Moderating Strategy for Heads Up Hold'em

Whether you're in a Heads Up tournament or normal play has just winnowed down to you and another player, one-on-one poker can be a different - and difficult - proposition. Take these tips into account and make sure you don't get caught with your pants down, poker-style.

Attack with a Small Stack

Sure, seeing the flop for free is always in your favor when you've got the short stack, but that doesn't mean you can never raise preflop. If you're short on chips but just got a great deal, use it. Your opponent may play right into your hands by betting, or they may fold and give you chips. Either way you win, so there's nothing to lose.

Leverage a Big Stack

On the other hand, a big stack means there's no reason not to throw down a preflop raise. Making your opponent pay to see the cards that might win him the hand is always good, and when your opponent has nothing, buying the pot is good too. Either way, don't let them play for free.

Take Higher Risks

Playing safely isn't going to win you much when the stakes are so high and there are no other players to offset you, donate blinds for you, or distract your opponent. Being bold is your only option, so act cocky and scare your opponent away with big bets whenever possible. Also remember that moderate hands in normal play are good hands in heads up, so bet accordingly.

Knowing what to do with chip stacks, big or small, being willing to play aggressively, and adapting your style of play to just two players will help you win at the difficult style of play that is Heads Up, so give it a go.

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