Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Heads Up Poker Strategy

Thousands of online poker players have started playing heads-up tournaments over the past year and there are numerous reasons as to why players have been starting to play these types of tournaments. One of the reasons why these tournaments are so popular is because you only need to beat one player in order to win the tournament. Another reason why players like these tournaments is because they are typically quick to play so you will be able to play a lot more of them then if you were playing nine player sit and go tournaments. One thing that you will need to do in order to be successful is change your strategy because your regular tournament strategy isn’t going to work when you’re playing heads-up tournaments. If you have never played heads-up tournaments in the past then make sure you read the tips below to assist your poker game.

Aggression is going to be a huge factor in how well you do in heads-up tournaments. You need to be able to apply pressure in the right situations, but you also need to know when to back off a little bit and slow down. From the very beginning of a heads-up tournament you want to let your opponent know that you won’t back down from raises or else they will end up taking advantage of you.

Position remains a key factor in heads-up play although it isn’t as big a factor when compared to playing a nine player tournament. When you get to act last you will be able to see how the other player acts before you which should give you some insight on where you stand in the hand. If they check to you then it’s also an open invitation to try and take the pot down with a bet, but don’t bet too much in case they are trapping you.

Pot control is vital when you’re playing in heads-up tournaments because you both only start with 1500 chips and the blinds don’t take that long to go up. It’s important that you keep the pots you lose to a minimum and that you get the most out of your opponent when you have a winning hand. You can also use pot control in order to keep the pots low when you’re on a draw. Often this can be achieved by throwing out a small bet on the flop and then checking the turn if you don’t hit so you can see the river for free.

Starting hand selection isn’t as important when you’re playing heads-up poker because you’re playing your opponent more then your own cards pre-flop. Any two cards can win the pot pre-flop so don’t limit yourself to only playing strong hands especially when you can limp into the pot. Almost any suited connectors are worth playing in heads-up poker and most pocket pairs.

Take notes on your opponent so that you can learn how they play and keep the notes so that if you play them again you have notes on them already. Often when you play heads-up poker tournaments you will end up playing the same group of players over time so you need to take notes and keep them to have the upper edge on your opponent.

One of the best online poker sites for playing heads-up poker tournaments is by far PokerStars as they have plenty of players actively competing in these types of events at all of the buy-ins.


Joker said...

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