Adjusting To Opponents Is Important In All Forms Of Poker
In Heads-Up Poker It is Vital. Learn More Here!
About The Author: JackofHeartz is an online poker pro, heads-up SNG specialist and moderator for the SNG Study Group at PokerXFactor.
Note: This is one of many articles on Heads-up matches here at SNG Planet, we recommend the following articles for readers looking to find out more about this profitable form of poker.
Heads-Up Poker Games Strategy - Playing Opponents, Not Just Cards!
Playing Heads Up SNG Poker is more about playing the opponent than playing your cards. The faster you can adjust your strategy to what they are doing the better off you will be.
A lot of players come into games with a set strategy and do not adjust to their opponents. If your opponent is too tight preflop then you can start to open up almost every hand on the button. If they call too much preflop but fold missed flops then make your preflop raises slightly smaller but make your continuation bets smaller on the flop. This way you charge them more to see flops but risk less on the flop as they aren’t calling unless they hit a piece of the board.
Learning to make these adjustments before your opponents is one of the keys to being successful as you move up to bigger games. Hand reading is another skill that you will want to develop. It’s a lot easier in heads up games if you are only playing 1 game at a time to learn to read your opponents hand. I tend to take notes on any hand showdown so in the future I can use that to my advantage.
Opponent Types In Heads-Up Poker - When Your Cards Stop Being Important!
As you learn to read your opponents hands, your own cards become less important because you can start to outplay your opponent. Your hand doesn’t matter if you know the opponent doesn’t like to call after the flop without top pair or better. Also it becomes easier to bluff the turn and river based on how they play certain hands. Hand reading isn’t an exact science but it’s a skill that will help you in any game you play once you learn how to use it.
One play I see a lot of lower level players make in the opening levels is this. They will limp the button and the flop will come with an Ace. Now this player doesn’t raise enough preflop but Ax is in his raising range. When checked to he will always bet the flop and fold to a check raise. 95% of the time if a player limps the button and bets an Ace on the flop he doesn’t have it. There are a few players who will limp A2o or other weak aces and I make a note when I see them. But I’ve had players who bet/folded in this spot 5 times during one match. They refused to stop betting the Ace and didn’t adjust to the fact that I check raised them every single time they made the play.
Another play that weaker players tend to make is the donk bet on the flop. You raise the button as usual and they call in the big blind. Then they make a bet on the flop instead of checking to you. Usually if a player flopped a real hand he would check to the button and then check raise the flop. But when you see a player make this donk bet it’s rarely a big hand. I tend to raise their bet with almost any two cards. If the bet was a minimum bet I usually make a ½ pot sized bet and they go away. Now if the flop comes down something like Jc Th 6h I’m going to be more careful if an aggressive player leads out here. Reason being is an aggressive player may very well have something like a pair and flush draw, a flush draw and a gut shot straight draw. Hands that he doesn’t mind if you raise so that he can 3 bet all in.
Our Heads-up Poker SNG Strategy Tips continue with these excellent articles:
For a more general overview that could seriously improve your profits check out our mini guides specific to the Heads-up Poker area: