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What is VPIP in Poker and How to Use it to Your Advantage?


Poker tracking programs such as Hold’em Manager and Poker Tracker are some of the most useful tools when playing poker. The programs track hands as you play and display your and your opponents' statistics. 

You can see many different stats, but VPIP is one of the simplest and most commonly used numbers, so you better know how to interpret it in your games.

If you want to know what is VPIP in poker and how to use it to your advantage, this article will answer all of your questions.

What is VPIP in Poker?

VPIP stands for "voluntarily put $ into the pot" and is the first stat you will see in most poker players' HUDs. 

The VPIP stat represents the overall percentage of hands a player gets involved with, regardless of how he plays them. 

This means that every time a player limps into the pot, comes in as a raiser or goes all-in before the flop, the software will increase his VPIP stat. 

The VPIP number for each player will be between 0 and 100, representing the percentage of pots he gets involved with without being forced in by being the big blind and checking. 

VPIP is easily one of the most useful stats you can have in your HUD, as you can use it to very quickly determine the overall strategy of a particular player. 

Like all stats, VPIP should not be considered for players you have a very small hand sample on, but as soon as you have a few hundred hands recorded on a player, you can start using the stat to your advantage. 

Using VPIP in poker will help you get a better read on your opponent even when you aren’t tracking the action, and you will be able to quickly tell the pros from recreational players in your games moving forward. 

What is VPIP in Poker and How to Use it to Your Advantage?
The number of hands you play determine your VPIP

How to Use VPIP in Your Poker Games

The VPIP stat is very useful for several reasons. First of all, it tells you how active a player is, which in itself is a very useful thing to know.

For the most part, serious poker players tend to play a relatively balanced style, which puts them in the range of 25% to 35% VPIP. 

Players with significantly lower VPIPs tend to be nits who are fairly easy to run over, while those with higher VPIPs are maniacs you should be careful against and let them do all the betting. 

However, some players with a high VPIP also love to limp into many hands and aren’t maniacs, which you can determine by comparing their VPIP with others. 

The biggest indicator is the difference between VPIP and PFR, which should not be too big for aggressive and competent players. 

Players with a VPIP of 45 but a PFR of 10 tend to be the biggest fish in the games, only ever raising when they have very strong hands while limping or calling in a big chunk of other hands

With these two stats alone on your HUD, you can quickly paint a broad picture of a player you are playing against and adjust your game accordingly. 

Player Types by VPIP %

Depending on the VPIP stat you see next to a player’s name, you can immediately start making assumptions about their play. 

Generally speaking, you should assume how players play based on their VPIP range and here are a couple of numbers you should look for:

  • 0 – 10 VPIP Range: Tightest of all players; these guys only play a hand if they have a premium. Try avoiding playing against them for the most part, except for an occasional set-mining opportunity where you may be able to stack them and avoid bluffing on multiple streets. 
  • 10 – 20 VPIP Range: Still very tight, but playing a slightly wider range of hands, especially in position. You should still stay out of their way for the most part and steal their blinds relentlessly. 
  • 20 – 30 VPIP Range: Many good poker players fall into this range. Play somewhat more aggressively against them, especially on the lower end of this spectrum, as they may not be playing enough hands. 
  • 30 – 40 VPIP Range: A loose player, usually also quite aggressive. Check their PFR stat to find out if they are an aggressive maniac or a loose recreational player who limps into many hands and act accordingly. 
  • 40+ VPIP Range: For the most part, players with a VPIP of over 40 over any significant hand sample are the fish in your games. They are probably limping a lot, calling many raises, and getting involved way more than they should, so try to extract as much value as possible with your strong hands. 
What is VPIP in Poker and How to Use it to Your Advantage?
There are a lot of different player types in poker.

Examples of Using VPIP to Improve Your Game

Now that you know what VPIP in poker is, let’s talk a little bit about how you can use it to improve your game and get an edge over your opponents. 

For the most part, players on the extreme ends of the spectrum will be the most exploitable ones, so look for numbers under 15 and over 40 to start thinking about using VPIP to your advantage. 

Here are a few examples:

Example 1:

You are sitting on the button with AJ, a fairly strong hand. The player directly to your left opens the pot for a 2.5x raise, which many players would typically do with a fairly wide range. 

However, the player's VPIP is 11, suggesting he is very tight. Even from the cutoff, this player is unlikely to be raising too many hands and probably folding the worst aces and off-suit Broadway hands. 

While you would normally want to 3-bet this hand in most cases and call it some, you may want to fold this one and let the very tight opener simply take down the blinds. 

Example 2:

You are sitting in the big blind with A2s, and the player on the dealer button raises it up to 2.5x. You have a hand that’s a standard defend against most players, but this player has a VPIP of 45 and a PFR of 35.

You have a hand that further blocks him from having some of his strongest hands as you hold one of the aces. Your hand also has a decent amount of playability with flush and straight potentials. 

The opponent with an overall VPIP of 45 is likely to be playing 70% hands from the button or more, which is why a re-raise right here and right now could be the best play. 

After all, the opponent is unlikely to have a hand that can take the heat of a re-raise and will usually opt to fold out when facing aggression.

You may also want to check their Fold to 3-bet stat before you make an aggressive play with a speculative hand, but it’s a play that will make money in the long run. 

Example 3: 

You are playing in an online poker tournament and are sitting on a stack of 18bb. You are the big blind, and your opponent opens from the middle position to 2.5x, having a big stack behind. 

You are holding AA and would typically want to shove all-in and try to commit the player. However, you see that they are playing a VPIP of 52. 

This suggests your opponent may very easily have an absolute trash hand that will rarely be able to call off your 18bb. 

Therefore, this could be a great situation to trap with your AA. You are taking some extra risk but also getting all the extra reward by allowing the opponent to barrel off on future streets and potentially stack off when he flops a one-pair hand. 

VPIP in Conclusion

We have listed only a few examples of how you can use the VPIP stat in poker to further increase your edge over other players at the table and give yourself the best possible chance to win. 

Like all things in poker, VPIP is not a magical solution, so don't expect to use this stat to instantly solve all your problems in the game. 

However, by looking carefully at the VPIP every time you play and combining it with other poker stats, you may be able to make some very good adjustments. 

By adding or removing certain hands from players’ ranges depending on their VPIP, you will give yourself a chance to make better plays and more correct decisions. 

Remember that poker is all about the long run and that making an occasional mistake based on VPIP will happen, but more often than not, the stat will help you and give you an extra bit of edge you were looking for. 

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