heads up advice

tenbob

tenbob

Legend
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due to some of the excellent advice that ive been getting on Cardschat:icon_joke , ive recently been doing better and better at my games, but there seems to be very litle info out there about heads up play.

I am getting to the heads up stage of the 9 player games on stars about 30% of the time usually with a chip lead, and for some reason i do very poorly in general. A lot of the time i am taking the 50/50 option and going all in with marginal hands, this is not helping my game and im learning very little from doing it.

Here is the question that im going to put to you guys, there is no section in the articles section about heads up play, it would be a great addition to the site, or apart from that any advise would be great.

on a side note ive even tried the $5 heads up games on stars, 4 games 4 losses.
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

Legend
Heads up is a hard thing to master, or even get good at because you don't get to do it that often.

Usually the aggressor is the one who comes out ahead. If you have the chip lead, you need to lean on the smaller stack and make him decide if his hand is good enough.

Hate to say but it is a feel thing. You need to get a read if you high card is the hand or did he flop a monster.
 
J

JonSherwood

Guest
I was in the same boat as you. It takes a lot of practice. If you don't mind downloading more software, royal vegas Poker offers Head's Up SNG's at lower prices, As low as $1 I believe. They also give you $10 to try out the software, so there's 10 games to practice.

In heads up you generally need to be aggressive AND patient. Be aggressive a lot so the person has a hard time putting you on hands, and when you get a monster hand, hopefully they'll have an ok hand YOU can trick THEM into putting you all-in, and then you win. So aggressiveness plus patience equals winning heads up! :)

Jon
 
X

xdmanx007

Legend
The hands you play in heads up depend mainly on the blind level and your opponent. If you have a very tight opponent you can push him around the key is to not pot commit yourself when you are just stealing the pot. The blind level I would argue is much more important because if the blinds are already a significant portion of your stack then you will be playing virtually any hand you are dealt! Similar situation occured recently in one of our private games I was dealt 4,5 offsuit blind was 1500 I was BB opponent went all in and it was 300 to call. That situation is a MUST call regardless of your cards. If the blinds are small compared to your stack then you play much more tight, so when the blinds are small there is no reason to call all ins with marginal hands simply wait till you are quite certain you have the best hand and then fire. Usually in online poker when you get to headsup in a tournament you see a lot of what appear to be crazy all in calls because the blinds have gotten to a point where folding is worse than calling with a bad hand. It is all about picking your battles small blinds mean don't fight as many battles, big blinds mean you will be mixing it up much more often than you normally would like to! Well hope that helps a little!
 
Alon Ipser

Alon Ipser

Cardschat Elite
I would agree with xdman about the blind size and that is why I dont think practicing at singles heads up is good practice for heads up at the end of a tourny. In singles you are trying to set traps by playing certain ways early that you may not be able to afford to do at the end of a tourny. I dont have any experience at a big tourny, but the way I play sit and go 1 table tournies at the end depends on if I think I've got a read on the other guy. If I think I'm the better player I am patient. If I think he is the better player I get very aggressive early and try to get him all in quickly.
 
tenbob

tenbob

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Thanks Jon, I might just try royal vegas, does noble do heads up games ??? Just about to set up and account there so i can have a few games with you guys.

I've tried on numerous times to be the aggressor when im heads up, but i just hate raising with trash hands, Ive tried it and been successful enough, until i get called. the play i use is to put the same bet into the flop most of the time, and a lot of the time thats when i get re-reaised. Seems that i put a lot of hard work into gathering chips only to end up back at square 1 in ten miuntes.

The heads up games that i have won are usually when im not the aggressor, i tend to be able to trap more effectively. But even then im still losing too many of these games.
 
V

venturer49

Rising Star
Hi tenbob,
Noble does do Heads Up SNG, anything from $1 + $.05 to $200 + $10. I'm not a wildly experienced player, but I have held my own at HU on occasions, occasionally when a table is down to 2, & perhaps unlike you I've found it's paid me to play more aggressively & play looser generally, since there is less chance of my opponent having a strong hand when I do. I seem to be able to steal more blinds with the aggressive play.
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
Hopefully by the time you get to the heads up battle you'll have "read" you opponent a bit and have a feel for how they play. It's been said here and I agree that a lot of the heads up play is based on feel and instincts. The "normal" starting hands are out the window and you have to pick your spots. You also need to vary your betting pattern to avoid being read yourself. I personally hate this part of a tourney, but I have gotten better...
 
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