More than 95% of online poker players use or have used a HUD to improve their chances of success. In fact, some of the top online players only got to that position because they use poker HUDs regularly. Standing for “Heads Up Display,” a HUD is software that collects data based on the hands you play, allowing you to use this data to make more informed decisions.
The best poker HUD for Mac is PokerTracker4. It provides a comprehensive list of HUD stats to choose from, which the software showcases as a representation of your opponent’s game. When used properly, a poker HUD can significantly improve your game by providing insights into your style of play.
In this article, I will review Pokertracker4 and its strengths and provide an alternative poker HUD for Mac users. Let’s dive in.
Interested in overall best HUDs for poker? I have a detailed list of them in this article.
When you use PokerTracker4, your plays and decisions become automated as you get a feel for your opponents and their possible reactions based on the data in front of you.
This HUD displays stats that allow you to predict when your opponent is likely to check, raise, or fold. Using this information, you can craft a strategy to maximize your chances of success against the other players at your table.
Here’s a list of the different statistics that PokerTracker4 allows you to gauge when studying an opponent.
Here are some statistics to help you determine the best course of action before the flop:
- VPIP: This stands for voluntarily putting chips in the pot. VPIP represents how active a player is and the percentage of hands they usually play. This number is the most crucial statistic and can tell you how loose or tight a player is with their chips.
- PFR: Pre-flop raise refers to the percentage of pots that your opponent raises pre-flop. Ideally, a player’s PFR should be 3%-6% lower than their VPIP.
- AF: Aggression factor shows how aggressively a player bets on the hands they play. An aggressive player is likely to bet heavily on any hand they play, so knowing this, you can opt out of the round when your hand is weak.
- 3Bet%: This statistic tells you how often a player re-raises a bet before the flop. It’s a valuable stat to have, especially when you’re in a precarious position, as the big blind.
- Fold to 3Bet: This stat tells you how often an opponent is likely to fold when there’s a raise before the flop. Knowing this can come in handy when you’re looking to eliminate a few players pre-flop.
- 4Bet Ratio: The 4Bet Ratio calculates how often an opponent raises a 3Bet.
- ATS: “Attempt to Steal” is a stat that helps you figure out when a player is raising preflop to steal the blinds.
- Fold to Steal: By figuring out when a player is likely to fold to a raise, you can eliminate players with a weak hand before the cards are dealt.
PokerTracker4 also has a list of HUD stats to help you figure out what to do after the flop:
- Flop CBet: This stat shows the percentage of times an opponent is likely to make a continuation bet after the flop.
- Turn CBet: The percentage of times a player is likely to place a bet on the turn after raising before the flop.
- River CBet: Represents how likely a player is to make a continuation bet on the river after raising pre-flop.
- Fold to CBet: This stat is available separately for the flop, turn, and river. It shows you the percentage of time an opponent folds to continuation bets made on the flop, turn, or river.
- WTSD: “Went to showdown” is a handy statistic to have, especially when bluffing. Those with a higher WTSD percentage are generally harder to bluff.
With these detailed, real-time insights, Pokertracker4 can help you take your poker game to the next level.
This poker HUD is the most comprehensive one, providing detailed statistics at different positions during the game. PokerTracker4 can be used for cash games, sit-n-go’s, tournaments, and other games with a few customizations.
Aside from detailed insights on your opponents, PokerTracker collects information about your own game, allowing you to study your style of play and the decisions you make.
These insights help you fix issues that are either reducing your profits or leading to losses.
What’s more? PokerTracker4 is compatible with both Mac and Windows, which is helpful for those playing across multiple devices. You can customize the HUD stats on your account and use the same customization across devices.
PokerTracker4 even offers a trial period on their software that you can download for free. You get to use it for fourteen days, see how it significantly improves your game, and invest in it based on the results.
Once you’ve downloaded the software, you will be given the option of documenting your plays, and all future hands will be recorded in the database. PokerTracker has simplified this process, so players need little technical knowledge to operate the HUD.
