Poker Analytics For Beginners and theories — Statistical Arbitrage

Expected Value


Hand History Example

Playing Styles

  • Rock/Nit: This is very rare in my experience but this is someone who plays very few hands and very aggressively. Think VPIP of ~5–10%, which means, they only play 5–10% of hands dealt.
  • TAG (Tight and Aggressive): Has a broader range than a Nit, opening range could be 2–3 times that of a nit with VPIP around 10–15%.
  • LAG (Loose and Aggressive): Further evolution over the TAG, the game needs to be aggressive and quite a difficult style to play. VPIP around 30%.
  • Calling Station (Fish): VPIP over 40%, passive play. Very difficult to be profitable with such a broad range for a consistent period of time.

HUD (Heads Up Display )

  • VPIP(Voluntarily Put in Pot): Most important metric of all. Single-handedly can tell a lot about one’s looseness which is strongly correlated with the game’s skills.
  • PFR(Pre-Flop Raise): Gives a sense of aggressiveness, which is given for any player but too much can be a sign of too many bluffs. This combines well with VPIP to categorise the players. This is the sum of both initiated by the player and when he calls.
  • Called Pre-Flop Raise: How many times we called our way into the pot and not initiated the raises.
  • Unopened Pre-Flop Raise: The number of times, we were the initiators of the raise
  • Flops Seen: For a session, this is an indication of how many flops were seen. Because, every time you put money into the pot, either you or others might have folded pre-flop itself.
  • 3-Bet Pre-Flop: This means, this is the 3rd bet in the Pre-Flop round. First being the Blinds, second being a raise on it and then a further raise by you or others. Very strong move, when you believe you hold the strongest hands. Similarly, the other way around is when you folded to 3-bet from your opponent.


  • 4-Bet Pre-Flop: This is a further continuation of the previous metric when there is 3rd raise within the same round. 4-bet and 3-bet are useful as means to sometime defend the blinds. The opposite move is to fold to 4-bet by an opponent.
  • Squeeze Bet: Quite a rare occurrence but is defined as a Pre-Flop bet wherein a player raises, another one or more call in between before being raised again.
  • Aggression(%): This is the percentage of times, we raised or bet over total instances of flops seen. If we bet 6 out of the 10 times, we saw the flop including calls and folds, our aggression is defined as 60%.
  • Aggression Factor: Similar to the first metric but we take the ratio of raise or bet over calls. This could be used alternatively with aggression.
  • Check Raised: One of the interesting plays which can happen over the flop, turn or river. Here, the Hero can check the flop, allow the opponent to raise and then re-raise them. Perfect play against an overtly aggressive player against whom, we are sure of an advantage whereas folded to Check-Raise is the opposite, where we folded against such a move.
  • Continuation Bet (C-Bet): This is when a Post-Flop bet is continued with our initial raise pre-flop. Thus the name continuation bet, aggressive continuation bet can be used to barrel your opponents out of a weak or moderate hand. There are two more metrics related to it, folded to C-Bet and raised a C-Bet. The second signals a strong flop or maybe even nuts.
  • Donk Bet: This is when an out of position player raises before the Pre-Flop Raise. This supposed to have a negative image and is a bit of a complicated move. You can read more here.

Post Flop


Machine Learning For Poker


Startups & Analytics

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Abhinav Unnam

Abhinav Unnam

Startups & Analytics

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