Highlights The Importance Of Position In Heads-Up SNG Strategy
And Shows How To Play Can Be Profitably Adapted.
About The Author: JackofHeartz is an online poker pro, heads-up SNG specialist and moderator for the SNG Study Group at PokerXFactor.
The first important rule of playing HU poker is position. Preflop you can play a lot of hands from the button and should be raising most of them. You act first preflop but will have position after the flop. A lot of players don’t use this position to their advantage. They fold too many hands or simply limp in too often.
Against most opponents I’m raising at least 75% of the hands I’m dealt preflop. Unless I have a very aggressive player who likes to 3 bet me preflop I’m not limping into hands. I want to keep pounding on players when I’m in position and put as much pressure on them as possible.
Heads-Up Poker Strategy - The Power Of Position For Continuation Bets
Since you should be raising the hands you are playing on the button, keep the pressure on your opponents and make a continuation bet on most of the flops. There may be an occasional scary flop that you may check because you feel it hit your opponents range or you flopped the nuts and want to let them catch up. But I like to stay aggressive and fire the flop whether I hit it hard or I completely missed. It makes it much harder for my opponents to figure out my hand and lets me build bigger pots when I do have big hands or big draws.
If I feel my opponent is weak on the flop I usually fire again on the turn, especially if I have some kind of a draw. Even if my draw is only a gut shot as it gives me two ways to win the hand. If you’ve been called on the flop and turn firing the river really depends on your opponent. A lot of times in the early levels I try not to fire a 3rd barrel without knowing something about the opponent. If my hand has some showdown value such as A hi or 3rd pair I tend to check behind the river and make a note on what my opponent hand. After a couple of notes on his holdings my turn and river plays will be based on what he’s calling me down with.
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Position In Heads-Up Poker Strategy - When Playing Out Of Position.
Playing out of the Big Blind is more difficult. You don’t want to be calling often because you are playing out of position the rest of the hand. So you’ll want to be 3 betting most of your premium hands and even some hands like suited connectors occasionally.
I see a lot of passive players just call preflop and then check and call the flop. You can occasionally trap a player like this but it shouldn’t be your default line. You should be leading out most flops when you 3 bet preflop. Because of your 3 bet and c-bet you now have about ½ your chips in the pot already so if you get shoved you are going to be committed to calling with a lot of hands. One leak I see passive players make is making a 3 bet preflop and then making a continuation bet but folding too often on flops.
Also when your opponent limps and you have a hand you want to raise, you should be making your raises 4x-5x the BB. Your opponent will have position throughout the hand so make him pay for the chance preflop.
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