Heads Up Play in Texas Hold'em Poker

Latest Casino News 27 Mar , 2019 0

Once you get to heads-up play, the game of Hold'em changes. In limit Hold'em, you can make a few big mistakes-sometimes it works in your favor if you appear too loose-but you can not afford to make very many small ones. Constant small misunderstandings of your opponent are far more likely to end your tournament than an incorrect size bet.

When playing heads-up, the most important factor is to understand your opponent's style. Since you have been playing against them for at least the time together on the final table, you should have a good read on their ability, image and level of play. If they are more skillful than you are, you can negate their advantage by forcing big pots to end the game as quickly as possible. If you are the superior player, take your time by playing smaller pots. Your skill level should win out in the end.

Heads-up essentially comes down to a psychological war of aggression. You should raise aggressively with any hand you play and, more often than not, follow it to the river if you have any part of the board, trying to get in every extra bet possible when you believe you are in front.

In order to win the tournament outright, you must know how to adjust your game. When it is down to just two players, there is no one else to hide behind, since you are paying blinds every hand. If you wait for great starting hands, your stack is going to end up blinded away. It often comes down to AC (any card, not Atlantic City) poker. The chances are that you will see the flop with almost any hand. The end stages of some tournaments will see the blinds equaling the size of the chip stacks. The exceptions to seeing the flop are a sizable raise from your opponent or an extremely poor starting hand. It sometimes comes down to going all-in blind on every hand and hopping your cards win. This style of play twice made Doyle Brunson a WSOP Main Event winner with 10-2 off suit.

The other defining element to heads-up play is position, which is just as important as the break in pool. Limit heads-up is slightly different than no-limit heads-up, since position plays a less-though still important-role in limit. The button traditionally posts the small blind, therefore acting first before the flop, and acting second after the flop. This player has both the opportunity to take the lead in a pot pre-flop and to put pressure on the big blind post-flop.

To control the game heads-up, you want to do the majority of your attacking when you are on the button, and the majority of your defensive poker when you are off it. The comparative size of the blinds to your chip stack plays an important part in your decisions. With huge blinds, you stand a greater chance of risking your entire chip stack in either position. Remember, the button's main advantage is that there are three rounds of betting after the flop, giving you the opportunity to fire chips at your opponent three times, essentially placing most of their stack on the line, even in a limit game.

Though this strategy is the first step to success in heads-up play, a lot depends on your option. If you follow the formula of constantly attacking from the button and defending off it, you should quickly find out how your opponent's game contrasts with yours. If you find them using the same strategy, the chances are that you will end up in a long battle of attrition. In this case, with either of you giving in, the blinds ever become so huge that winning or losing the tournament comes down to a few big pots.


Source by Daniel L. Cox


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