For most of poker’s history, if you wanted to keep track of anything happening on the table, you had to think about it and commit it to memory. Catching bluffs, knowing who likes to fold, and other such information was relegated to how well you were paying attention. This is no longer the case, with the advent of the Free Poker HUD.
These days, information is much easier to come by. Especially if you play online, you have no excuse not to use data collection to your advantage. Using that information can mean the difference between walking away a winner or a loser. In that case, one of the best features you can use is a Heads-Up Display (HUD). With online poker only getting more advanced, HUDs are going to get much more prevalent.
So what kind of information can you get from a HUD? What sites offer this feature? What advantages does it bring? For all that and more, we have created a comprehensive strategy guide so you can get the most out of your poker game using a HUD.
Getting a Free HUD Through Promotions
While not every poker site has a HUD for players, the ones that do usually offer it as a reward for playing. That means that you have to sign up and deposit some money into the site before you can start using it, but trust us that it’s well worth it in the end. Three top sites that offer a HUD as part of a promotional package are William Hill, Red Kings, and Carbon Poker. Let’s look at the entire process for getting this indispensable feature.
As far as promo packages go, William Hill has one of the best on the market. When you first sign up, the site will match up to 200% of your initial deposit, which means that you can rake in the money just for joining. Also, you get access to the site’s proprietary iPoker HUD software. This program gives you all the data you need while helping new players understand the game better as well as know what to do with the information provided. While this HUD will not explicitly tell you how to play, it will offer plenty of advice that can assist you in making the right moves.
Additionally, once you get this software, you’ll have access to the high-limit games in the iPoker 2 section, as well as access to sports betting and bigger bonuses. Overall, this is an incredible HUD that can help you improve your game.
While William Hill has proprietary software that only works on their site, Red Kings operates a little differently by providing you with a program that you can purchase independently of the poker room. The software is called Holdem Manager 2 Pro, and you can technically buy it on your own, although it’s best to do it through the site itself. The way this promotion works is that you earn credits that pay for the software. Half of your return is in cash, and the other half is getting Holdem Pro 2.
What’s cool about this program is that you can customize it to fit your needs, and you can use it for multiple games. Because it is a total suite, you can get information and advice for many different games, thus improving your overall strategy.
To get this promotion, you have to access it through the Red Kings site. There is a drop-down menu labeled “promotions” which allows you to find the software. They suggest that you deposit a large amount, but you can get away with just $50 and still get the whole program. To get it, you earn it in the same way that you get a deposit bonus, which means that you have to play to get it. However, Red Kings has a lot of low-stakes tables with soft competition, so you shouldn’t wind up with a loss if you know what you’re doing.
This is the first site to offer a HUD package when you sign up, and it’s still one of the best. Although it used to be open to US players, it seems that that is not the case anymore. Nonetheless, Carbon Poker’s HUD system is proprietary, even though you still have to download separate software. The way it works is that you download the program and then it syncs up to your Carbon Poker account. It will only work on this site, however, so you cannot use it with other poker rooms.
The data provided is not as extensive as other HUDs, but it’s more than enough to help you out. It offers all the information you need while providing plenty of advice. It will help you track other players, suggest when and how much to bet, and let you know who is a fish and who is a shark.
The software is fun and easy to use, and it comes included with your deposit bonus, meaning that you don’t have to do anything extra to get it.
Completely Free Poker HUDs
So what options do you have if you want to get a HUD but don’t want to have to deposit money to get it? Thankfully, some free options will give you the benefits of a HUD without requiring a credit card. In these cases, however, the free package is usually a trial deal, which means that you have to eventually pay for it if you want to keep using it. While this is not true in every case, it is the most common option.
With that in mind, here are two HUD systems that don’t cost anything (up front, anyway).
The first, and arguably the best free HUD is Jivaro. What makes this system so fantastic is that you can use it for free as long as you want, or you can pay a nominal fee of $6 a month to access the premium version. The only downsides of this software are that it will only work with a Pokerstars account, and you can only utilize it for Texas Holdem.
However, assuming that both of those parameters are okay with you, then this is a very fun and easy to use HUD. The layout is similar to a car’s dashboard, which makes it extremely simple to read and understand. What we especially like about it is that it will show you the data that you need at any given time, which means that you only see what you need to see. For example, Jivaro will give you the stats regarding a player’s current position on the table as well as which betting round (street) you’re on. Thus, if you’re on the river, you can see what odds you have of making the best hand, and Jivaro will take into account how often the player bets on the river as well as what position he or she is in at that moment.
Overall, this is an incredible HUD that will make your gameplay much more efficient.
Much like Jivaro, FreePokerDB is free to use. In fact, there is not even a premium version that you will have to pay for, which makes it a much more cost-effective option for many players. However, that being said, the software is open source and only gets updates whenever the creators deem it worthy, which means that you are not always getting the best information available.
Nonetheless, this can still be a useful program if you want to get more data out of your poker hands without having to fork over money. Its layout is similar to another HUD program Poker Tracker, which means that the system is customizable and will give you almost all of the data you need at any given time. You can track the outcome of hands, percentages, and stats based on the game you’re playing as well as your opponents.
With all that in mind, though, you do need to have a bit more technical knowledge to make full use of this software. Because it doesn’t have a dedicated support team, you can experience bugs and glitches more often, which means that you have to be somewhat proficient with a computer to adjust accordingly. If you can handle it, however, you can get a lot of valuable information from this HUD.
Example of a HUD System
So now that you know how to get a HUD, what can you expect with regards to the information provided? To get a better idea of how to properly utilize a HUD, let’s look at some of the data you can get from one of our examples: Carbon Poker.
- Win Odds: an algorithm that will tell you the odds of your hand winning, based on the community cards, your hole cards and the number of players still in the hand
- Pot Odds: how much you can expect to win based on how much you need to call
- Groups: the HUD will give you an expected value of your hand and rank it in a group from one through nine, with one being the best hand and nine being the worst. This way you have an easy method to know when to stay in or fold
- Outs: this stat is valuable because it will tell you which cards are still available for you to make a hand, as well as the odds of you getting them
- Player Stats: the software will track each player’s actions and recall them so you can have a better understanding of how they play
For the most part, this is what you can expect in a HUD, but some programs allow you to customize it to your needs. That way you only get the information that you want and don’t have to worry about analyzing any superfluous data.
Keep in Mind
Overall, having a HUD while you play is much better than not having one. Unless you want to spend all your time taking notes and memorizing odds, a HUD can make everything much simpler and more streamlined. That being said, keep these things in mind when using a HUD.
- Pay attention to when players call and fold. A HUD cannot tell you if a player is bluffing, so you have to use past hands as an indicator
- Listen to the odds percentages and don’t buy into a hand just because you have a good feeling
- Having a HUD does not intrinsically make you a better player
- Learn to read the data quickly and efficiently, so you don’t have to spend so much time analyzing while playing. Create shortcuts for yourself when possible (i.e. only raise if your odds are over 60%)
In this article, we have only covered Free Poker HUD options, or package exclusives. For more poker HUDs, check out our list here.
Free Poker HUD Conclusion
If you’ve never taken advantage of a HUD system, you are missing out. In fact, having the data is so much better than you will prefer playing online rather than live games because you can have everything at your fingertips. That being said, however, make sure not to use it as a crutch; otherwise, you can get complacent. Just because the software offers advice doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be learning as you go. A HUD is a tool, not a band-aid.
Did you enjoy finding out about poker HUDs? Are you going to get one for yourself? Or do you have any advice to share on these or any others? Let us know in the comments! A Free Poker HUD is a great tool to help you out, but as always, we wish you the king of tools: good luck!