The art of getting ahead in Heads Up Poker – Strategy, tips and tricks
Heads Up poker is outstandingly different from other online poker games. In this variant, there are only two players which makes the game more intense. So, how do you play heads-up?
You must devise a practical strategy to counter different types of opponents. You will encounter many different plays in Heads up poker and you must always be ready. Here are some heads-up poker tips.
1. What is heads-up poker
A game of Heads Up poker happens when there are only two opponents.
To find an efficient strategy, you must understand the game of heads-up poker. It will be easier to manoeuvre through the cards if you know the game well. Having deep knowledge of the science behind the game will help you identify and seize winning opportunities.
Regularly sharpen your poker skills by practising on demo versions and playing friendly games. Also read and watch similar tournaments to better your poker skills.
2. Learn your opponent
Always pay attention to your opponent’s facial expression and body language. Being observant helps you to learn your opponent. If you observe your opponents’ behaviour from the beginning of the game, you are more likely to tell when they are bluffing. People who are lying on the table say one thing but their body acts in a different way.
On live poker, watch out for the tiniest signs. From fidgeting fingers, sweaty upper lip, tapping a foot and shifty eyes.
If you notice any signs of a weak game, take advantage by increasing your aggression. Always be on the lookout for weaknesses that you can exploit.
If your opponent only bets the flop, when they have a pocket pair or hit the board, start betting the flop out of position.
If you have played for much too long, be patient as your opponent might soon get tilted and start overbetting frequently. This is a perfect opportunity to extract maximum value you hit your hand.
In this game of heads up, aggressiveness is the line between victory and loss. Since you are only two players, it is unlikely that your opponent has anything huge worth betting.
Stay ahead by making a lot of bets on the flop to steal pots. Once your opponent makes a stand, they will not have sufficient chips to affect your stack.
Also be aggressive whenever you get any pair, a face card or ace. If you get middle pairs and above, feel free to be extra pushy when your opponent raises pre-flop.
4. Check and use your position
Apply pressure on your opponent as long as you are in position (small blind). Raise, in position, the majority of the time to allow you to collect more pots pre-flop. You will also be able to control pots after the flop.
If you encounter an opponent who is pulling this strategy on you, pick your spots and make a stand.
Things to remember about the button position:
- Avoid limping from the Button with Deep Stacks. Limping makes the game easier for the big blind. It is also impossible to win the pot by limping.
- Pot odds to call from the small blind position are 3-to-1
5. Stay Focused
Heads Up poker is quite more personal than normal poker. There are only the two of you, going against each other, and only one can win.
Many poker players say a lot of mean things to distract their opponent. Those who fall for the ‘trash talk’ usually end up getting emotional and losing. Have self-control and keep your mind in the game. Remember that the words of your opponents do not have ant effect on the cards in your hand.
Avoid playing with emotions, even when you have weak hands. Use logic to determine which move to make next.
6. Be unpredictable
Ultimately, you will need to mix up your gameplay to avoid predictability. Make it impossible for your opponents to forecast your next move. Since there are only two players, your opponent is likely to notice your betting into him after checking the flop. Therefore, apply different plays throughout the game.
In conclusion, your proper heads-up poker strategy should practical. If you can play No Limit Hold’em, you are most likely to have fun playing heads up. However, if you are completely new to the game, a strategy is the only way to avoid being crushed blind.