In the poker glossary, you not only have to familiarize yourself with all kinds of terms and expressions. You also have to understand acronyms such as BB, MTT, NL, SNG, TAG or, the one we explain in this article, VPIP.
Unlike some of the ones we have mentioned, such as MTT or SNG, both acronyms refer to two types of tournaments – multi-table and sit and go, respectively – the acronym VPIP may be less familiar to players who are starting out in the poker world, since they are related to the field of statistics.
If this is your case, you can’t miss this article in which we discuss what VPIP is in poker and how its knowledge can help you get a better performance in your games.
What is VPIP in poker?
VPIP stands for voluntarily puts money in pot. Thus, VPIP tracks the percentage of hands in which a particular player voluntarily puts money into the pot preflop, either because he calls or raises the bet.
This indicator it will include the hands you call on preflop, i.e. the hands you match, and also the hands you raise on preflop. However, the VPIP does not count the hands in which, being the big blind or the small blind, you have abandoned the hand before the flop and all your investment has been limited to the one established by the blind.
Another case that will not reflect the VPIP indicator corresponds to those hands in which you are the big blind and you reach the flop with a clean hand, that is to say, without previous bets from the opponents.
The way to know the VPIP percentage is by using any poker software, where this percentage will be shown, applied both in your hands and in those of your opponents. For this percentage to be reliable, you must have counted a good number of hands, at least a few thousand, for it to show meaningful information.
How to use the VPIP in poker?
The VPIP is expressed as a percentage (%) and is a useful reference to know the type of players you are facing, as well as giving you information about yourself.
It is a good way to start getting to grips with poker statistics, an indicator with which you will discover how often you bet, pay raises or make raises yourself.
To get the most out of your VPIP reading, you have to start from the assumption that an ideal vpip poker is generally around 15% and 20%. However, you have to keep in mind that these ideal or optimal values of VPIP poker, are susceptible to both the table you are playing and the type of poker.
For full ring tables (9-max or 10-max), 15% would be considered an optimal VPIP. However, at short-handed tables, the VPIP to achieve is approximately 20%. From there, you can assess how passive or aggressive you are.
For example, in case you are above the mentioned values, 15%-20%, a player is considered loose. This type of player is prone to play a lot of hands and experience big swings in his bankroll.
On the contrary, if you present low VPIP indicators, you can be considered a tight profile. Tight players are selective profiles, who play few hands and make profits that, although not very big, are constant. They are commonly known as sharks.
However, in order to gather all possible information about the type of player you are and the profiles you are facing, you should also consider the PFR indicator explained below.
How to use VPIP and PFR?
Now that you know what VPIP in poker is, you are ready to know the other statistic, which is closely related to VPIP, and whose combined interpretation will give you valuable information about your opponents.
The PFR statistic is another acronym that you should know perfectly if you are a regular online poker player and use HUD. PFR stands for preflop raise and shows the percentage of times a player raises before the flop, i.e. raises a bet preflop.
So, if VPIP shows how many times a player puts money in the pot before the flop, either to call or to raise, PFR simply shows the percentage of preflop raises. In this way, it is integrated into the VPIP. Therefore, they are statistics that are always displayed next to each other.
As you can guess, the PFR percentage will always be lower or equal to the VPIP, since the latter includes all the times a player has added money to the pot. Is it interesting to know the VPIP PFR poker statistic? No doubt it is.
What is really relevant in the VPIP statistic is shown through the PFR, i.e., not so much the number of times you call, but the number of times you raise. This is the factor that defines you as a passive or aggressive player.
The VPIP PFR poker statistic will allow you to identify the fishes and sharks at your table. For example, a recreational player will show a small PFR compared to the VPIP. This reveals that players with these percentages do not perform well preflop because they make too many calls.
This is the so-called calling station, those players who call a lot of bets, positioning themselves as a weak and passive player or, in other words, loose passive.
On the other hand, players with a higher PFR compared to a VPIP, which is kept at low levels, are more aggressive preflop players, which corresponds to a TAG type. These are the most feared poker players and the ones everyone wants to aspire to.