Heads up poker is a great and adrenaline rush. The first time I played it, I was absolutely amazed at how different it was from typical poker. I’ve been to several tournaments, but not once have I been near or within one of the places that the players are located on the table. A typical Sit n Go might have 5 or 6 players at the table, but this game can have as many as 1000 in a single table.
Even though it’s rare, a player who is unfamiliar with heads up poker should not be there. A typical scenario might be 2 to 2, but as many as 100 or more heads up tables. Tight heads up poker is almost always played short-handed. A short handed table is a lot of hands, which means it’s going to be a lot of pots. Longer tables are harder to play, but if you have a set of cards that does well in heads up poker, you will have a lot of opportunities at the longer tables. I was playing poker online for many years, but never once was I in a 1,000 hand situation. Definitely, it helps to have that type of hand. My first thought when I saw my bankroll go up to $1,999.00 was, “I can’t believe I made this in one day!”
Variations of the Game
Just like in any other poker game, heads up poker can be played with almost any type of hand. You might have won your money putting a premium hand into the pot, but if you lose you wouldn’t understand what you did right. Most of the time though, you will probably end up beating the majority of the hands that you play. Learning to play heads up poker is basically the same as learning to play any other poker game. The only difference is that you should really know how to play short handed poker. It can definitely be a very intense experience.
In poker, I definitely have that strong gut feeling of being in a strong position, or in a way with which I am not in a position to make a move. Basically, it’s almost like falling into a trance (Sidney Pools). I am usually right, and yet I lose the hand. I also quite often bluff my opponents, although I do understand their playing style a lot more now. My bluffing skills have gotten much better since I last played competitively.
One of the things about heads up poker that I enjoy the most is that I’m playing objectively. Many players when they are losing will try to do the same things over and over again trying to win their money back. Well, knowing the game you are playing (and surrendering your blinds) is one way to at least stay out of objective reality. Playing with blinds and antes is also a very fun way to win a lot of poker chips.
Weakness in head up poker can be your saving grace. Against any opponent that has taken a large portion of your stack, you can push them off the hand. Your survival instincts kick in when you know you are beat and you push someone out of the hand to attempt a comeback. I have definitely gotten a measure of my weakness paid off to my advantage. Weakness is strength. And being able to exploit your opponents’ weaknesses is a huge part of becoming a better poker player.