Heads-Up Poker

Heads-up poker is a different animal indeed, especially in comparison with 6, 8 or 10 handed full ring games. Heads-up poker games are bound to be appealing to action junkies, because of a feature sped-up action, and a much looser range of decent starting hands.

Because one is only faced with a single opponent and thus a single pocket hand, the range of hands one should consider before the flop is radically expanded. Small suited connectors may not be the best choice in an aggressive full ring game, however in a heads-up bout, they actually represent a pretty decent starting hand. The same goes for small pocket pairs, and at the end of the day, for pretty much any two cards that the player considers he can dominate his opponents with.

The level of aggression in heads-up games is also radically higher than in just about any other setup. The more aggressive player will always win the battle of the wills and he will therefore secure an unparalleled heads-up edge at the table.

Heads-up poker is also wonderfully suited for poker purists: there are many additional variables to factor in and one can focus entirely on demolishing the defenses of a single opponent, on learning his ways, figuring out his tactics, reading his pocket hands and at the end of the day: relieving him of all his chips.

Good heads-up poker players are indeed usually extremely good and technically sound players, but that doesn’t mean that they are capable of doing just as well in multi-handed situations. Really good heads-up players are bit like junkies: they are easily bored by the lack of action at the full ring tables. In tournaments, the importance of heads-up skills isn’t all that overwhelming. If someone wants to become a truly successful online poker professional however he simply must whip this aspect of his game into shape: most of the six-figure pot action at sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker takes place at the heads-up tables.

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