When you first start using poker software you may find like many others have, that all of the information being presented for you can be a little overwhelming and entirely confusing. So it’s best to approach it one indicator at a time. PFR, or preflop raising percentage is one of those indicators that is very significant because it can instantly show you how aggressive your online poker opponents are.
So pre flop raise is rather much straightforward, at least on the surface. This statistic is very representative of a player’s overall aggressiveness, but it 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 will start to build an approximate profile gauge of your opponent.
Now this is not the entire story of how aggressive a player can be because preflop raising is just that – it’s only action BEFORE the flop we are discussing here. How he gets into a hand, whether raising or calling goes directly to this poker software indicator.
So what does the stat represent anyway? Well a player with a PFR% of around 9% or 10% is probably rather tight-aggressive, even typical player. If you see an opponent with something like 16% or higher then that would be quite an aggressive character. Think about the hands you get dealt when looking at this number. Do you get good enough cards to raise with 1 of 5 hands? Keep in mind that everything depends on the situation, so the more stats you have collected, the more representative the PFR will be, just like any other stats.
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.
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? That’s 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.
If you just start with these two indicators, VP$IP and PFR% then you can add more as you go along. In fact these two are really all you need at the table, and when you get involved in a hand you can open up more stats in your poker software to look a little deeper into the complete profile of the opponent.