Heads Up Poker & Strategies For The Same


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Heads up poker, to begin with, is one of the most popular poker games online. Commonly associated with standard types of poker games such as Omaha and Texas Holdem, the heads up poker is not actually a poker variant instead it is a way of playing these games. Surprised? Well, it is due to this reason that heads up poker usually calls for a totally different set of strategies as compared to standard Texas Holdem and Omaha. In this guide, we have answered how to play heads up poker along with the 3 winning strategies that are sure to help you master this game.

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How to play heads up poker?

Heads up poker otherwise known as head-to-head poker is a form of poker game wherein the game is played out between just two people. Generally speaking, any type of poker game can be played as heads up. Therefore, the rules pertaining to heads up poker usually keep on changing depending on the variant of the poker you are playing. The poker game generally becomes heads-up in two situations:

1)      When two players deliberately choose to play 2-handed poker

2)      When multiple players are playing the poker game, but all the players except two have folded their cards or left the game mid-way

The basic benefit of playing heads up poker is that in this game you only have one opponent to beat. Both the players playing in this game therefore have a high chance of winning a hand regardless of the cards they have been dealt. It is due to this reason most of the players playing heads-up poker tend to adopt the aggressive strategy (more on this later!). Additionally, since there are only 2 players in heads up poker, bluffing is also a rather common strategy followed by most players. Now that you know the basics of how to play heads up poker, let us get into the strategies that will come in handy.

What are some strategies for winning heads-up poker?

Heads up poker offers a golden chance to poker players around the world to showcase their entire range of poker skills and tricks. It is due to this reason in this game, a multitude of winning strategies such as bluffing, betting, making strategic moves, folding and opponent reading are commonly employed. However, in case you are a beginner at heads up poker and are therefore struggling to come up with a winning strategy, then you need not worry.  Follow the 3 below-mentioned strategies and get set ahead of your opponent.

“Selective” aggression is the key

By far one of the most common heads up poker strategies followed by close to 90% of players around the world is aggression. Rightly so, it is a matter of rather common knowledge that the player who remains most aggressive during heads up poker generally wins the most. However, sometimes it happens that a player becomes so aggressive while playing heads up poker that they stop considering their opponent’s cards altogether. This in turn results in a situation where the player wins lots of small pots throughout the game but thereafter loses big in the end when their opponent shows their strong cards.

Therefore, the right strategy for winning heads up poker is to stay aggressive but selectively. Yes, to win this one-of-a-kind game, make it a point to use all your skills of reading and assessing your opponents’ possible range of hands, and thereafter decide accordingly when to back down and when to be aggressive. To put it simply, the basic logic is to keep winning all the small pots and larger pots, as and when possible. All the while, be extra careful to not fall for the opponent's bluff, who might be bluffing a weak hand under the garb of something very strong. Now, you might be wondering how can someone possibly ace the aggressive strategy in heads up poker? Well, to do the same, you basically need ample knowledge of the game, the possible hands and the outcomes, lots of concentration and a slight amount of bluff catching skills as well.

Take advantage of your position

In heads up poker, as you already know, there are only two players. Thus, both the players in this game actually have a distinct advantage of their position that they can conveniently and cleverly use to their benefit. How? Well, allow us to explain - In case you are the last member to bet in the flop round, then you likely have a huge advantage of information about your opponent. Using this information, access and predict the actions of your opponent for the next rounds. Thereafter, put the advantage of your position to your benefit and try to create pressure on your opponent who is already acting first, that too with limited information. This strategy is more of a mind game, wherein you try to make your opponent even more unsure about his game than he already is by manipulating the actions and information you are sending out.

Conversely, if you are acting first, then you undoubtedly have a disadvantage of less information than your opponent. But, even then by manipulating your actions you can send out the information of your choice. For instance - using your actions, you can dictate to your opponent that you probably have a strong hand when you actually do not have one. Alternatively, you can also disguise a strong hand as weak and thereafter catch your opponent point blank later. This strategy, as you might have guessed, takes a lot of practise but once you master it you can pretty much win any variant of heads up poker.

Use the “any-ace” concept

The any-ace is more of a strategic concept wherein it is usually advisable that a player must always “raise” if they happen to have an ace during heads-up play. According to this strategy, the game of heads up poker is basically a battle between two random pairs of cards. In such a situation, if you already happen to hold an “ace” then your probability of winning this hand is already up by 52%. In a general standard poker game online, raising on just an ace is mostly considered a recipe for disaster. However, in case of heads-up poker online, this is a winning strategy that needs to be incorporated tactfully with aggression.

Keep the above-listed strategies in mind, next time you decide to try your hand at heads-up poker. As mentioned before, to ace these strategies you need to practise well and thereafter develop a requisite amount of tact to judge the style and skill of your opponent. Download the GetMega app now to enjoy playing this interesting game.

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About The  

Kanchan Sharma Author
Kanchan Sharma Author
Kanchan Sharma

Kanchan Sharma started her career as a learning designer at an MNC while pursuing poker as a hobby. However, she soon pivoted to becoming a professional MTT (Multi Table Tournaments) player. She is currently a leading player, who has taken the male dominated poker world by storm. During her stint as a poker player, she has bagged many titles including India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) for Rs. 17,98,906, Winter Celebration Series for Rs. 6,62,500 and has final tabled multiple tournaments. She continually seeks to improve her poker game and work on her mindset to win the WSOP title soon. Her journey from being a recreational player to a poker pro is inspiring for many people out there.

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