Heads Up No Limit Texas Holdem Strategy

Heads up play is arguably the most difficult form of Texas Hold ‘em. It takes some time getting used to because it constantly forces you to make marginal decisions. If you fold most of your starting hands, you’ll get run over – it forces you to play many pots with weak hands. Couple that with the aggressive nature of the game and you’re in for a wild ride. It’s good to learn heads up for these very reasons. Playing heads up Texas Holdem will make you a better poker player. After a couple months at the heads up tables, the regular tables will feel easy in comparison.

Where To Play Heads Up Texas Holdem Online

Deciding where to play is very important. Picking the right site to play heads up no limit Texas Holdem is key to winning a lot of money and having fun doing it. The heads up poker sites below have tons of heads up holdem tables at any limit you could want.

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online poker rooms Bovada Poker 98% $500 n/a - use links Bovada Poker
online poker rooms Ignition Poker 98% $2000 n/a - use links Ignition Poker
best online poker sites Bet Online Poker 92% 25% Instant n/a - use link Bet Online Poker
best online poker sites Sportsbetting Poker 89% 25% Instant n/a - use link Sportsbetting Poker
best online poker sites Intertops Poker 89% $600 n/a - use link Intertops Poker

In the end it’s mostly going to take experience to master heads up play. While the strategy I am providing for you is useful, you’re just going to have to get out there and do it.

Getting Started

The best way to get started is to practice at lower-than-normal stakes. You can win and lose just as much money at a level down from your normal stakes. Additionally the smaller dollar amounts will make it easier to make the difficult decisions that come up frequently.

The first adjustment you will want to make is getting used to playing almost all of your starting hands. In heads-up, the blinds hit every single hand. It you were to wait for good starting hands like you do at the regular tables, the blinds would eat you alive.

Now most people understand that concept but they don’t know how to correctly apply it. They come in raising every hand and end up stuck in large pots out of position with weak hands.

Position In Heads Up Texas Holdem

Don’t worry about defending your blinds out of position, its not enough money to worry about. And if you get stuck against someone who raises a ton, just be patient and pick your spots. Don’t get mad just because he’s raised three times in a row and try to fight back by three-betting 25o pre-flop out of position.

So yes, you will want to play a lot of hands heads up, but do it on your terms. Most importantly, don’t play junk hands out of position. It doesn’t take much of a pot at all to win back a couple rounds worth blinds. Hell, you have a hundred blinds to work with.

But when you do have position, almost anything goes. I’ll raise all the regular hands, any two face cards, any two suited, any two connectors and any two one-gappers. But don’t just blindly smash the raise button when you get any one of these cards. The raising list is flexible – it should be tailored to the individual opponent. If you’re up against someone passive who calls all those raises and calls a lot postflop, you’ll be beating your head against the wall trying to push him around. If you’re up against Foldy McFolderson, it might be wise to raise 100% of your starting hands.

Having position is just as important in your post-flop play as well.

Hand Reading Playing Heads Up

You’re going to be winning pots with a lot of weaker hands but you must still use your hand reading skills to play pots. One of the most common mistakes is people thinking “well its heads up and I have top pair so I’ll call that huge river raise.” Sure you can take those things into consideration but if you leave it at that you’re just playing your cards. I’m sure you put a lot of effort into putting people on hands at your regular tables so do the same at your heads up tables.

Remember that it is ok to fold at a heads up table.

It’s just a lot harder to read hands heads up because the games are so aggressive and there are so many hands being played. It takes a lot of experience and studying to get the hang of reading heads up hands. Posting hands and discussing others’ hands in online forums will take you a long way as well. The good thing is that learning to read the wild heads up hands will get you very good at playing regular tables.

Be Quick To Adjust

Another one of the keys to winning a heads up match is being fastest adjuster. As soon as you see your opponent change some aspect of his play, respond to it. Learn to recognize what style your opponent is playing and then change yours to counter it. If he’s turned from a rock into a maniac, then quit stealing and start trapping more. Little adjustments like that will keep the game favorable to you.

I recommend everyone give heads up a try. Move down a level or two in stakes and get some good practice in. Learn as much heads up Texas Holdem strategy as you can and get to work at the tables. Heads up isn’t for everyone but it can develop your skills at the least, and make you a lot of money at the most. Good luck and have fun.