Wrong! Here are the Right Hold’em Manager / PokerTracker 3 Stats for Heads Up

Posted on Dec 01, 2008 by Gugel in Hand Reading and Tells

I see it all the time on 2+2. People look at the wrong stats when trying to make a read. You aren’t supposed to use the same stats for 6max or fullring as you would for heads up. To add to the problem, the most common mistakes are usually the most serious.

VPIP (Money Voluntarily Put in the Pot)

If you’re looking at just a single aggregated VPIP stat, you’re making a big mistake. Let’s say you opponent’s VPIP is 50%. Does that mean he’s a donk that’s calling 50% from the button and 50% from the BB? Or does that mean he’s calling 20% from the BB and raising 80% from the button? You can’t tell with just a single VPIP stat! You need to split it up into BB VPIP and Button VPIP for the VPIP stat to be of any use.

PFR (Preflop Raise)

Again, you want to avoid a general PFR stat. Instead focus on the villain’s PFR from the button. This will tell you how often your opponent is limping vs. raising. The 3betting stat is also extremely useful.

Number of Hands

You need to know if your stats are statistically significant. If you just played a few hands with an opponent, you can’t really make any reads. I usually like to see at least 50 hands before I make any serious assumptions.

C-Bet Frequency and Fold to C-Bet Frequency

If a player is continuation betting 100% of the time, you should obviously be more likely to float/call down. Likewise, if a player is very conservative with his continuation bets, you should be more conservative with your floating/calling frequencies. The fold to c-bet stat will give you a general sense of what to value bet, if you can run your opponent over, and when to just check when you miss the flop.


Split it up by flop aggression, turn aggression, and river aggression. Some villains are aggressive on all streets. Others are aggressive on the flop, but slowdown on later streets. Still others are passive early on and then turn up the heat. It’s important to know your opponents’ tendencies, but honestly, these are not my “bread and butter” stats.

WTSD (Went to Showdown)

Is the villain a calling station or can you bluff him off a lot of his hands? This stat will give you a general sense of what to expect, but again, I don’t use it that much,

Donk Bet

A donk bet is a bet out of position. It’s often a weak hand or a draw since a stronger hand would usually go for the checkraise. A high donk bet stat will probably tell you that your opponent is not very good. Again, this stat is useful in a few situations, but it’s not vital.

Hopefully this clears some misconceptions on what stats you should be tracking. Have other stats that use for heads up? Leave a comment!

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4 Responses to “Wrong! Here are the Right Hold’em Manager / PokerTracker 3 Stats for Heads Up”

  1. Marissa

    18. Jan, 2009

    Can you speak to the ranges we should be looking for when using these stats. I am having some trouble identifying how stats numbers relate to various player types. For example: what does a loose passive vs. weak tight stats look like when you are viewing your heads up display? If I get a sense of player types and their ranges I believe I can have a better hud layout:)
    Thanks. Love the blog!

  2. [...] you can make a custom heads up HUD yourself.  I’ve even told you what stats are particularly important for heads up.  But here are 3 reasons why it’s worth the [...]

  3. field

    23. Apr, 2010

    i like knowing the fold to 3bet stats- some players at microstakes are close to 100%… jackpot!

  4. bb

    21. May, 2010

    i prefer playing with as little stats as possible if you play 1-2 tables so you can get reads and know the frequencies by yourself and not always depending with stats.

    stats won’t tell you how tilted is after you 3bet him 3 times in a row and stuff like that. they are good for a general sense but in HU can’t be reliable