Being aggressive is the number one key to winning any heads-up poker match hands down! Now, at times you will find some players who have the same heads up strategy as you and when those times do present themselves you have to adjust to their style, otherwise just be aggressive. So, how do you handle playing against another super aggressive player?
Well, first off you should make damn sure that the person you think is actually a good aggressive player “is actually a good aggressive player” and not just some fishy player who has decided to start being aggressive and donk off all of their chips. One of the best ways to find this out is that a “fishy player” will be calling you with almost anything and re-raising with just about anything. But if you happen to find out that your opponent truly is a good aggressive player, then you will absolutely need to choose your starting hands very wisely, as they will put you in lots of tough situations with medium strength hands.
You should not attempt to limp in calling the BB with a weak starting hand, unless you do not value your chips, because this is a great way to get raised and lose your chips. You want to protect your chips at ALL times. This type of play can lead to the pot getting exceptionally large before the flop, and you do not want to play a big pot heads up, out of position with weak cards.
Take my advice and just be patient and fold all your trash hands, which is one of the best methods of grinding your opponent down to the ground. Then when you have a good starting hand you can attack them with aggression and you will have the odds in your favor that you will be the dominating winner of that particular hand.
If you ever choose to go ALL-IN, make sure that you are sitting on a high pocket pair such as kings (KK) or aces (AA), that way you are not putting your chips at risk ever with stupid hands that get most people busted all the time. There are occasions that pre-flop KK’s will get draw out on and even on rarer occasions AA’s will get drawn out on by a set, but you can’t worry about those types of situations, those are just coolers and are just part of the game, after all, if you can’t go all in with KK or AA then what can you do it with? Nothing!
At times you may want to push with hands lower than AA or KK, when you feel that your opponent will stack off lighter pre-flop, you should at least stick to the top 10 premium starting hands for heads up play!
Now on to some advanced tactics such as the ol’ check raise and bluff. You should always mix these types of plays into your play box of goodies because these are the type of plays that will deceive and throw your opponent off balance, increasing the chances that they will make a mistake and that they will not pick up on any of your play patterns.
There are some great advantages of playing heads up, one is that its such an exciting fast-paced environment that you usually will not get bored. The other is that is so fast-paced that your opponent usually cannot lock-in to you style of play. One thing to remember and that’s guaranteed is that playing against another aggressive player you already know that they will not have a better hand 1/2 of the time.
Get your thinking cap on and start to pay close attention and watch the plays that are being made and see how they play their hands when they actually have a great hand and how they play their hands when they don’t have a great hand. Watch their betting patterns and bet sizes, this is crucial and you may only get to these things a few times in a heads up session, because going to showdown will not happen that often, but when it does, make sure that you take notes, it only takes a few seconds to jot something down, after all you are endeavoring to make money aren’t you?
When it comes to position, you should always use it to your advantage, and steal the blinds as often as you think you can get away with it. There is a great strategy that can be used, its called “the bet fold” strategy, which basically means you throw out a bet which is either a pure bluff, a semi-bluff, in or out of position with the intention of getting your opponent(s) to fold. If your opponent(s) smooth calls or plays back at you, you back down. This is such a strong play if used wisely, and you can mix it up because you are in control, you know what your are trying to do, and you know what you will do if your opponent plays back. This will create a very confusing image of you, and you can cause your opponent to make mistakes this way!
Last but not least, one of the biggest considerations for any player considering heads-up poker is to ALWAYS play within the limit your bankroll allows. If you do not play this way then your focus will be on your money and not on the game at hand, which is very detrimental to your heads up game. If you’re looking for more advanced poker strategy to take your heads up game to a new level, you should checkout this poker site’s strategy page for more information.