With heads up poker becoming increasingly popular, it is important all players learn to master the skill of the game. No matter what type of poker you are playing, heads up will be most profitable. For example, whilst playing a Multi Table Tournament, when you get to heads up, the jump from second to first place is normally huge so winning the tournament is extremely profitable to the player. Also in cash games, players can easily win numerous buy-ins per hour playing heads up. So its clear, mastering heads up play will be a profitable move for any online poker player.
However, in this article we will discuss heads up sit-n-go’s. This game is of course much more risk free then cash games, but players still make enormous profits from learning heads up sit-n-go’s.
The first step is to differentiate heads up from six and full ring games. It is a completely different ball game and almost strategy from those games goes out the window whilst playing heads up.
In the early stages whilst blinds are low, it is important to get some sort of read on your opponent. It is important to find out how they play and factors such as their aggression, betting patterns, pre-flop strategies etc. in order to come out on top. Some players will even call a small bet on the river, knowing they are beat, to gain information on your opponent. If you continue to play heads up sit-n-go’s it is also possible you will see your opponent on a regular basis so learning there strategy will not only help you win this game, but several more in the future.
The button is incredibly important in heads up. You should try to see the flop as much as possible and really only fold if your opponent raises. The reason behind this is that the chance of your opponent missing the flop is high, and you will therefore be able to use your position to take down the pot. If you notice your opponent folding pre-flop quite often, you can be sure he is not a regular heads up player.
It is also key to learn which hands are worthy of a raise. The value of hands changes dramatically in heads up, and hands such as K-X become strong. Put in a raise with average suited connectors, any pair, A-rag and most K-rags. It is unlikely your opponent will have stronger then you whilst holding these hands so putting in a raise is the correct decision.
Making a read on whether your opponent is aggressive or passive is also a huge part of winning the game. If your opponent appears to be aggressive you should be more patient with your hand selection. This way you can pick your spot and take large chunks, if not all of his chip stack. You still need to show your aggression against these players and not appear passive; otherwise you will find your chip stack decreasing as the hands go by and your better hands not getting paid off due to your tight image.
Whilst playing against a passive player you want to show your aggression. You need to raise pre-flop with a wider range of hands and be prepared to fire out continuation bets to get the player off his hand. You will need to be careful when facing a re-raise and lay down most hands as you can be sure they will have a monster.
You should now be prepared to make some money at the heads up sit-n-go’s. Remember, if you find yourself being dominated at your current level, move down and start crushing your opponents.