how to become a good heads up poker player

Heads up poker (HU) requires a huge amount of knowledge and a superb poker strategy which is why most professional players consider it the toughest and most interesting form of poker. It requires you to play a wide range of hands and use all your skills to make good decisions in post-flop play.

Understanding your opponent getting a read on him is crucial if you want to be a good heads up poker player because most of your moves or hard decisions will be based on the information you have on your opponent.

Most successful players prefer to play heads up poker because it lets you control your opponent and make him constantly adjust to your game pace, never giving him the chance to predict what you’ll do next. Here are some tips that will help you become a better heads-up player, which will do wonders to your overall poker strategy.

Heads up poker tips

heads up poker tips

Table selection is extremely important. You’re playing against one player so finding one that’s worse than you is a significant advantage. A lot of players agree that in heads up poker players who sit at the table with less than a full buy in are in most cases bad players. Also, if they don’t rebuy when they lose a larger pot then they don’t understand the importance of chip stacks in poker. These are the players you should look for.

Position is another key element of heads up poker play. Playing out of position in heads up is a huge disadvantage so when you come across a player who passively calls your bets out of position than this is probably a bad player.

Bet sizes are also something that you should pay attention to, because if you do it right you can always keep pressure on your opponent without risking your entire stack. When raising stick to 3x big blind, re-raising should go up to 4x the raise and your 3betting should be around 2,5-3x.

This way if your opponent is deep stacked his 3bet call is not bigger than 1/4 of his stack, which about the maximum a good player will pay, and fold if he misses the flop. Anything higher will commit him to the pot and you might end up going all in with a marginal hand.


One of the most important things in heads up poker is to be true to yourself. If you sit at a table and soon realize that your opponent is much better, there’s nothing wrong in leaving the table and finding someone that’s worse than you.

As you see, knowledge is always key to success. When you’r off the field, you should seriously consider to invest in your poker knowledge by reading some of the greatest poker books, which are the safe bet when it comes to improving your poker skills. I kindly recommend you Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em book, where 17 superstars and no-limit experts, discuss all aspects of the game, including heads up play.

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