7 common mistakes poker players make when using HUD

Using HUD is one of the most basic aspects of players who treat their poker game seriously. A lot of players use the hud almost automatically, without paying much attention to it. As a result, players make very serious mistakes that affect the quality of their decisions at the table and hinder their development as pro players in the long run. Let's go through the most basic mistakes - make sure you don't make them 😉

Mistake #1. To concentrate on HUD more than on the action

Poker is a game of incomplete information, and any data that we manage to get is valuable. HUD helps us a lot in this. But do not forget that this HUD is just an additional tool. We can get the most basic information from the game dynamic itself. HUD and popups reflect general approximate statistics for various lines but do not forget that you play against a human. Their decisions are highly dependent on the dynamics in the current hand. Maybe with the current game line and current community cards, there are simply no bluffs in the opponent's range. In this case, no matter what bet % the opponent has on the river, you need to fold all your bluff catchers anyway.

Use your brain's main resources to follow the line and think about your and your opponent's ranges. Use HUD and popups to complete and correct this data. And not vice versa.

Mistake #2. Not paying attention to the sample size

Don't forget that stats are highly susceptible to variance. Always look at the actual sample size the stat has. I the sample is not representative, it is better to ignore this stat and concentrate on the analysis of the current game spot generally (see mistake #1).

Hand2Note has two useful features for stats appearance. First, sample size will be displayed for the stats while it’s 15 or less. That way, if you don’t see sample displayed for the stats, it means that there were more than 15 cases, and you can consider this data as pretty reliable. In case sample size is less than 15, you’ll see it next to the stat value, and it should be a sign for you either to use the data cautiously or even ignore it.

The second option also makes stats with non-representative sample a bit more transparent. This will help you quickly recognize unreliable stats during the game without having to go into popups.

Stats appearance settings in Hand2Note

Please note that you can customize the “reliable” sample size point and the opacity of unreliable stats.

Mistake #3. Relying solely on a stat value out of context

Another common mistake is when people start using one particular stat outside the context of the overall game line as an excuse for their plays.

Let’s suppose we have a guy with a 95% continuation bet on the Turn. Does he have a lot of bluffs in his second barrel? If you quickly answered “yes”, you just made the mistake mentioned in the title of this paragraph. Before answering this question, we should also check two things - 1. How often this guy opens Preflop, and 2. How often he bets on the Flop after that? Only with a combination of these two stats, the “Cbet Turn” stat starts making sense to use.

Look: if a player bets 50% on the Flop, and 50% on the Turn, his betting range is 25% of his original Preflop range. But if a player bets 20% on the Flop, and 95% on the Turn, his betting range is 19% of his original Preflop range, which is more narrow and stronger that in the first example 🙂 And we didn't even talk about preflop ranges yet here. Tight players with narrow open raise ranges may have bigger than average bet frequencies on later streets just because they have stronger ranges from Preflop.

Mistake #4. Not thinking about range composition

Let’s suppose the stat you’re looking at has a decent sample. And you also took into account a previous action. So you already avoid previous mistakes. Still, there is another catch about stat value. The actual opponent’s range lying behind the same stat value can be radically different.

Let’s assume you’re facing 3bet preflop and you see that your opponent usually does it with a 12% range in that kind of spot. You may think that it would be a linear 12% range, something like this:

12% linear preflop range

But it’s just your assumption. You never know for sure how your opponent constructs his ranges. His range might also be polarized and look like that:

12% polarized preflop range

Depending on what categories of hands your opponent fills his range with, the play on subsequent streets can be very different. And we haven't even talked about amateurs yet, whose ranges can depend on their mood and other irrational factors. One day an amateur's 12% range may include the top 12% of hands, and the next day he gets the idea to play all the strong hands passively, and behind the 12% number (which you interpret as a fairly strong range) hides the 12% of the worst hands he ever comes into play with.

Always think about your opponent's real range. These things will help you to understand preflop ranges better:

  1. Always check stats in context (See mistake #3). In the example above checking your opponent's cold call stat would help to better understand how he constructs his defending ranges.
  2. Investigate your opponents preflop using MDA. Mass Data Analysis is a powerful tool that will help you thoroughly study the tendencies of the field, including exactly how your opponents act preflop in various situations.
  3. Create your own preflop strategy and train it. It’ll structure your knowledge about preflop and help to better visualize ranges in your head. We recommend using Freebetrange tool - it has the intuitive and powerful Editor to build preflop charts, Viewer, and Trainer with two learning modes to practice ranges.
Freebetrange is the best tool to build and learn preflop ranges

Another thing that will help you to better understand opponents' ranges - not to fall into the next common mistake:

Mistake #5. Not checking showdowns on stats

We gradually come to the conclusion that even if we are aware of all the common mistakes, the stat values by themselves still do not give us a complete picture of the opponents’ ranges. Therefore, we believe that it would be a mistake not to use the Hand2Note feature that shows real showdowns in a stat popup.

Real showdowns are the most valuable information in poker. They will allow you to better understand the composition of an opponent's range, and can also provide solid insights into an opponent's playing style even with a small sample.

Mistake #6. Not using bet sizing and hand strength tells

If there are such opportunities, it would be a mistake not to use them. Because if your opponents use this advanced data, but you don’t, you are far behind. A new era of HUDs has come with Hand2Note, so make sure you learn and incorporate these tools into your game and analysis.

Mistake #7. Not enhancing your HUD usage

We have covered the main practical mistakes that players make when using the hud. However, there is one thing left, that we decided to highlight as a common mistake as well.

HUD and popups are your major tools as a professional player. First of all, make sure they really fit you. Our HUD Store offers a wide selection of quality packages from professional developers. Every package is open for editing and includes personal support from the author. Make sure to use these features and make your HUD and popups as convenient and practical as possible.

Secondly, dedicate at least one hour of your study time each month to discuss HUD and popups usage - with your colleagues or a coach. You can use the services of the official Hand2Note HUD expert Roman Belousov. He can help you create or improve your current HUD/popups, as well as teach you how to use all the features of Hand2Note professionally. Book a session with Roman on Getcoach.poker →

Alternatively, you can look for Hand2Note experts on other trustable poker coaching platforms.

Apply all the tips given in this article. You can significantly improve the efficiency of using HUD and popups, and, as a result, the quality of your decisions at the table and your development as a professional player.