Poker Software
Dec 03, 2013 10 Comments

The graph red line is one of the most overrated analysis tools people talk about.  As time goes on, the poker community understands it better and so do I.  Today I want to give you a brief rundown on what the graph red line is and how you can adjust your play to change it.

First, let’s talk about red line myths:

  • If my red line dives, I’m not a good player – False
  • If my red line is even, I’m a solid player – False
  • If my red line is positive, I’m a solid player – False

At the end of the day, the only line that matters is the green line. I’ve seen graphs of players with positive and negative red lines along with flat red lines and the one thing I can say with confidence is: “There are many styles of winning poker.” 

Now that we have that out of the way, lets look at what the red line tells us and how we can interpret the data to make adjustments to our game.  (We are analyzing 6-max NL Holdem.)


Player A (Small sample size, but data is still good.)

This player has a diving redline and the player is a small loser. If we look at their basic stats, they are solid for the most part, but look at the Flop Cbet% and more importantly, the Check Raise Flop% stat.  They are lower than they should be and the Flop Check Raise stat is well under half of what it should be.  This player more than likely needs to check-raise preflop raisers more that have a high C-Bet stat. (70%+) 

You only hit the flop 33% of the time and if someone is C-betting 70%+, you need to pick these players off and check-raise them more.  Sure it grows the pot, but many times these players will give up right then and there or float your check-raise to give up on a later street.

If check-raising with air is way out of your comfort zone, then only do it when you have some kind of draw or a couple over cards.    (These are actually the best spots to do it anyway.)

When the player floats your flop check-raise, its decision time…  Give up, or continue your story? If you have a solid draw, continue your story by firing another bet.  Odds are it’s the right play due to the fold equity we have along with possibly hitting our draw.  If you find yourself at the river with air, now it’s hero time.  Folding to a bet is mandatory if the OOP player fires.  If it’s checked to you again, firing another bet isn’t the worst play, but you need to be careful here because the pot is rather large at this point.  Generally small bets will not win it here.  You need a ¾ pot bet or more. 

It’s OK to fire a river bet and be picked off in this situation.  You can’t win non-showdown pots (Red Line) if you don’t bet post flop.  If you do get picked off in a hand like this on the river, players generally remember this and it sets up a big hand for you in the future when you do have the goods.


Player A Conclusion

While this player has a low C-Bet stat, I believe their biggest problem is they are only check-raising when they have a strong hand.  This player needs to check-raise more with marginal hands to take the pots down without showdown. 

Other things that affect the red line:

  • Not stealing the blinds enough.
  • Chasing non-premium draws. (Gutshots, etc.)

To increase your red-line, you need to be the aggressor post flop and win more pots without a showdown.  Steal the blinds 30% or more and check-raise C-betters to put the hard decision on your opponents.  Check raising C-betters is also a great way to do pot control because they will more than likely not bet the turn if they call your check raise.

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10 Responses to “Understanding the Red Line – Non Showdown Winnings”

  1. blub says:

    I guess players B and C are coming soon?

  2. mpmfilipe says:

    Red line is very important because it is not subject to variance. 😉

  3. B-Money says:

    Players B & C might be coming soon.  I was going to do 2 or 3 players here, but the blog started getting long winded. 

    Agree, no variance when you take it down.  🙂  I find many solid regs at low limits do not check-raise enough and that was the main point I wanted to make in this post because I think a ton of red line money comes from those check-raises. 

  4. jane says:

    No variance ??? How could you tell that ?!

    With a good run, and when you hit all boards, its easy to triple barrel and make people fold to the river. 

    In a badrun, every single bet you made are raised, forced to fold TP, can't continue with a draw, or total air … redline goes abysmal.

  5. dale says:

    i just ordered the HM 2 and i was wondering if i will actaully recieve the software in the mail or is it just the download

  6. B-Money says:


    HM2 is a sofftware download only.  You should get your license key immediately after purchasing.


    The no variance comment reflects taking pots down without going all-in.  Yes, betting all three streets is not the best play every time.  However, betting increases your odds of taking the pot down without showdown because you can't take a pot down without showdown if you don't bet.


  7. Brian says:

    Hello.  I just recently got HM2 for analysis.  Can I be player b?


    If so, how do I export the proper data?  Screenhunter shot?

  8. Brian says:

    Sorry, forgot to say – email me if I can be player B.

  9. Mark Conkle says:

    All stats in poker have a lot of variance.  Besides how the board comes out, the most important luck involved in your redline is which part of your opponent's range they happen to be holding.  If they frequently have the bottom of their range, red line goes up.  If they have the top part, red line goes down

  10. Scott says:

    I’m a losing player, working on tightening my range and learning to use c-bets, 3bets, and blind steals and pot stabs. I have noticed that my redline is extremely positive. When running good especially.

    Problem is that this is a weakness in my game, because it means my opponents are always folding, which means I am not getting full value.

    But in micro stakes games, aggressive betting can win whether you’re betting with the best hand, bluffing, or semi-bluffing. When you win lots of hands this way, red line goes way up. (only positive part of my stats).

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