Playing heads up

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nikospov1

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Any suggestions on the best ways to play heads up? I typically call a lot more based on the fact that opponents tend to bluff for online heads up matches. But I find some difficulty in getting opponents to give up more chips while I'm leading out. My bet sizes are relatively normal, but how can I not scare opponents away?
 
Nikolay Nakhaev

Nikolay Nakhaev

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heads-up play is always designed to play a wide range
there are few cards that you would fold
this format should be studied separately
perhaps this is the tricky part in poker where the fight is only for first place
 
NWPatriot

NWPatriot

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Heads up requires a much different strategy than a full table.

We enter more pots (open a wider range) because a single opponent is less likely to have a better hand than if we had 9 opponents. We bet more often to get our opponent to fold to us. We need to know that a pair is fairly strong heads up, but if we are at a full table a single pair is rarely good enough. Risking all of our chips while heads up is an art form. Some will do this too often and some will never do it without the nuts. There is usually a lot of money at stake heads up, so we want to get this right.

I used to think that winning heads up was really just about who got lucky at the right time, and it sort of is, but we can also lose heads up by playing sloppily. You can shove w KK and still run into AA, just like any other hand. The AA didn't outplay you, they just happened to get the right cards at the right time. Heads up may be more about timing than anything.

Good luck and God Bless.
 
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No Bologna

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No Bologna

I hate heads up. Very few hands that you don't fold. It's a crap shoot. Need to catch good cards to win. It's like robot poker. Very boring. Did I mention I hate heads up?
 
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Fernet

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Its depends

Hi It depends on the type of opponent, it is convenient to have a fairly aggressive game, with a lot of open raise pre flop and a lot of cbet, there are also modes for a basically perfect game, different strategies, I recommend you read them, greetings.
 
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Oxinthewater

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Observe and adjust. I find it's much more important to adjust to your opponent than on a full table.

How many hands is your opponent playing? are they raising as often as you expect? do they limp? if so do their ranges appear linear or polarised? and so on. Once you've got a grip on your opponent, exploit as much as you can, and expect your opponent to adjust to you, and be prepared to use that to your advantage by surprising them.
 
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beginnerbot

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Heads up you have to be very aggressive. It's unlikely that your opponent has a very strong hand.

I would recommend opening about 90% of hands on the button and 3betting 25% of hands from the BB.

Top pairs often go for 3 streets of value and middle pairs often go for 2 streets.

These are generalizations but it tells you how loose you have to be.
 
ramdon p358

ramdon p358

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The best advice would be to play multiple hands in this situation, many times the mistake of only playing strong hands is made
 
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Maggio_A

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Well, it turns out heads up on final table is really my weakness :/ I thought that it was just about luck, but I just cant win 1st place...well second is reserved for me :D dont get me wrong, it seems like mtts are profitable for me, it would just be nice to win at least once :D I could be chip leader faar away but still lose cause I get kind of bored playing heads up, especially agains very agressive players, which goes all in every second time, and I am just not ready to believe in my 2,5 offsuited :D and then after 10 minutes I just started to play a lot of hands which I dont feel comfortable to play but still...you should play it cause it heads up. Maybe some advice where should I learn how to play heads up properly and maybe how to change mindset for it? :) thanks
 
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zerosalex

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I play almost the same but more solid. I fold a lot. and if they want to try to bluff they wont get much chips from me from hand to hand to begin with since I wont be calling much and when I do get good hands I can see flops for cheap and go from there.
 
Collin Moshman

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If your opponents are folding a lot to your bets, then I would suggest bluffing more often to induce them to make more frequent mistakes. Also make sure you're thinking about your whole range -- are there a lot of spots where you're usually just betting for value without a bluffing range? Particularly as you move up in buy-in, good players become a lot better at adapting to this type of strategy.
 
Vilgeoforc

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Show your opponent that you are capable of bluffing. You need at least one cheap bluff to make your opponent believe that you are capable of such an action. And the opponent will pay for your raises in the future.
 
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1nsomn1a

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The most important thing in heads up is to play from your opponent, bluff too tight more often, catch too loose on a good hand, make traps, play and open the same way with both strong and weak hands, watch your opponent's reaction to your bets, use the moment to steal the pot. But don't risk all your chips on the preflop, unless it's a very strong hand.
 
