Tips for a new Poker Copilot user

A friend of mine started using Poker Copilot recently. At first she found the statistics mystifying, so here’s the advice I’d give her – and others. Agree with me? Disagree? Add you opinion in the comments.

When you start using Poker Copilot, the statistics can be confusing. Here’s how to make sense of the “big three” statistics:

  • Voluntarily Put $ in Pot (VPiP)
  • Preflop Raise (PFR) Post-flop
  • Aggression Frequency (Agg)

The first thing you should do with Poker Copilot is evaluate your own playing style using these statistics.

Voluntarily Put $ in Pot (VPiP)

This measures how often you voluntarily invested money into a hand. Paying the big blind, the small blind, or the ante is not considered voluntary. Therefore this percentage indicates how often you called, bet, or raised. The lower this value, the tighter your hand selection is. The higher, the looser.

What is a good VPIP range?

Tight is right.

Simple answer: between 15% and 20%. This assumes you want to play tightly, you are playing micro-stakes, and you are playing on full ring tables.

Now the more complicated answer: it depends a lot. If you are still learning to play good poker, then you should be very selective in which hands you play, so your VPIP might acceptably be a tad lower than 15%. The less people on the table, the more hands you can play. If you are on a table full of ultratight players, you can also loosen up. An experienced player who understands the subtleties of the game can get away with a VPIP between 20% and 27%.

Preflop Raise (PFR)

Limping is for losers.

The PFR statistic indicates how often you have raised before the flop is seen. A high value is an indicator of an aggressive player. A low value indicates a passive player. Good players are aggressive players.

Your PFR has a possible range of 0% to the value of your VPIP. e.g. if your VPIP is 20%, then your PFR can’t be higher than 20%. Ideally it should be a little lower than your VPIP, but not much lower.

Poor players and beginners tend to timidly fold or call preflop. Good players tend to fold or raise preflop, especially if no other players have yet raised.

What is a good PFR range?

Between 2% and 3% lower than VPIP. If your VPIP is 15%, PFR should be about 12%. These two numbers in combination, indicate that you are only playing quality hole cards, and you are predominantly raising with them pre-flop. In other words, you are playing how most poker books and poker forums say you should play.

Post-flop Aggression Frequency (Agg)

Agg indicates how aggressively you play post-flop. The higher this number, the more aggressively you are playing. This must be interpreted in combination with VPIP. Players who see very few flops will naturally tend to have a higher aggression percentage because they are only playing top-quality hole cards.

Poor players play timidly post-flop. They’ll check or call too often. Good players know to play good hands aggressively post-flop:

  • because players with speculative hands are forced to fold before they get free cards
  • because if they hit the flop or have a dominating hand, a bet or raise will increase their return

What is a good Agg range?

50% to 60% is ideal , assuming that you have a VPIP of 15% to 20%. Much higher, and you are probably overplaying speculative hands and bad hands. Leave the bluffing for the movies and for live play. Much lower and you are not playing your good hands strongly post-flop.

Want to know more?

Here are two good, recent books that have excellent sections on using poker statistics:

These are among the best online poker forums: