Heads-Up Tip: Checking The Flop

Four Dogs

Four Dogs

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When playing heads-up poker, the flop will miss both players most of the time. Since the cards rule in heads-up, any small advantage you gain over an opponent can make the difference in the long run. Here's something I noticed myself doing early on and which now corrected has become a powerfull tool for me.
When first to act, if the flop misses you, which it mostly does, good hand or bad, Do Not Immediately Check! Wait 2 seconds. The speed of the check sends a huge signal to your opponent that you missed. If you do it again on the turn, your begging to have the pot stolen. A pregnant pause before checking will often result in a showdown where the high card often takes the pot.

Once this concept is mastered, it becomes a weapon in your hands and you can make it serve your turn. When you want to induce a steal, of course check quickley. When you're the Button/SB you can key in on the weakness and take the pot with a minimum raise. A word of caution, know your opponent, and don't go to the well too often.
 
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chicubs1616

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You don't want to check every time teh flop misses you either...

Every once in a while you want to take a stab at the pot if you are first to act, if you don't do this occasionally you will get run over heads-up.
 
Four Dogs

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chicubs1616 said:
You don't want to check every time teh flop misses you either...

Every once in a while you want to take a stab at the pot if you are first to act, if you don't do this occasionally you will get run over heads-up.
No question about that. With a better than average hand 9,8s or better, you can take a stab at it. But look for that pause. If it's there, proceed with caution.
 
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diabloblanco

diabloblanco

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Isn't it usually a good idea when playing online to make a concerted effort to randomize most all of your betting pattern as much as is possible? A quick check with a strong hand may actually intice action heads-up and work in your favor in some instances, especially playing an agresive player that pays attention to this sort of thing. He senses weakness, and himself being on a weak hand, bets into you because of your auto-check on the flop, maybe even on the turn as well. You of course call these bets then hope for another stab by him on the river. If you don't get it you can always make a bet here and either win it without a showdown or take it down with your hand.
 
Four Dogs

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Yup. That's the case. The point is, Do not act automatically! Think! Heads-up action is fast, brutal and inelegant. When your playing 10 hands a minute there's a tendancy to fall asleep at the wheel. Sloppy play can become involuntary even with good players. If you pay attention to your checking patterns, you can make some hay when your opponent starts to zone out.

Where the heck have you been?
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

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Here and there. I posted in the lounge, but I see you've already fount the thread there so I won't bother to rehash. I agree completely with the OP in this thread and your follow-up to my post.

Even if you know precisely what you're going to do before your opponent even acts, don't automatically do anything. Be deliberate with each click. Even if you're diliberate act is to check quickly to portray weakness. Mixing up your time before acting is an important way to keep opponents out of your head/thought process. Like you have already stated, this is of extreme importance heads-up but is equally beneficial when playing full tables and short handed. Not many opponents will even notice, but the ones that do are the very ones that you don't want to be predictable playing against.
 
Tammy

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I have tried similar strategies myself and agree whole-heartedly. Another thing I like to do when I don't have a hand is to try to make a bet quickly after the flop, to make it seem as if I have a strong hand. If it gets called, that's o.k., I just do it again on the turn (making a strong bet quickly), and a lot of times I can take the pot down with nada. But, you have to pay attention to your opponent of course...if they are calling you with a quickness, watch out! :eek: They may actually have a hand! lol
 
soadwes

soadwes

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juiceeQ said:
I have tried similar strategies myself and agree whole-heartedly. Another thing I like to do when I don't have a hand is to try to make a bet quickly after the flop, to make it seem as if I have a strong hand. If it gets called, that's o.k., I just do it again on the turn (making a strong bet quickly), and a lot of times I can take the pot down with nada. But, you have to pay attention to your opponent of course...if they are calling you with a quickness, watch out! :eek: They may actually have a hand! lol
I too have noticed this strategy works... I still haven't perfected it though. I just want to emphasize that last part:"...if they are calling you with a quickness, watch out!" I sometimes just think maybe i should bet bigger on the next card, and next thing I know he is all in on the river and I'm forced to fold with a good sized pot...
 
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Phoenix29

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But then again, this tip wont work on everyone coz theres so many loose players out there that theyll call anything or bet w/nothing.

It all really depends on how well you know the other player.

Usually, if the other players loose, i play tight n vice versa.
 
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baudib

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Do you think you should ever check top pair, good kicker? if I'm playing AQo and the flop comes Q 10 8 with a flush draw, I would like to take the pot right there.
 
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Squizal19

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Pauses Before You Check/Bet or Looking For It Is Useless. Many Players Including Myself Will Be Playing More Than 1 Table or Will Be Doing Other Things While Playing While On Limit Tables. If You Read Into My Length Of Time It Takes To Act and Think It Means Something You Got Another Thing Coming To Ya. Even Playing NL Ill Be Attending To Other Matters Which Doesnt Allow Me To Act Right Away.
 
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Squizal19 said:
Pauses Before You Check/Bet or Looking For It Is Useless. Many Players Including Myself Will Be Playing More Than 1 Table or Will Be Doing Other Things While Playing While On Limit Tables. If You Read Into My Length Of Time It Takes To Act and Think It Means Something You Got Another Thing Coming To Ya. Even Playing NL Ill Be Attending To Other Matters Which Doesnt Allow Me To Act Right Away.
That's good. The pauses should be useless. Mine mean nothing as well. But I can assure you that most heads-up players are not that disciplined.
 
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ViperRebel

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occasionally people will take this as you deciding to take a stab at the pot or not... if someone hesitated and checked in front of me, id bet out, if they raised, k im gone, if they called, well they will prolly check the turn as well, or they should have raised me
 
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Mr.BigBluff

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When i play poker, i play recklessly. As you can see by my name, i often bluff my opponents out if there is a straight draw. As my technique is discovered, i start to play a little more cautiously. But if someone checks instantly, i pounce on them and often buy the pot.
 
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shaggy8888

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Mr.BigBluff said:
When i play poker, i play recklessly. As you can see by my name, i often bluff my opponents out if there is a straight draw. As my technique is discovered, i start to play a little more cautiously. But if someone checks instantly, i pounce on them and often buy the pot.
At least you are smart enough to change, I'm very new at poker, but i have already done well against people who bluff. When you do it 3 hands in a row its unlikely all the hands are that good.
 
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