No matter where you play poker it ultimately comes down to two individuals duking it out for the prize money at the end.
This is called Heads Up Poker.
The strategy involved in this game format is completely different from the multi-player table tournaments and requires a different approach.
Since you end up playing against one individual, this means that the chance of winning a pot with the hand that you have is much higher when compared to playing with many players since you only have to beat the hand of one other player.
One On One
The video above is a perfect example of how when it comes to heads up poker it now becomes a game of you vs your opponent rather than the cards you have. This can be ether a positive or a negative thing depending on your skill level, experience, and tenacity in a heads up situation.
It is important that when you are in a heads up game that you are more aggressive than usual so that you don’t fall behind and put yourself at a huge disadvantage. So now keeping this in mind lets go over some tips and strategies you can use to win heads up Texas Hold’em Poker games.
Aggression Is Key
The biggest thing you can have going for you in a heads up poker game is your aggression. This can be a friendly ally if you apply this tactic correctly upon your opponent. Having an aggressive mindset will be a huge asset to your game in heads up play if you are able to have control over your opponent.
Do not let your opponent be comfortable at the table, try to make his/her decisions difficult by sounding confident in everything you say. You can also use reverse phycology and try to sound unconfident in moments your wish to draw your opponents in.
It is essential that you are aware of all communication that goes on at the table between you, the dealer, and most importantly your opponent.
Be In Control
Stay in the drivers seat by taking control of what goes on at the table. Do not let your opponent phase you with curious actions or comments. Remember this is now a game of you vs your opponent and you should be able to dictate what kind of action is happening. Don’t get rattled by your opponent when your heads up with someone you control your own destiny at this point.
Monitor your opponent for tells. Be observant and look out for twitches or movement that can give away his true feelings. Of course your opponent is going to want to conceal his true emotions for you but having a watchful eye can improve your position on anything they might give away.
An obvious one to look for is to watch your opponents reaction to when cards are revealed on the table like the flop. Instead of watching the flop come down, watch your opponent and see if they give away any kind of reaction to the cards. This can be a big hint in how they feel about their current situation.
Bluffing becomes a big part of heads up poker. Because the chances of you or your opponent having strong hands every time are unlikely it is now essential that you are able to win hands with nothing. Do not be afraid to fire early and often on a weaker opponent, you will be able to quickly gain control and win the match if you are able to take advantage of this tactic.
Make strong calculated decisions when facing tough calls. What are your odds of hitting your cards and the likelihood that your hand is stronger than your opponents. It is important that you take into account the fact that in heads up almost all of your outs are going to be available and you want to making reasonable decisions based on the what is in play.
Some extra ideas to keep in mind when you are playing heads up poker.
A player who is not very skilled in heads up poker will call you often to keep seeing cards. A skilled player will look to re-raise you despite having strong or weak hands to try and get you out and take down the pot themselves. It is up to you to decide what kind of player you are up against and what pressure tactics you apply to use these tendencies against them.
When you posses a very strong hand it is important that you milk your opponent for all the chips you can get in heads up poker. Keep them involved by allowing them to take action and coming back at them hard to trap them. If you want to know more about strong starting hands and how to play them check out this blog post, Best Starting Hands in Poker and How to Play Them.
If your looking to get really in depth about heads up poker and how to play you should check out this site. http://www.heads-up-poker.org/.
They not only have simple instructions to play the game but advanced strategy is also provided in case you need a little bit more help when playing the game.
It’s really important that when you into a heads up battle that you understand the power of statistics and how they can help you dominate your opponent. Check out this guide on several poker statistics that you need to know!