones, as you should look at it from two different perspectives.
You should divide it into OOP (Out of Position), and IP (In Position) fold to 3-bets because the two come with varying betting frequencies.
For the OOP, the appropriate frequencies range between 45 and 50 percent. On the other hand, for IP, frequencies range between 40 and 45 percent. The ideal sample size you need to accurately analyze Fold to 3-Bet online poker stats is around 1,500 hands.
The pre-flop squeeze is a stat that shows how often your opponent has re-raised after someone else has raised first and another player has cold-called.
Although often overlooked, the pre-flop squeeze can be very useful in helping you gauge how much you should defend against 3-bet squeezes.
Since this situation is infrequent, you’ll need a massive sample of at least 2,500 to 3,000 hands to identify a squeeze frequency. Generally speaking, a typical frequency is approximately 7 to 9 percent.
A common type of bluff, a steal, is a raise a player makes with an inferior hand to make other players with better hands fold. As such, understanding your opponent’s tendencies to go for this bluff can be very lucrative when playing online poker.
Your decision of when to defend against the steal will depend on other information and poker stats you have on the opponent. It can also vary significantly depending on the poker position from which the steal attempt is coming.
To get an accurate grasp of your opponent’s steal tendencies, you need a sample size of at least 1,000 hands.
Fold BB to Steal
The Fold BB to Steal statistic showcases how often a player in the big blinds folds to raises from the late positions.
Although this may not seem like a big part of the game, looking at it in the long run, you can win a lot of money by stealing big blinds and antes.
Suppose you recognize that your opponents fold to a significant percentage of steal attempts. In that case, you should focus on exploiting their weakness by attacking blinds every time you have the opportunity to do so.
Following this, you should also keep an eye on how many hands you fold to steals, as you never want to leave the window open for other players to force you to fold in this situation.
A general rule is that if this number is above 60 or 70 percent, it’s something you have to work on and fix without delay, as it can potentially cost you a lot of money. This is the last important of the online poker statists you have to master before moving on to the game’s postflop part.
Essential Post-flop Poker Stats
If you are playing against professionals who follow the GTO poker strategy, there are not many adjustments you can make to exploit them, but this changes when you face weaker opponents.
Recreational players can deviate from optimal play by a lot, and knowing their tendencies will help you make much more money.
This is where online poker stats come into play, and if you are looking to make math-based decisions make sure to put extra attention to following numbers.
Flop Continuation Bet
The Flop Continuation Bet is very useful in showing you how often your opponent will C-Bet on the flop after raising pre-flop.
Mastering this part of the game is a complex subject and deserves a separate article explaining correct plays depending on different fluctuations. This is because it should be divided into single raised pots and 3-bet pots. Furthermore, it should be divided into Out of Position and In Position scenarios.
That said, there are some pointers you should remember in all situations. It’s better to have a lower flop C-Bet in single raised pots, ideally up to 30 percent.
Oppositely to this, it’s better to have a high flop C-Bet in 3-bet pots. When it comes to this, the numbers you should aim for should be between 50 and 70 percent.
Considering the sample size required to make correct decisions on the flop C-Bet, you need at least a couple of thousand hands to make this poker statistic useful and reliable. However, the precise sample size isn’t so crucial, mainly because the fluctuations can be whopping.
Fold to Flop Continuation Bet
The Fold to Flop C-Bet shows you how often your opponent has called a pre-flop raise and then folded to a C-Bet on the flop. As with some other poker stats, you need to divide this one into two sub-categories.
What’s more, you need to divide the information twice. Firstly, into single raised pots and 3-bet pots. After this, you should divide it into In Position and Out of Position to get correct information on the player’s betting tendencies.
Ideally, the folding frequency should be below 50 percent.
There’s no precisely set sample size for this one, as fluctuations can be significant depending on many factors. That said, if you’re looking for a ballpark number, you need at least a couple of thousand hands so you could rely on this statistic.
The Turn C-Bet statistic helps tell you how often your opponent will continue with aggressive betting on the turn.
This information pertains to the player who was the last to raise and can be used only when the player has some idea of the opponent’s hand and decides to continue betting.
To get an accurate read of the player’s tendencies to continue his aggression on the turn, you need a hand sample size of at least a couple of hundred, ideally a thousand hands or more.
As for the specific percentages to aim for, successful poker players maintain this number around 50 percent, plus-minus ten percent.
Fold to Turn C-Bet
The Fold to Turn C-Bet stat shows you how often your opponent folds the turn when faced with a continuation bet.
