Having a sufficient number of hands recorder in your HUD, how am I supposed to find leaks in my game? What are the questions I have to answer in order to check my game? Which are the values of reference of the stats?

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    Pfff... I think this would require quite a vast answer... It's an important question, though. I would keep it. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 15:09
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    The book Harrington on Online Cash Games; 6-Max No-Limit Hold'em by Dan Harrington and Bill Robertbie has a very thorough analysis of this. Link to book: amazon.com/Harrington-Online-Games-6-Max-No-Limit/dp/1880685493
    – Halvard
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 12:46

4 Answers 4


One of the easiest things you can look at is which hands are making money and which hands are losing money. Sort by number of blinds won/lost per hand type if you can, and then start at the bottom. These are the hands that are losing the most money and are very likely your worst leaks. You will probably be surprised at which hands you find here! Either stop playing the hands altogether, or consider HOW you play those hands and see if you can find a better way. Play a bunch more hands after making your adjustments, reevaluate and adjust again. Continue this cycle for as long as you play. There are tons of other things to look at, (including money won/lost by position at the table as Robbie mentions) but this one will get you started and have the biggest payback.

  • At a macro level this is a useful exercise but I'd be worried about there not be a sufficient number of hands to be able to make an informed decision. E.g. you might hit a straight and occasional flush with Q8s but you'd rarely want to play this out of the BB position. Pokercruncher for example has a feature that randomises hands with N players across hundreds of thousands of deals which is good for seeing how a particular hand holds up against other players.
    – Robbie Dee
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 13:47
  • @RobbieDee That is great.... As long as you are playing the hand correctly. Finding leaks involves finding those hands that are losing money because you are playing them incorrectly. Just because Pokercruncher says that a hand should be +EV doesn't mean that it will be for everyone!
    – lnafziger
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 14:57

I have started doing a bit more analysis in my games. I load up HEM2 before a session and review a few tournaments from the day before.

I mainly look at the hands where I have lost the most money and see how it could have been avoided. Look for the following:

  • Should I have been in the hand in the first place?
  • Did I play a marginal hand too aggressively?
  • Did I play a strong hand too passively and allow someone good odds to call and catch up?
  • Did I raise/call out of position with a silly hand?

I also look at what HEM2 is telling me about my hands. If I shoved, is it telling me its a +EV shove or not?

For example shoving A2s from UTG is a stupid move, but if you shove it from the SB its +EV. That kind of thing.

Hope this helps.

  • "shoving A2s from UTG is a stupid move, but if you shove it from the SB its +EV". What if you're heads'up ? :)) Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 12:17
  • @RaduMurzea all depends on stack sizes as well. I was just trying to provide an example without listing to many different permiatations
    – Gaz Winter
    Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 12:42
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    I know, I just... couldn't help it. In heads'up situations, UTG and SB are basically the same thing. So shoving with A2s is +EV or -EV ? I just thought the contradiction seemed interesting :) , you can ignore it. Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 12:50

The poker sites I've played offer me these stats:

(1) Number of flops seen in the BB position

(2) Number of flops seen in the SB position

(3) Number of flops seen in other positions

(4) Number of flops seen in total

(5) Hands won at showdown

(6) Hands won without showdown

Where applicable these are also displayed in terms of a percentage of the total number of relevant hands played.

In general, you'll play most hands in the BB position (1), fewer in the SB position (2) and fewer again in other positions (3). This would appear to be self-evident as blinds are in the late position.

I've heard it said that "good" stats for (3) & (4) are about 20% and 30% respectively but there is a wide amount of disagreement on this. Certainly it isn't something I pay too much attention to.

As for (5) and (6), you might think a high percentage of (5) would be good. Well, perhaps. But it might also indicate that you're not being aggressive enough with your premium hands.

A high number of pots won without showdown (6) might indicate that you're being too aggressive with your premium hands. If you have nuts, you want to be encouraging action knowing you've got your opponents beat.

When all is said and done, the true indicator is your stack. If this is going in the right direction, I wouldn't worry too much about what the stats tell you.

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    Actually, there are a lot more complex tools that can analyze your game given the provided hand histories. Based on them, the software will even tell you what strategies to employ to improve your game. What PokerStars or other platfroms tell you is pretty much close to nothing. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 19:48
  • Yep. I used PokerSpy years back which was pretty good. There are also a whole raft of iPad/iPhone apps for hand odds etc.
    – Robbie Dee
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 20:32
  • When describing the number of flops seen by position, you should certainly be seeing more flops from late position than from early position. UTG should be seeing the fewest, with an almost linear increase through the button where you see the most. Position is power. Also, you can always improve your game, so I disagree with the philosophy that "if you are winning, don't worry about it". Wouldn't you like to win more?
    – lnafziger
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 20:43
  • That isn't in dispute - just not sure the paltry stats the sites offer are any help in this regard though...
    – Robbie Dee
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 20:55
  • Well, he does say that he is using a hand recorder and a HUD. As well as being tagged with pokertracker and holdemmanager. I'm not sure why you think he's referring to the poker room stats. :-)
    – lnafziger
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 0:28

TL;DR: Determine where you are on the loose/tight-passive/aggressive scale and adjust accordingly.

The following two articles helped me enormously - assuming your HUD is tracking your vpip and fpr:

http://www.thepokerbank.com/articles/software/vpip/ http://www.thepokerbank.com/articles/software/pfr/

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