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Heads Up Strategy

Old 08-19-05, 03:39 PM
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Heads Up Strategy

Well, I think this is my biggest weakness and I have no idea why. Out of the last 10 games that my friends and I have played, I have made it to the final 2 nine times, winning 4 and losing 5. These games have been anywheres from 5-9 people.

I would say when I am in the final 2, about 75% of those games I am chip leader when it comes down to it but I still have lost. I find it relies much more on luck since even if you lose the blinds 2 or 3 times in a row, that could affect you greatly.

My strategy at this point is always to raise with any face card regardless of the kicker. I lost like this last nite when I had KJ and raised quite a bit, my friend reraised all in, so if I didnt call, I would have for maybe 2-3 more hands and if I did call I would be out of the game. I was thinking that out of 3 hands KJ is not too bad, anyways I called and he had AK, nothing at all came up for either one so he won with A high.

Anyways, back to my strategy, even when I bet or raise an appropriate amount with a high card in my hand, if the play does not fold, they will either call or raise. Alot of the times, I wont hit the flop and they will come out betting and thats what always throws me off so I am losing my blinds plus my bet.

Any tips?
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Old 08-19-05, 03:55 PM
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My strategy changes when I'm playing heads up with someone multiple times. The first few times I play someone (or if I get heads up online) I play it very aggressively. Once people figure out that you're playing aggressively with just high cards they'll start firing back at you though. Odds are your opponent isn't hitting the flop either but he knows if he comes out for a bet you'll fold. This is especially true if they've figured out you're raising with face cards and the flop is a bunch of rags.

Don't limit yourself to one strategy, limp sometimes with hands like K8 or QT, and a hand like J2 isn't really strong even heads up, so if you're raising with hands like that I would definitely cut that out. Also raise with rags sometimes, if they're putting you on high cards you might be able to buy it if the flop comes A or K high, and if it comes low cards you might surprise them with 2 pair or something. The big thing is not to be too predictable with people who know you, play it differently every time.
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Old 08-19-05, 04:05 PM
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another factor is how big the blinds are. In my games when we're heads up, the small + big is always greater than 10% of the total money on the table (for ex, if we have 7 people buying in for $10 ea, by the time we get to 2 the blinds are 3-6).

When blinds are that high, flops are rarely seen. The SB rarely just limps in, if they're gonna throw another 3 they usually throw a 6 raise too. So much of the strategy becomes stealing blinds.
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Old 08-23-05, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ElementZ
Well, I think this is my biggest weakness and I have no idea why.
Without reading any more, I can offer you a likely diagnosis: You're playing the cards and not the man.

In heads-up, it's critical to get a read on your opponent's play, discover his patterns, and use them against him. At a full table, you're kind of stuck playing the cards, for the most part (probably 90-10). Get down to 3 or 4 and it's more like 60-40. In heads-up, it's more like 40-60.

Of course, when the blinds get high enough, that goes away some. At that point, you have to start evaluating your win% against a random hand, equity, etc.
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Old 08-23-05, 10:40 AM
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my heads up play depends entirely on my opponent. if they are playing passively, i will raise every hand until they show me that i need to change it up, if they are playing agressively, normally i will play more passively and when i do get a good hand, i will let them do the majority of the raising for me. i normally do pretty well once heads up.
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Old 08-23-05, 10:48 AM
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I need to work on my heads up play as well. I try to be the aggressor when I'm in position and/or if I have decent cards. You definitely can't be too passive and wait for good cards, but it can be a good way to trap a person's aggressive nature.
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Old 08-23-05, 11:11 AM
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