Tips for Playing Heads-Up Poker

Heads-up poker is a variety of poker game that involves just a two-player face-off. This reduced number of players might be a result of a long game in which everyone else has bowed out, or it might have been set up from the beginning. Either way, it can be a stressful game, since you know that your opponent's full attention is placed on you.

Be Aggressive

In order to excel at heads-up poker, it's necessary to be aggressive. This means placing high-stakes bets, even if your hand isn't stellar. A heads-up poker game doesn't last very long, so if you don't work fast, you won't reap the benefits. With only one opponent, there is obviously a reduced chance that someone else will have a better hand than you.

Know the Odds

While it's important to take risks and be aggressive, it's also important to know when to take those risks. In other words, an essential aspect of being successful at heads-up poker is the ability to calculate the pot odds. Keep track of the cards that have been dealt, and weight the benefits against the risks before you place a bet or decide to fold.

The best poker players are also not always the ones that have the best cards, but the ones who know how to bluff. If you have a poor hand, try to convince your opponent that you have a great hand instead, and get him to fold--so you can take home the winnings.