Heads up play.

111-THEMAD-111

111-THEMAD-111

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Heads-Up play in No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em is a unique game. Many players who are successful at full ring or 6 max have a hard time adapting to playing heads up. Some practice heads up in order to succeed when they get down to the final stages of a Sit n Go or a Tournament. Others, like myself, see heads up play as an easy way to outplay an opponent and consistently build my bankroll.
There are a few unique differences with heads up play. The main difference is, there are less hands dealt, so your opponent is on a wider range of hands. Yes, this does make it harder. On the other hand, psychology and betting patterns are huge factors which can give a heads up player a huge edge over another.
Here are some tips I have for being successful at heads up cash tables and sit n go’s:​
  1. Set your image early​
  • Within the first 10 hands, you should be able to target the player as; LAG (Loose Aggressive), TAG (Tight Aggressive), Tight Passive, Loose Passive, etc etc. You need to pay attention to how YOU are being perceived as well. I like to donate some chips in the first 3 hands, raising at least 3 of 4 starting hands pre flop in order to acquire a loose image, which will help me get paid off in the future.​
  1. Don’t Multi Table​
  • Since you aren’t just playing the cards, you need to pay attention to the hands. How often is the other player re raising? Will he call you down with top pair? Can he lay down a hand in a big pot? What % of flops is he seeing? Playing different opponents at the same time makes this too complicated.​
  1. Click Speed​
  • This is a huge tell in heads up play. I like to click fast in order to give the opponent the impression that I am wreckless and don’t know what I am doing. (Truth is, I’ve been playing heads up for a long time and know instantly how I am going to play the hand). This, in turn, gets the opponent frustrated and gets them to react quick as well. When this happens, it gets the opponent to act on impulse rather than ration, thus making it easier to read!​
  1. People Act on Emotion​
  • Many players will raise the hand after they lose a big pot. Players will start to play back at you if you are raising too often pre flop. Some may buy in at a 1/2nl heads up table for $62.55 and push all in on the first hand. Some may push all in out of frustration. Pay attention and try to figure out what plays are made on emotion. Trick is to THINK FIRST, and analyze everything.​
    1. Be Aggressive​
    • This may sound simple, but the easiest way to win is to be aggressive. Of course, I mean selectively, but to the point where the opponent will pay you off when you hit a monster because they will not fold top pair against your loose style.​
    Good luck at the tables.​
 
vanquish

vanquish

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Give author credit plz, unless you wrote that, in which case +rep.
 
keegrepus

keegrepus

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One Addition

IMHO

I believe that the hand really begins after the flop when you are heads-up. This lends itself to the theory of playing a greater range of hands. So, unless the opponent has raised some huge amount, you should almost always call/raise pre-flop.

I would say that this is especially true if you are way ahead in the chip count.

just my humble opinion
 
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1FreeLesson

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I love heads-up... I like to control the game... this may be beneficial or a problem in the long run... making bets as frequent as possible is my method... try and take it down whenever possible
 
Munchrs

Munchrs

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very imformative, one minor thing you forgot...

Patience-Being able to wait for a big hand before playing a big pot, you dont want to be calling your opponents all ins without a big hand. This also touches on the gap concept and requires some reads on your opponent.

What hand is a big hand against this opponent?? If he regularly gets all in with middle pair and top pair weak kicker then TPTK might be ebough.
 
111-THEMAD-111

111-THEMAD-111

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When you get to HU play you should already have a read on your opponent. At this point in the match you are playing the player not the cards. If you don't know when to get away from a hand at this point in the match your going to lose. It's all perception at this point. You must learn to use this perception to gain an advantage on your opponent. All of the prefop betting is just a result of changing gears for me. I won't let my opponent breath. But trust me I know when to back off.
 
111-THEMAD-111

111-THEMAD-111

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That is a good article............
 
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phatjose

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Nothing pisses me off more in HU play than when my opponent concedes that he can't outplay me post flop, so he just starts folding/all in pre flop. Happens to me on a regular basis in my thursday night game. It normally doesn't affect my play much, but it still irritates me.
 
111-THEMAD-111

111-THEMAD-111

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Nothing pisses me off more in HU play than when my opponent concedes that he can't outplay me post flop, so he just starts folding/all in pre flop. Happens to me on a regular basis in my thursday night game. It normally doesn't affect my play much, but it still irritates me.
Use that information to your advantage. I love it when people play me that way. I get there money.
 
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phatjose

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Oh trust me, I use it to my advantage. I played saturday night with a few people from my thursday night game. Went to heads up and the chip leader was about 2.5x my chips. I ended up dominating him and won in about 7 or 8 hands as he just had no answer for what I was doing. Like I said, it's just irritating, doesn't really affect my play.
 
Four Dogs

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Nice Post 111. I play alot of head-up and your approach to the game is very close to my own. I don't see any point in us ever facing eachother.lol
GL
 
111-THEMAD-111

111-THEMAD-111

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Nice Post 111. I play alot of head-up and your approach to the game is very close to my own. I don't see any point in us ever facing eachother.lol
GL
Your no fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
deight

deight

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THANK YOU

I like your advice a lot. Could you tell more about your experience starting to play HU. Did you read any books on that? What books/articles would you recommend?
 
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Santos1950

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Playing HU is much more about tells in my opinion...you need to enter in your opponent's head and try to realize whats his style, of course u need time to make a read on him, so i try to play a little agressive in the beggining of the session just to know how good my opponent is...:icon_sant

I saw an interview with Patrick Antonius when he was talking about HU, I dont know if im able to put the link here...but he just said the same thing you guys posted here.
 
smeg

smeg

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Just started playing in those fulltilt HU freerolls so your advise couldn't be more timely. I have always played the cards and am just now starting to pay a little more attention to the competition.
 
silverslugger33

silverslugger33

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Nothing pisses me off more in HU play than when my opponent concedes that he can't outplay me post flop, so he just starts folding/all in pre flop. Happens to me on a regular basis in my thursday night game. It normally doesn't affect my play much, but it still irritates me.

I love playing people like that. You can just sit back and wait and get all the money in the middle when you have them dominated.
 
Team_Ramrod

Team_Ramrod

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imo, any pair heads up is good, especially top pair
 
TiltMonkey999

TiltMonkey999

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Thank you..it helps..Great Post
Take Care Ray
 
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jguillen88

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In heads up , you need be Hyper agressive i think. XD. if u are passive, u will be lost. In heads up u need take the control of the game.
 
NoWuckingFurries

NoWuckingFurries

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Interesting article - what's a WCP? :dontknow:
 
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