PokerTracker suggests the HUD stats you should be using and automatically records hand history without manual input. Additionally, most setting options are automated to eliminate confusion.
Multiple HUD Stats
When you start using PokerTracker4, the HUD stats will pop up on the tables you’re playing and update themselves as the game progresses and new information is analyzed.
As mentioned earlier, the software offers a comprehensive list of stats, and you may need to be selective about the stats you want to see due to limited screen space.
However, this information can help you make plays based on different parameters, helping you improve your game in the long run.
While this software features a few preset HUDs, you can customize your HUD stats based on the kind of games you’re playing.
Whether it’s a cash game, satellite, 6-max, or full-ring, each table will require a slight variation in playing style, and PokerTracker4 allows for this degree of flexibility.
Using this software, you can set up specific colors to reflect anomalies in the HUD stats. This color-coding can help you quickly notice changes in a player’s statistics and take action accordingly.
For example, you can get PokerTracker4 to highlight the number in red when a player’s AF (Aggression Factor) is above average.
Now, every time that percentage turns red, you know you’re up against an aggressive player without having to calculate the average. This information will allow you to tread carefully.
One of the essential (even unfair) benefits of using PokerTracker is that the software shows you an opponent’s hand even after they muck their cards.
Knowing what the opponent had can help you recreate the hand and discern why a player made specific decisions.
This information can help you make better plays against a similar opponent or employ the same tactics when required.
Advantages of Using PokerTracker4
The features, tools, and degree of customization available on PokerTracker can help significantly improve your chances of a successful online poker career. Let’s take a look at how.
The data consolidated by PokerTracker4 can give you an accurate representation of an opponent’s playing style.
With this information, you will have a more coherent understanding of when an opponent can be pushed to fold, when you need to back down and when to stand your ground.
This information is vital when making in-game decisions.
For example, if an opponent has a high percentage of Flop CBet (continuation bet on the flop), you know they’re likely to raise on nearly every flop. You can still call the bet with a weaker hand as your opponent is likely to be playing any cards in this situation.
However, if your opponent has a low Flop CBet ratio and still raises after the flop, you should be more cautious and only play if there’s a high chance of hitting something on the turn.
Conversely, if an opponent has a high Fold to Flop CBet, you can use this to drive him out on the flop by raising even with a weaker hand.
Perhaps the best part about using PokerTracker is that it allows you to play multiple tables effortlessly and with ease. When you’re multi-tabling, even with just two tables, information is in excess, and it can be difficult to process what’s happening and the best move to make.
Using a poker HUD will help cut down any calculations you need to make by giving you information about each player on each table.
This way, you reduce the amount of data to keep track of and free yourself up to make better decisions.
Most online poker players utilize HUDs primarily to understand an opponent’s playing style and develop effective counter-strategies.
And while this is the most common use of a HUD, it isn’t the most useful. The most underrated function is its ability to track your hand and provide data on how you played in your previous games.
PokerTracker4 has an advanced backend system with various tools to go through your hands and analyze your games. The software even breaks down individual hands, allowing you to see where you made a mistake or could have made a better decision.
By observing your style of play, you can make improvements and effectively close leaks in your game.
The best part about PokerTracker is its versatility, allowing you to gather data on how you play in cash games, tourneys, and sit-and-go’s. With this information, you can devise specific strategies and clean up your approach to each table.
PokerTracker4 is the most comprehensive Poker HUD out there, with thousands of loyal poker pros using it since it was first released.
And while most poker HUDs were built for Windows, PokerTracker works on Mac, making it the ideal tool for those using this operating system.
However, if you’re considering an alternative, here’s another poker HUD software for Mac users.
Poker Copilot: A HUD for Casual Players on Mac
Poker Copilot was the first HUD ever made for the Mac OS and was perhaps the only one Mac users could rely on. As such, it’s got excellent compatibility with the Mac OS and can be used across a range of devices.
