Playing heads-up- expert tips for online poker’s toughest format

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Heads-up poker is to be the purest and most skill-intensive form of poker. When it’s just you versus one opponent, there’s nowhere to hide – success depends entirely on your outplaying your rival.  Online heads-up poker is extremely profitable if you develop the right strategies. The dynamics are different than at a full table, so you’ll need to make adjustments to thrive in the heads-up arena.  When heads-up, everything revolves around exploiting your opponent’s tendencies and patterns.

Widen your range

One player to act behind you, you widen your opening range significantly heads-up. Hands like suited connectors and small pocket pairs play much better against a single opponent versus a full table. Don’t be afraid to open with more speculative hands, and be aggressive defending your big blind as well. You should also be 3-betting light preflop for value against weaker opponents who fold too often. Hands like A-J, K-Q, and even connectors like 9-8s are great bluff catches that still allow you to realize your equity when called. Mix in some polarized 3-bet bluffs too against players paying too much attention to their cards.

Play big pots

A full ring table, 플레이포커 머니상 playing big pots heads-up is advantageous since you only have to fade one opponent. Don’t be afraid to stack off with strong top pair or overpaid-type hands – you’ll often be way ahead.  Look for spots to build pots preflop with hands that flop well, such as big Ace rag hands, small and medium pocket pairs, and suited Broadway cards. Isolate weaker players and punish passive opponents’ missing flops by firing big bets. You want to play pots as big as possible when you have an edge.

Exploit weaknesses

As mentioned earlier, identifying and exploiting your opponent’s leaks and tendencies is critical for success heads-up. For instance, if they fold too much to 3-bets, triple barrel them mercilessly. If they call downs light, the value bet thinner. Punish passive players by applying pressure. Study your opponent’s patterns and adjust accordingly. They are little things like serving them bigger preflop raises on the button if they fold it too much a difference. Stay alert and flexible.

Play a balanced strategy

They are exploiting weaknesses is important, you need to balance aggression with sound play against observant opponents. Barrel too frequently and good players will start looking you up lighter. Bluff too much, and they’ll call you down thinner. Make sure you are value-betting the majority of your strong holdings to avoid being exploited yourself. Have some balanced bluffs and don’t get too wild or your opponent adjust.

Manage your emotions

Tilt is public enemy number one in heads-up poker. Without other players, ALL the focus falls on your battle with a single opponent. Losing a big pot is brutal.  Make sure you have proper bankroll management in place, and don’t play stakes where losing a pot or two will devastate you. Table select weaker opponents until you develop your skills. Stay calm and collected, no matter what happens. While hand reading is important at full ring tables, it’s an essential heads-up. You need to put your opponent on a range and play appropriately post-flop. It takes practice, but try to narrow their holdings street by street based on action.

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Author: John Jackson