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The statistics of a winning poker player

In my previous articles I’ve explained what a few key statistics such as VP$IP%, PFR% and 3bet% mean and how to understand what specific numbers mean. I’d like to continue by giving you some guidelines as to what your own numbers should look like.

Let me first emphasize that there isn’t a set formula to what your stats should look like for you to be a winner; some players play a loose aggressive winning style of poker; some players play a tight aggressive winning style of poker. The goal with this article is that you will be able to realize if you’re playing too loose, too tight or too passive to be a solid winner at poker.

Below you will find a few tables showing the average big blinds won per 100 hands for players based on preflop statistics. The averages are based on the statistics of about 2000 players playing 6-max at stakes between NL100 – NL600.

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VP$IP% Average bb/100 won
Below 18 2.2
18 – 20 3.5
20 – 22 3.0
22 – 25 3.7
25 + -2.8

What we notice when looking at the above table is that it’s very rare to have a VPIP of above 25% and still be a winning player, so should your own VPIP be above this you should definitely try to tighten your starting hands requirement quite a bit. I recommend a VPIP of around 17 – 20 for inexperienced players since you will be faced with much less tricky spots by playing a tight preflop game.

Preflop raise %

PFR % Average bb/100 won
Below 12 -1
12 – 14 2.5
14 – 16 2.3
16 – 18 3.8
18 + 3.6

The preflop raise % table clearly shows that it pays off to be aggressive and take the initiative when you do chose to play a hand. Should your own PFR % be too low you should focus on raising more often preflop. Maybe you’re limping too often when others have done so before you or maybe you’re not raising enough in late position when you’re first to act?

The statistics of a winning poker player

3-Bet %

3bet % Average bb/100 won
Below 4 -1.5
4 – 5 2.0
5 – 6 4.3
6 – 7.5 3.2
7.5 + 3.6

Exactly as with the preflop raise % table we can see that it’s important to be 3-betting preflop fairly often preflop. Many players are only 3-betting their very strong hands, but this generally is not a great strategy since your opponents will then easier figure out what you have when you finally do re-raise.

Should your 3-bet be too low, focus on trying to add a few hands to your range; should a loose player raise in late position, then go ahead and 3-bet more hands than only the very best ones; in the blinds, put in a 3-bet when a very active player tries to steal your blind. By taking the initiative with a 3-bet you will often win the pot preflop or on the flop by making a reasonable continuation bet.

Remember to not make your 3-bets too small since this will result in too many calls from your opponents. Try making your 3-bets at least three times as big as the original raise.

I hope this article has helped you identify one or several potential leaks of yours. If there is anything that you would like to discuss feel free to leave comments below or get in touch with me at


The PokerOffice Expert