If you’re new to the heads-up game, you can really get crushed by rushing in blindly. Proper heads up strategy is vastly different than normal No-Limit Hold’em Strategy, and you need to make the correct adjustments in order to beat your opponents and make money. We recommend following the 10 tips below to help you get started and learn the basics, then read the rest of our heads-up play poker online strategy to fine-tune your game.
Tip #1 – Open it Up
The first tip you need is to open up your starting hand ranges. Since you only have two players at the table, the average starting hand that sees the flop is going to be much worse than at a normal 9-handed table. Because of this, you should open up your starting hand range. You can’t afford to wait for premium hands while playing heads up because you’re in the blinds every hand.
Tip #2 – Play Your Position
The position becomes a huge factor in heads up poker because you are either in the best position or in the worst position every hand: there is no in-between. When you’re the dealer, you’ll post the small blind, act first pre-flop, and act last on the flop and beyond. When you’re the small blind, you’ll post the big blind, act last preflop, and act first on the flop and beyond.
Tip #3 – Remember Hand Values
As mentioned above, the starting hand values go way up in heads up poker. The same goes for showdown hands. The average winning hand in heads up poker online India will be much worse than the average winning hand at a 9-handed game, so adjust accordingly. Even hands like middle pair or second-worst pair are still decent hands and will probably win an uncontested pot, so bet them out.
Tip #4 – Semi-Bluff When Possible
A great way to pick up a bunch of pots in heads up best poker online is by firing out smallish bets into unraised pots. Most passive opponents will toss basically any hand but top pair or maybe second pair to a bet.
Tip #5 – Spot Bluff Attempts
This is basically the opposite of the above tip. If you’re playing an aggressive opponent, you’ll have to make a stand to prevent constant semi-bluffs and preflop raises. Even if you only have middle pair you should look him/her up to keep them honest, or he/she will continue to pummel you in every pot.
Tip #6 – Make Value Bets
This relates to tip #3 because with lower winning hands you’ll have to extract value from hands you normally wouldn’t.
Tip #7 – Adjust to your Opponent
Throughout the course of a heads-up battle, you’ll gain reads on your opponent, and he/she will gain reads on your play as well. As you pick up common plays and tendencies of your opponent, you need to make adjustments to counter their most used moves.
Tip #8 – Switch up your Game
This is just the opposite of the last tip. As you’re picking up reads on your opponent, he/she will be doing the same. Because of this, you need to switch up your play to keep them guessing, especially if you are in a long heads up a battle that spans over an hour. To keep your opponents on their toes, make sure to alternate between betting flops and checking them when you hit, and throw in an occasional strange play like a big bluff or a check-raise. Learn more about switching up your game.
Tip #9 – Be a Finisher
This is an important tip for heads up players. When you battle your opponent down to a small stack, you have to finish him/her off and not let him/her back into the match. To do this, you can’t give them any easy double-ups or get lazy and call off big bets. The easiest way to let a crippled opponent back into a match is to call preflop all-ins with a poor hand just to try to knock them out. Continue to play your normal game, and you’ll finish them off quickly.
Tip #10 – Stick to Your Bankroll
One common mistake that new players make is playing heads up cash tables with their whole bankroll. This is a big mistake, and will almost surely leave you broke.