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thefly1973

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Well it s true in a HU you have a wide range of cards you can play and which your opponent can play.
I think one of the most important things is your position ... so when you have SB you have to raise a lot (2 to 3 BB) and see what your opponent does... is he calling everything or does he fold?
If he folds regurlarly you should be carefull when he calls. As he sometimes folds it s possible to bluff him out of a hand but always be carefull with that.
If he s a calling station raise with the better cards and see what the flop gives.
Do not bluff versus calling stations

It s a type of game that you have to learn but if you play MTT or SNG you have to learn to play it because the difference in price between 1 rst and 2 nd place is hugh.
 
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xexeu

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Well I play a lot of hands against players who have less chips than I do and I only play top hands against those who have more chips than me and very aggressively against them because they will attack a lot then and a great opportunity to win chips like this
 
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thefly1973

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Well heads-up is a difficult part of the poker game and the result is often defined by the skills u have versus your opponent.
It s important to steal amuch chips as you can especially in the later fase of the game. Try to gather some knowledge of your opponent in the early fase with lower blinds to see how he react on raises, 3bets etc Can be worthy to see with what hands he raises preflop ... pay some chips for that
Use that knowledge in the later game
 
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jibbpeter

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What about when that guy is down to 2bb, get lucky every single time, equalizes, and then win. like 3 times in one day (sng). Plays super tight, so tight he goes from 20bb down to 2bb in HU just by putting pressure on him.

Ok, now that the obvious tilt is out of the way.
when a certain tight player get so low, should my range be wide open, or should I let him get a few bb with a fold when I have something terrible? If he win the pot he bounce back to 5bb ish that deep.
This is beginner level, but I currently study the "starting hands guide" article, and applying it at the moment to the best of my ability :)

EDIT: If someone have a good YT video on the subject, please post. Have a nice day!
 
Pichman189

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Well I play a lot of hands against players who have less chips than I do and I only play top hands against those who have more chips than me and very aggressively against them because they will attack a lot then and a great opportunity to win chips like this


Yes, I have the same experience!) I affraid of maniacs in game who all in with 5 3 and win :)
 
Pichman189

Pichman189

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Well I play a lot of hands against players who have less chips than I do and I only play top hands against those who have more chips than me and very aggressively against them because they will attack a lot then and a great opportunity to win chips like this


But I think we can win maniacs and very aggresive players if will play aggresive and more tightly.
 
KozakAlex

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Any suggestions on the best ways to play heads up? I typically call a lot more based on the fact that opponents tend to bluff for online heads up matches. But I find some difficulty in getting opponents to give up more chips while I'm leading out. My bet sizes are relatively normal, but how can I not scare opponents away?



It all depends on your opponent's style of play. Sometimes you need to push or retreat. Sometimes it is better to wait until the moment when he will bluff and put Allin. But don't forget about randomness. Some games can't be won without luck.
 
Matt_Burns88

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Heads up is all about aggression and position. You should be opening 85-90% of hands from the button and continuation betting on most boards.
 
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thefly1973

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Agree with that ... headsup needs to be played with aggression and when your in position.

So when you are on the button always raise or fold (no call)
Depending on your opponent (does he fold or not) you can play more or less hands

If he s too tight --> steal more blinds
If he s too loose --> play less hands and try to win big pots
 
steveeeee

steveeeee

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Any suggestions on the best ways to play heads up? I typically call a lot more based on the fact that opponents tend to bluff for online heads up matches. But I find some difficulty in getting opponents to give up more chips while I'm leading out. My bet sizes are relatively normal, but how can I not scare opponents away?



Love to play heads up its moe of a gamble and unless you have a very ill hand anything can happen sometimes it comes down to luck
 
Pichman189

Pichman189

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Love to play heads up its moe of a gamble and unless you have a very ill hand anything can happen sometimes it comes down to luck
\


I did it when I played heads up that it all came down to all-in at the end of the game and I couldn't take a few chips. Of course, you need to know how to bluff and you should not be afraid to put all in. An interesting point, but I noticed when you have very few chips, you usually win all-in several times in a row. Maybe it's just luck)
 
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