To be a winning tournament player, you need to have a solid head-to-head strategy. Fortunately, you can train your skills by playing the heads-up SNGs that most popular poker rooms offer. In addition, you can specialize in heads up poker and profit just by playing heads up. Here is a solid heads-up poker strategy.
The absolute novice quickly falls into the player’s mindset; they think that when he picks up the trash, his opponent also picks up the trash and it’s a heads-up who will win the heads-up game. The strategy is no longer in your mind, although this is a big aspect of the heads-up game.
Every poker player knows that position is important in poker and this is also true in heads-up poker. When you are on the button, you can act first pre-flop and the last post-flop. Attention, this is a great advantage for your opponent. For example:
You get Kc 5h on the button. Each King or Ace is worth a raise QQ Online, so you raise the big blind 3 or 4 times. With this pre-flop raise you take the initiative in the hand and your opponent has to be careful and may be concerned about your raise. Also, when he calls, you are the last to act on every post-flop street. Then, when he misses, he is forced to check (or is a LAG player) and you can easily take the pot with a continuous bet.
So having no position is a bad situation for you. The best strategy is to choose good hands to play out of position. I suggest that you only call preflop raises with suited connectors, any A, any K and hand pairs. Fold most hands when your opponent raises the button. You should make big increases when the button just limp and you wake up with one hand. It is best to take the pre-flop pot out of position so that you don’t have to play post-flop out of position.
Hands you can play heads up
A common mistake in heads-up poker is that you have to play every hand. It is true that your opponent has rags most of the time, but it is important to play good hands in large pots.
Let’s take a few examples.
Everyone who has played heads-up knows that you have such bad hands; 93offsuit. Everyone knows that 93o is a bad hand, but most players call the bb with that hand. Which flop would you like? 993? 935? Statistics show how bad these hands are.
82nd against KQs = 30% chance of winning.
82o against 9To = 29% chance of winning.
82o again 34o = 48% chance of winning (against 34o!)
82nd against JJ = 11% chance of winning.
Let’s see what the% is against suitable connectors like 67s
67s against KQs = 40% chance of winning.
67s against 9To = 38% chance of winning.
67s again 34o = 58% chance of winning (against 34o!)
67s against JJ = 21% chance of winning.
You earn 10% by playing suitable connectors. The best strategy is to simply fold when your opponent raises the button with hands like; 84/73 / J2 / 94 / Q4 etc.
Stages of heads up poker
Both start with an equal stack, probably 1500 chips. You have won a few small pots and now the chip count is 1800 for you and 1200 for your opponent. At this stage, you don’t want to play big pots, because at this stage a hand can change everything. In heads up, it’s all about taking the lead and maintaining the lead.
The next stage is when you have 2,000 chips and your opponent 1,000. Your opponent needs to get some chips soon, his mistake is almost at the end of the game. This is the time when you can steal pots by increasing pre-flop aggression. But don’t raise too much, you don’t want to double up your opponent and give him the lead.
The last stage is when you have 2500 chips or more and your opponent has 500 or less. Now the game is under your control. Your opponent must go all-in with almost every hand. Many people have no patience and double their opponent and return to a stage. The strategy for this is; Fold, fold, fold and call with any ace or pocket pair. When you think your opponent is pushing with rags, you can call with hands like KQ / KJ / KT. Be patient and soon you will win the heads up.