There are many powerful HUD statistics available that can make your life easier and offer you a way to exploit other players better than ever before. One such set of statistics are the Vs Hero stats within Holdem Manager*. These stats show how a particular opponent is playing specifically against you.
*Tadas is a proponent of Holdem Manager whereas I don't use it. But this article will be very useful for any HM users out there. -Sky
Compare Overall Stats Against “Vs Hero” Stats
Serious players know how to adjust their strategy versus different opponents, and comparing a strong player's general stats versus how they play against you can help you understand how they're trying to exploit you. Once you know how they exploit you, you can devise counter strike plays.
It's proven to be a very effective strategy in my games and undoubtedly helped me to increase my win rate.
For example, let’s say your opponents is 3betting 8% from the SB versus the BTN overall. But, you look at his 3bet vs BTN Hero and see it's 18% against you in that situation. With this information, you can easily counter it by adding more 4-bet bluffs than usual, or floating more hands since you are in position, or even opening a tighter range and letting your opponent level up.
While the vs Hero stat alone does not show you the full picture, comparing it to how your opponent plays overall will help you understand how he sees you and what adjustments you makes to counter your strategy. Just like with the 3-betting example, you can use this thought process in many spots if you have enough hands in your database on a particular opponent.
A Quick Note
It is worth mentioning that Villain stat vs Hero has little use for exploiting recreational players since they often stick to the same strategy no matter who they are playing. However, it can be life-changing against tough regulars and help you make much better decisions, so you should take advantage of the special stats your poker software has to offer.
On top of helping you to adjust versus a specific player, this feature can help you understand your own game and how other players see it, which is a perfect way to address troubling spots and fix some severe leaks once you find them.
Do Not Take It Too Far
While I love using vs Hero stats and often refer to them when making decisions against other regulars in my game, there is always a risk of taking it too far.
The biggest challenge comes when you only have a small sample size and still want to make massive adjustments, which can often end up costing you money.
If you want to target a very specific area and only have a couple of tracked hands on your opponent, you should just go for a GTO strategy and play a balanced range. So to start, just stick with a solid plan and only start adjusting your play when you actually can back it up with a meaningful sample.
Of course, even a small database can show you some tendencies, but relying on your opponent over folding to c-bet OOP in 3-bet pot just because he folded 100% till now (1 out of 1 hand) is going a bit too far. Always take a look at the sample size you have and evaluate it with proper logic.
Do Not Make It Overwhelming
While having a lot of information on your opponents is always great, do not try to fit everything you can on your main HUD panel. Instead, include vs Hero stats in more detailed popups.
This is true for all HUD stats, but in particular vs Hero ones since you will be only using it in specific situations, so covering your screen with these numbers is not the best idea.
You should use the main HUD for typical stats that you will be using most often, and put all detailed information in relevant popups. This should help you concentrate on playing the game instead of searching for the numbers all the time.
Easiest to Use “Vs Hero” Stats
While there are so many vs Hero stats available to you, a lot of the time, you will not have a big enough sample size to rely on the statistic. Therefore, you can get the most of vs Hero stats in areas that you often face, and luckily these are the most important ones.
3-bet vs Hero
Stats related to 3-bets are by far the most useful ones from the preflop section.
Seeing how your opponents adjust versus you can help to understand when to tighten your opening ranges, when to steal wider and how to counter their strategy either by floating more or 4-betting more as a bluff.
Since players have very varying 3-bet strategies, I believe this is the most useful stat and a must-have for any serious player.
C-bet vs Hero
While c-betting is often more fixed than 3-betting, you can still identify players that have common leaks in this section. The good news is that these c-bet stats will often show if your opponent is c-betting too much or too little against you, and this can easily be targeted by making simple adjustments.
Fold to C-bets vs Hero
This is another area where people are playing very differently against serious and recreational players. Even if your opponent's Fold to C-bet stat is low, and he likes to float a lot versus recreational players, he can be easily folding 60%+ to your c-bets, which makes it profitable to c-bet almost any two cards against such an opponent.
Bet Against Missed C-bet
Knowing how your opponent is playing when you decide to check after raising preflop can help you frame very effective strategies and is one of my most used vs Hero stats group.
Knowing these numbers will undoubtedly help you increase your win rate and make playing even more fun than before since you will be observing your opponents, learning and improving at a much better pace, and winning more.
So why not try it?
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