How to use the pre-flop raise indicator in poker software.

So before you can get the most out of your poker software you will need to know what the information such tools provide really means – such as PFR, or preflop raising percentage the subject of this video. All poker software tools have this as its one of the most relied upon indicators because it can help you understand what range of hands your opponent will raise with.

So pre flop raise is rather much straightforward, at least on the surface. This statistic is very representative of a players overall aggressiveness, but is not the complete story, so lets have a closer look. PFR percentage is how many times a player raises before the flop, divided by how many hands dealt to that player. The higher this number is the more unpredictable your opponent will be. 

Now if we go back to the Schoonmaker profile grid the VP$IP is represented on the tight and loose scale because it’s easy to measure this statistic of how many hands a player plays. But when you’re talking about raising and in this case preflop raising, it effects the passive aggressive scale because this explains how the player entered the pot. For instance, if he doesn’t preflop raise a lot, he would be more on the passive side. If he preflop raises more than he would be tending toward the aggressive side. Now if you combine these two scales, that should provide an approximate profile gauge of your opponent, at least at a glance.

However, there’s much more complexity to raising then there is just deciding to play a hand. That’s because, you can raise, you can reraise, you can three bet, you can C-bet, and reraise even more on subsequent rounds. So the full variety of raising tactics also factors into a players aggressive style. But for now now let’s clarify that preflop raising is when a player raises before the flop. That could mean a raise or a reraise. It does not mean calling, even if a player has called a raise. Any flat call would simply be added to his VPIP stat. 

Now for example at a full table of 9 or 10 players, a normal range for preflop raising would be around 6 to 10% for a typical tight-aggressive opponent. Higher than that tends to indicate more aggressive players, and the lower would tend to indicate a passive opponent. Of course everything is ALWAYS situational and can change radically depending other players styles, table size, game structure and stack sizes.

We now know two of the factors that regular cash game players will look at immediately when deciding to play a hand or make a play against an opponent. In fact, you may often read in blog posts or in poker training videos that an opponent is for example 32 -19… At 32 -19 a player would be VPIPing 32 percent and pre-flop raising 19 percent of his hands. You could expect a wide range of hands from this player, many of them being moderate, even weak hole cards played aggressively. Conversely, a 12/6 player who only comes into the pot 12 percent of the time, and only raises 6 percent would be very selective in their hands, and then likely ahead of most of your hole cards.

So for example if I was holding AJos against one of these players I would be inclined to reraise playing heads-up versus a 32/19 player, and quickly muck my hand preflop against a 12/6 opponent. Although this is a simplified example, the numbers and decisions are VERY REAL and common in game scenarios. Imagine just for a moment, playing without this information. No history, no profile, no picture clues. Well how do you play your AJ against either one of them now? Not so clear as to how to what strategy to use now is it? Thats why good players use poker software. A lot of skilled players will only look at those two factors in a preliminary sense, and then when the hand gets more involved will use their poker software to look deeper into that player’s entire profile.

Most poker software tools have multiple options for how the information is displayed, such as a HUD feature right beside the player avatar, then if you want deeper stats you can just mouse-over that avatar and a lot more data is instantly available to you. But if you choose not to have a HUD the Indicator products for example offer both HUD and attached view… so you can choose whichever view you like.