A heads up display, or HUD, is a tool used by online poker players to display statistics on other players at the table directly around thier name. To the skilled professional this tool is indespensable. When professionals play poker online they often play several tables at a time. Many players will play 4-16 tables at once across several monitors. When you are playing this many tables and hands at a time it is virtually impossible to keep track of the playing style of every opponent at the table. The HUD can help you to keep track of who plays how by just glancing at their stats before you act. So how does it work?
The hand histories for every hand that you play online are stored on your hard drive. These hands can then be imported into a tracking software (discussed in part one of this series) and compiled into a database. The HUD will then read this database along with the current hand histories for live tables and display the stats directly on the table to help poker players make quick decisions based on the playing style and weaknesses of thier opponents without having to actually watch every hand closely. So how is this beneficial in actual play?
We all know that watching how our opponents play closely will help us exploit their weaknesses. When you use a HUD in conjunction with a datamining software program (discussed in depth in part four of this series) you can get a huge advantage over your opponents. You can move from table to table and always know exactly how your opponents play without spending too much time studying them in real time. Your software will do it for you. Some players fold the flop 60% of the time but constantly check raise the turn. If you see that on a players stats, and they call the flop, you can often expect a checkraise on the turn. This may be a good time to check behind with a mediocre hand and save two bets. Without a HUD you would have to watch this player closely for thousands of hands to realize that this is their standard play when they make a big hand. Other players will try to run over any table they sit down at and raise 50% of the time before the flop. You will probably pick up on this after a few orbits even if you’re playing 8 table or more, but with a HUD you’ll know what you’re dealing with before the first hand is even dealt.
Another usefull tool that your HUD will afford you is that it will tell you your opponents hole cards after the hand is over if they go to showdown and much their hand so that you can’t see it. Its helpful to know what a player will call a river bet with. This alone will help you value bet the river against players who will showdown weak hands.
Anyone playing poker online should be using a heads up display. The professionals are using them, shouldn’t you?
Professional poker tools is a series of articles. This is part two. The author is not affiliated with nor does he sell any of the software discussed in any of these articles. Please view the authors other articles to find more information on professional poker tools.