Tournaments: Playing Heads-Up

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The first and foremost rule about playing a Heads up poker tournament is that you need to be aggressive right from the start. Unlike a full table where there are multiple opponents and more scope to play tight and hold back, here you cannot afford to make mistakes or play a passive role. If you want to win, you will have to push your opponent around, call some good bets, and constantly change your own style of play so as to be unpredictable.

As the number of players at the table decreases, the value of the hands goes up. A medium value pair at a full table can turn out to be a very strong hand in heads up poker. The most important part of your heads up poker tournament strategy should be your study of your opponent. What are his tells? You should try and discover the minute signs and actions which may indicate the kind of cards he holds. Analyze his playing style. The way he plays out his hands, his betting patterns, all of them will help you form a proper offensive strategy.

A heads up poker tournament is where you will have to take some risks in order to win. You cannot be afraid to lose your money. Throw out some good bets against a tight-playing opponent and steal some blinds. Most of the time, faced with an aggressive approach, your opponent will have to fold. Waiting for that one big hand to turn up is not going to do any good, so try and take down as many small pots as possible. And when you are confident about the strength of your hand, do not be afraid to make a big move and put your money in the middle of the game. Ultimately, in a heads up game, it is always your courage and skill pitted against your opponent’s, rather than a matter of luck. So use them wisely!

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