There are many different styles of play in poker, but one of the most important style is known as “heads up play”. This is simply because players are playing solely against their hand and not the other players. Some people prefer this play because they don’t get as many mistakes here and it can be much easier to win the money here. The reasons why this is a great play are many, but the main reason is that it works well for some players and some don’t. Below I will list some of the plays that you should make more frequently in heads up play and also a few that you should stay away from.
For those who are used to playing a lot more heads up than sit and go’s, you may find that popping in a heads up game every 2 or 3 days can be quite a transition. You should start playing more hands online than you are playing in live tournaments. Although the hands are lower stakes, they are more profitable in my opinion. I enjoy many of the same games online as what I do in live tournaments, but the difference is being able to play multiple tables at the same time.
For those who wish to play in poker tournaments, you may want to wait until your first time sitting at a full table is in a 9 seater or larger one. You can sit back and watch the players battle it out for the top 3 places. If you are hesitate to play in a 9 seater or larger game because you know you have enough skill to take it, you need to take one more thing into consideration. That is, don’t get rushed into a game where you are not comfortable. You will most likely lose in this situation, so shouldn’t play thinking that you are a tournament staples.
The first thing to do is start out playing at free tables. In heads up play, the most important thing to do is define your opponents. Is there someone in the hand that you know you can take on easily, or are there a lot of suckers in the game? As the game progresses, you are sure to find your opponent opening with any number of hands, so the key is to be aggressive when you are the first one into the pot.
For example, if the player to your left has raised it to 6 blinds, you are sitting at a 6/8 favorite. Bet out and take down the pot. If you fail to take the pot down, this is a hand that you are sure to lose. Take down the blinds or be selective. If you play to the river with this hand, you are sure to be folding this hand as your weak.
As the blinds go up, it is very important to be aggressive
As the blinds go up, it is very important to be aggressive. The more aggressive you are, the better hand you will have at this point. Does the table have a lot of hands that can beat you, making it a close race for your chips. If your chip stack goes behind, you need to make a move at some point.
Remember your style of play. You are looking for hands that only you can win. If you are looking for a big hand, you can win with an all in move. If you have a big hand, you can’t win unless you get some cards, so keep the pots small. The more information you can gather, the more you increase your odds of winning the hand.
Another play I like to make is pre-flop. Many players like to slow their game down a bit here. You aren’t going to find many calls; most players are going to be folding on a hand or two anyway. It is a good time to set a trap, or slow-play. Many times you will win a pot simply by taking down the blinds uncontested, but if you do get called on a big hand, you can get a big payout.
Try to watch out for your opponents. Garbage hands get picked off often. Remember to take advantage of your opponents, but don’t let it put you on tilt. If you lose a big pot, don’t get discouraged. Just start another one with the same players and a higher percentage of your stack.
One last tip: you should be ready to hit the drinks if you lose a big pot. Don’t let it get to you, and especially if it results in several big pots, you will probably be too drunk to play. Don’t be in a hurry to play, you need the mental clarity and confidence to stay calm and focused on the game and make the right decisions if you lose a big pot.