Heads Up poker has enjoyed a loyal following for years, helped in part by the National Heads-Up Poker Championship put on by NBC. This is one of the reasons you’ll find the game offered by most of the top U.S. poker sites. Moreover, most of them will have low-stakes tables available.
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Below, we’ll provide a road map to playing Heads Up online poker. You’ll learn how to play the game along with a few starter tips so you can hit the ground running. We’ll also introduce you to Heads Up strategy, a critical part of improving your skills. Because there is far too much information about the game to share on a single page, we’ll point you to areas on this site where you can find more details.
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How To Play Heads Up Poker Online
If you know how to play Texas Holdem, you’ll know how to play Heads Up poker. They are essentially the same game (though Omaha Poker can also be played with a Heads Up format). The difference is that holdem is played with as many as ten people while Heads Up is played with two: you and your opponent.
Both blinds are still in force, which means you’ll have something to lose in each hand. The betting structure and action follow the same format as holdem. For a detailed tutorial on how to play Heads Up poker continue reading.
Basic Heads Up Poker Tips
Because Heads Up is basically a variation of holdem, the two games share many of the same nuances. For example, your position at the table can be invaluable following the flop. You should also be willing to fold a significant portion of hands, even though you’re losing the blinds by doing so. Bluffing, aggression, and learning to read your opponent are also key factors in becoming a skilled player. In fact, each is even more important than in a full holdem game since there are only two of you at the table.
You’ll find more details about these and other basic tips for playing Heads Up poker here.
Heads Up Poker Strategy: Basic And Advanced
Strategy extends further than tips. Here, you’re putting together a plan for dominating your opponent – either by sheer aggression or artful subterfuge (or better, both!). You’ll need to formulate a pre-flop game, and be able to identify odds based on your hand. Keep in mind, the odds are different than with holdem. Because there’s a lower likelihood your one opponent is holding a pair, any pair in your hand has a higher value pre-flop.
You should also figure out how to take down aggressive players. A lot of people who migrate from holdem to the Heads Up tables play aggressively. Learning how to back them down will come in handy.
You can check out more tips and advice by reading out Long Term Winning Tips.
Identifying starting hands, adapting to your opponent’s betting strategy, and knowing when to tighten up your play are a few strategy points that will improve your game. Read on for more on Heads Up Poker Strategy.
Highly-Recommended Poker Sites To Play Heads Up Poker
Given that most online poker rooms offer Heads Up poker, choosing a few sites at which to play the game will come down to the features you value. A lot of players are attracted by large sign-up bonuses. Some are willing to sacrifice large bonuses as long as they can find plenty of player traffic. Still others look for poker sites with a large percentage of unskilled players (i.e. fish). Game variety, quality of the poker software, customer support, and ongoing promotions are also important.
We’ve chosen the following sites for playing Heads Up online poker games because they are reliable, professional, and have always offered a great playing experience.
- Bodog – Bodog gets high marks in several categories. Their poker software is designed to be intuitive and engaging. You’ll be able to navigate easily, and find everything in a few clicks. Bodog’s tournament list is one of the strongest among their competitors. MTTs, SNGs, freerolls, qualifiers, turbos, and guaranteed events make them a tournament powerhouse. Their rewards program is a little lackluster, but they make up for the shortfall with a generous sign-up bonus. Visit Bodog and use promo code “130347” to grab a 110% match up to $1,100. You’ll receive 10% of your bonus instantly.
We’ve been reviewing poker sites for several years, and can strongly recommend playing Heads Up poker at the sites above. Test each one for yourself. That’s the only way to know whether you’ll enjoy the experience.