Poker Copilot was initially released as an alternative to PokerTracker and Holdem Manager but has grown to become a popular poker HUD in its own right.
The latest version is the Poker CoPilot 6, and it comes with a range of options to help you make better decisions during the game.
Poker Copilot Features
Here are a few features that make Poker Copilot a great alternative to PokerTracker.
Poker Copilot has an incredibly simplistic design that’s easy to navigate and understand, even if you’re new to the game of poker. The HUD stats are provided in a neat, sophisticated manner so you can easily discern what plays to make and what to avoid.
This HUD also gives players the option to customize stats based on a variety of specifications.
As mentioned, players are allowed a greater degree of customization on Poker Copilot.
There are almost forty new statistics in the latest version that you can use to analyze plays and exploit your opponents.
These stats are broken down in any way you can imagine. They show how your opponents respond to squeeze bets and donk bets as well as their plays as big blind, small blind, under the gun, and various other positions.
Poker Copilot is a neat HUD and even keeps track of your bankroll, recording wins and losses so you can measure your long-term progress.
The latest upgrade on this HUD features a ‘Leak Finder,’ allowing you to go through your game history and see how various hands were played.
You can study hands where you felt you misplayed, and the software will even suggest better plays that could have been made in that situation.
While Poker Copilot is an effective HUD for Mac, there are limits to its use. Namely:
- Incompatible across all poker platforms. This limits the number of sites it can be used on.
- Poker Copilot offers limited analysis. What’s given is meant for beginners and intermediate players without much room for growth. As you get better, an HUD should have the tools to keep up with your progress, which is absent in Poker Copilot.
- It’s as expensive as high-end HUDs. This is despite the fact it offers limited analysis.
However, if you’re a beginner, Poker Copilot is the ideal software to start with. The simple design and easy relay of information will help prepare you for more complex HUDs like PokerTracker.
Do You Need a Poker HUD?
You don’t need a poker HUD if you plan to make a career out of online poker or earn money through poker regularly. However, most online professionals use HUDs, and if you don’t, you’ll be at a disadvantage when going up against these players. And I definitely advise you to have one. Why leave free money on the table :)?
Are Poker HUDs Legal?
Poker HUDs are legal and can be used across various poker platforms. However, each website will disclose its policy regarding HUDs and their use. These policies may differ slightly across platforms, so be sure to read these terms carefully.
What HUD Do the Pros Use?
The HUDs most online poker pros extensively use are PokerTracker4 and HoldEm Manager. These are advanced HUDs (heads-up displays) that provide helpful information about their opponents.
Is PokerTracker4 Compatible on All Sites?
The PokerTracker4 software itself is compatible with most sites. However, each website will have specific rules regarding the use of a poker HUD. In some instances, players may be allowed to use HUDs during tournaments but not in cash games or sit and go’s.
Does a Poker HUD Improve Your Game?
A poker HUD can help improve your game because the data revealed provides a clearer idea of your opponent’s motivation to make certain moves. These stats can help you make more informed decisions during the game. A HUD also gives an analysis of your playing style so you can adjust where necessary.
However, an HUD is only functional if a player is willing to study their own game and understand the different statistics highlighted by the software. Without individual effort, a HUD cannot improve your poker game on its own.
For example: Do you know how much do the big blind and small blind need to fold to a steal from a late position for you to open any two cards on the button? Or how often do your opponents need to fold against a c-bet that your continuation bet is always profitable?
Do You Need To Buy PokerTracker Separately for Mac and Windows?
You don’t need to buy PokerTracker separately for Mac and Windows; you receive a registration number when you purchase PokerTracker that you can use for other HUDs across different devices and operating systems.
A poker HUD can significantly increase your level as a poker player, helping you read an opponent’s cards better and get a feel for the table.
With the right mindset and a willingness to improve your game, you can use this software to increase your chances of success in online poker dramatically. And the ideal software to help you on your journey is PokerTracker4.