Be aware of your opponent’s HUD

These days many of your online poker opponents at 888poker will be using tracker programs with HUDS. However in my experience then most players either do not interpret this data correctly or through laziness do not delve into it deeply enough. There are lots of knock on effects to using a HUD and one such effect is that it can often make the player lazy at the table. No tracker program will do your entire job for you. It is there to assist you in playing poker and not to almost “replace” you as a poker player.

You also need to remember that HUD’s merely represent historical data. Players change and the averages can be very misleading. For example a player that has a very high VPIP attached to a small sample size may have been playing that way against more passive players in the blinds.

It doesn’t mean that they are playing loose-aggressive from early position. Because the statistics are averages then they can be largely discounted…….I said discounted…….not eliminated! The fact of the matter is that extra information can be both harmful or helpful and it is what we do with that information that matters the most.

Most players will use pre-flop guidelines to influence their views about a certain player in cash games on 888poker.com . This means looking at their VPIP/PFR/AF stats. These basic tracker stats tell us or your opponent how many times we place money into the pot voluntarily and if we do that in an aggressive or passive way.

There is one common denominator that binds all online poker players; this is that we all have to see the same number of hands pre-flop. So in a nine player full ring game then whether you are loose-aggressive or tight-passive or whatever, you will see nine hands before the flop and whether you fold, limp, call or raise is up to the individual.

This then means that your opponents can build up a very reliable sample size of your VPIP/PFR/AF statistics within a very short space of time. This is even more so if you or your opponent happen to be multi-tabling. The pre-flop betting round is not only the easiest round to play well but it is also the betting round where your opponents will have the most data on you. This means that to get around the bulk of your opponents HUD stats that you should be playing more post flop poker.

Your opponent will have less flop data on you, even less turn data and far less still on the river. They may have showdown stats and non-showdown stats but they may not be aware of any patterns that you have on the turn or the river and especially so at the lower levels of play. This means that there is far more scope to outplay your opponents from the flop onwards. At the end of the day then there is only one thing that should concern you at the poker table…….this is how well your hand does against your opponents range.

This can happen in many different ways and you often do not need equity to make a play at a pot. For example let us say that you have the 7d-3d in the big blind and three players limp in. Clearly none of them have a raising hand otherwise they would have raised. While it is certainly possible that someone could have limped in with a big hand, this is not likely.

The flop comes Ad-Kh-Js and you check as do your three opponents. The turn card is the 4s and now most players would check here and checking certainly isn’t wrong because the absolute value of your hand is very low. However your opponents checked and so you have a chance here to bet a sizeable amount on the turn even into three opponents.

If you get called then you have to be willing to fire another barrel on the river of at least the size of the pot. What you are doing in actual fact is attacking your opponent’s wide range and the fact that they likely have a hand that is only mediocre that probably wants a cheap showdown.

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