Published on May 17th, 2005, 6:02 pm EST

There are two things that can give you a huge advantage in heads up SNG's.

1) Most people don't play heads up SNG's, and just play a couple to try them out (lower level SNGS, eg. $10 - $20)

2) Most people label their moves, and pay no attention to their opponent in heads up matches.

The first point: heads up play just isn't covered that much on the Net, and most people don't practise their heads up play, giving you a huge advantage if you devote some time to becoming a better heads up player. Most people play multi table tournaments, ring games and normal SNG's. But heads up SNG's? Not too popular.

In lower level SNG's, it is very easy to read your opponent. Most players follow this pattern: bet when they have cards, check when they don't have cards. I just played a player who checked EVERY single time he didn't have any cards. No attempt to trap me, no attempts to trick me. If he checked to me and I wanted to win a fast pot, I just bet and he would fold every single time. If I flopped a monster, I would check back, hoping he'd hit a card on the turn or the river.

Here is a typical hand from our match. This type of behavior you'll see out of maybe 80% of your opponents at this level:

I'm holding K5. Flop comes 5/5/2. Opponent checks to me. Normally I could take this pot down right here by betting out, but I'm holding trips with a King kicker, so I'll hope that my opponent is holding some kind of a face card and he pairs up on the turn on the river. The turn is a King. My opponent now bets. I have a full house now, and I'm 99% sure that my opponent has a King. I re-raise, he goes all in, and he's out. He was holding K/7.

Watch your opponents. Heads up play is ALL about reading your opponents. Do they mix up their play? Do they always bet out if they have top pair? How do they play middle pair or bottom pair?

Take detailed notes on your opponents at this level. I guarantee you it will give you a HUGE edge, as 99% of your opponents are not taking notes or watching how you play at this level. They are betting when they have cards, and playing weak when they don't in most situations. It's as simple as that. Once you have a handle on your opponents playing tendencies, you own them. Unless they are smart enough to mix it up, which you won't find too much at this level, you will dominate them.

Practise, practise, practise. Heads up takes a while to master, but once you do, you will have a huge advantage over your opponents.


Filed Under: Miscellaneous King Articles

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