This can either be a fold when in position or when out of position. Either way, this is one of the more niche online poker stats that most average players don’t pay much attention to.
So, how should you play into the Fold to Turn C-Bet stats? A simple rule is to frequently bluff Fold to Turn C-Bets that are around 60 percent or greater.
If this number stands at around 40 percent or less, you can still semi-bluff with your drawing hands and when you’re in position but otherwise thread carefully.
Also known as a triple barrel, a River C-Bet is when a player bets on the river after raising pre-flop, betting the flop, and betting on the turn.
Making River C-Bets means that the player has been the aggressor across all streets and can be difficult to play against.
The River C-Bet statistics formula is more complicated than most online poker stats on this page because it includes many different factors across all streets.
Many players maintain a River C-Bet frequency of around 50 percent. However, when looking at this stat, be very cautious, as the River C-Bet can often come back to haunt you.
Fold to River C-Bet
The Fold to River C-Bet stat shows how often your opponent will fold the river when facing a continuation bet.
As with all other continuation bets, this bet’s outcome can significantly depend on whether the player is betting in position or out of position.
Moreover, the statistical range can be very wide, from just 30 and up to 70 percent. With that in mind, this is a piece of statistical data you should always use with a grain of salt.
This is because a 60 percent Fold to River C-Bet doesn’t mean that your opponent will always continue to fold 60 percent of your bets.
As a very specific statistic, Fold to River C-Bet can be challenging to rely on, as you need thousands, if not tens of thousands of hands, to get a reliable sample that’s worth looking at.
River Call Efficiency
The River Call Efficiency stat can be very useful in helping you find out how effectively you are calling on the river.
A simple way of looking at this statistic is how many dollars you win on average for every dollar on the river call. If this number is 1, your river calls are break-even.
If the number is below 1, you’re likely calling too often and with weak hands. If this number is over 2 or 2.5, you’re probably only calling with really good hands and missing quite a few calls you should be winning on.
As with all other online poker stats on this page, the sample size is a key factor. You need upwards of 10,000 hands to effectively measure how efficient you are at calling river bets.
While this may sound like a lot, it’s the bare minimum for this statistic. This is simply because only a small portion of all of your hands will go to the river. Moreover, an even smaller number of those will be a hand with which you’ll be able to call on the river.
Went to Showdown
If you want to identify how much of a calling station your opponent is, the Went to Showdown (WTSD) is one of the most important postflop poker statistics to look at.
In simple terms, the WTSD tells you how often the opponent in question reaches the showdown phase after seeing a flop.
It’s also one of those online poker stats that you want to keep under the tight control of on your part. The ideal number to aim for is 30 percent, plus-minus a few percent.
If you’re significantly under this number, you’re over-folding after the flop and unnecessarily leaving money on the table.
On the other hand, if you’re above the 30 percent figure, you should start calling less often. In line with that, if you notice that a player is a calling station and frequently reaches showdown, you’ll have a much easier time beating them.
With all of this said, the WTSD stat does require a huge sample to give out any accurate information. You shouldn’t make any significant game changes and adjustments without having a sample of at least 7,000 to 8,000 of your opponent’s hands.
Won Money at Showdown
The Won Money at Showdown stat, often abbreviated as W$SD and WSD, is precisely what it sounds like. It tells you how often your opponent has come out on top after reaching a showdown.
You should use the WSD stat in conjunction with the WTSD statistic, as it’ll give you a clear perspective of your opponent’s decision-making and success in the latter stages of the game.
A good number to aim for is around 50 percent for yourself and much less for your opponent. When the WSD is low, it means that the opponent is calling too many hands or often bluffing.
Oppositely to this, when the WSD is too high, it means that your opponent rarely bluffs or catches bluffs. The WSD stat requires the same sample size similar to the previous one, i.e., around 7,000 to 8,000 hands for a reasonably accurate read.
Online Poker Stats – A Brief Sum Up
The 16 crucial stats we share with you on this page are something every aspiring poker player should have on their HUD.
Moreover, with all of the sub-categories we’ve discussed, this guide includes well over two dozen different statistical parameters you should pay attention to when playing online poker.
Tracking poker statistics through a detailed online poker HUD like the one available in Poker Tracker 4 is the difference-maker that sets apart casual players from those who consistently find success playing the game.
With the comprehensive information we shared with you in this thorough guide, you now know more than most online poker players.
All that’s left now is to apply this statistical knowledge in the field and crush your opponents with poker skills and know-how.