Basic Heads Up Poker Tips

Playing Aggressive

Playing heads up poker aggressively is the number one way to win. Inexperienced players get bulldozed by more experienced and aggressive players. It is always important to make your opponents pay to see every flop. Don't let them limp in on small blind. If you let this happen, you will be letting your opponent catch cards, which will make you lose more hands. Many heads up poker experts will say that they hardly use their cards as a basis on what plays they make. If you can tell that your opponent is weak, you should be able to take advantage of it.


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Bluffing Your Opponents during heads up play


Bluffing is much easier when playing poker heads up. You can trick your opponent into thinking you have a good hand, and that his or her marginal hand is suddenly not worth playing. It is often necessary to read your opponent and know what draw they are on. If you suspect them of having trips, and there is a possible flush showing on the board, go ahead and try to bluff them out. Usually they wont call because they think you have the flush. Just make sure to place the right sized bet.

Remember that bluffing is dangerous, and you never know when your opponent is going to re-raise you all in and turn over the nuts. Ouch.

Calculating Outs and Odds in Heads Up Poker

Getting your head wrapped around the concept of outs and odds is crucial for any heads up Texas holdem player. When going for a hand, the outs are the remaining cards in the deck that will complete your hand. If you are one card away from having a flush, meaning you have two (clubs) in your hand and there are two (clubs) on the board, then you have 9 outs. This is calculated by taking the total number of clubs, which is 13, and subtracting the number of clubs showing, which is 4. But what does all of this mean? Take a look at this poker outs chart. It shows that 9 outs has about 35% after the flop and 20% after the turn. This is about 3:1 and 5:1 respectively.

Pot Odds

The pot odds are simply the ratio of the current bet and the size of the pot. A $40 pot and a $10 bet would be 4:1 pot odds. As a rule of thumb you want to make sure your hand odds are better than your pot odds in order to call a bet. I will go into more detail on this in a future article.