Heads Up Poker Strategy – Just How Different is it

In my opinion, heads up poker is “full table texas holdem on speed”. While your starting hand requirements go out the window, I think many of the same success formulas still apply.

Below are some strategy pointers for improving your heads up battles:

Don’t approach every opponent the same. If they’re being overly aggressive, trap more often. If they’re playing weak-tight, punish them with raises and steals.

Make more raises when you’re in position… you’ll make far more money from there.

Don’t fold your small blind unless you hold complete trash AND your opponent raises nearly every hand. But on the whole, very few hands are that far behind pre-flop. You want to play in position, even with less than premium cards.

Watch his betting patterns very closely. Look for discrepancies or patterns and try to exploit any tells you can get. Does he bet every time you check? If so, how much in relation to the pot?

Watch the hands that he shows down and keep track of how he played his top/middle/bottom pairs, draws, etc. You can use it to make good decisions later.

A solid check raise, even with nothing can get you plenty of free cards later.

Always pay attention to your image and play accordingly. If you’ve taken down two pots in a row without showing (even if you had top pair both times), it’s likely a bad time for a bluff, and a good time for value bets.

If you run into one of these “all in every hand” clowns, don’t call unless you have a monster. However, when you find yourself with any two decent cards, and you’re first to act, do the same back to him. Put HIM in the hot seat. This should make him a little uneasy, and he’ll likely knock it off.
Remember, heads up poker is more of a boxing match, so don’t be afraid to get in there and start swinging. Focusing more on these heads up strategies and less on the actual cards should improve your heads up results greatly.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *