Heads Up Poker Is A Totally Different World
Players who have not tried heads up poker before are in for a real surprise. Instead of just sitting back and waiting to play certain hands, in playing heads up, we are now thrust into a situation where there is only a single opponent and we can no longer be so selective with what we play.
There will be times when we do fold pre flop, but whenever we do, another hand is immediately dealt to us. So there is no downtime in heads up, and that’s probably the hardest thing to adjust to for a lot of players.
The action in heads up poker is in fact non stop. For those who get bored easily, there’s no need at all here to play other tables, since we’re always in the action with just this one. Some people do multi table heads up, but there’s no real reason to ever do so, and you certainly don’t want to divide your attention and therefore water it down in a game like this.
Mistakes in heads up poker are also magnified. First off, there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, and where in regular poker games there is a lot going on that doesn’t involve you, making it more difficult for opponents to get inside your head due to their having to spread their attention among several players. However, in heads up, all the attention is purely upon you.
Your Faults And Their Faults Are At The Forefront
Some players find the non stop action to be at least a bit stressful, especially when they get into situations where they are being manipulated but may not have the solution to it. So for instance if someone is pushing you around and you don’t know how to fight back properly, you may add to your problems by reacting emotionally and making even bigger mistakes.
The amount of endurance to play heads up in general is also higher, as you might imagine. So if you lack the proper amount of endurance, then this will come out at the table and you will be subjecting yourself to making more mistakes then you usually would.
As you gain more experience at this game, you will find that your endurance increases along with a lot of other things as well. Heads up poker is a lot like lifting heavier weights than you are used to, and by working out with this form of poker, your skills will all benefit from the increased amount of exercise that this provides to you as a poker player.
Any weaknesses you have in your game will also be exposed a lot more playing this type of poker. For instance, if you fold too much, your opponent will be apt to pick up on that more readily than at a fuller table, and will tend to pound you until you learn to adjust. So instead of taking the odd punch, you are now being peppered with punches, where you have to learn to fight back better or get pounded on.
Your Opponent Is Subject To This Sort Of Thing Too
While you have your opponent’s undivided attention in heads up poker, your opponent also has your undivided attention as well. So you will have all the opportunity you could ever want to case out the weaknesses of your opponents and look to take advantage of them.
So not only are you forced to sharpen your defensive skills to a much greater degree, you also have the opportunity to improve your attack skills as well, and really hone in on how you can take advantage of how your opponent is playing.
Ultimately, your success in poker will depend on how well you adjust, and once again, heads up will provide you with all of the practice you ever could imagine as far as adjusting to the play of an opponent.
You’ll also learn to pay attention to an opponent’s every move and get better at spotting any changes or adjustments that he or she may be making to you. Once again, there’s only one other player here, so the opportunities to build your skills with this is unmatched.
It’s Easy To See Why Heads Up Is So Beneficial
There is not a skill in poker that won’t be magnified playing heads up in fact, and this is the main reason why this is such an excellent training ground for players. It’s a lot like regular poker, only on steroids. If you want to play like you are on steroids at the regular tables, you need to cut your teeth on something even more involving and even more challenging, and heads up poker is the perfect fit here.
As I mentioned in the previous article, even if you don’t wish to become a heads up specialist, the training this can give you can give you a significant advantage over your less heads up experienced opponents, especially if you like to play six max where most pots are against a single opponent anyway.
By undertaking the tremendously accelerated learning that heads up poker offers, you will not only have much more practice at this, you will be forced to sharpen your skills tremendously, especially when going against skilled heads up players who really know what they are doing.
Then, when you go back to the regular games, you will find that the heads up skills of the people there are significantly reduced, putting you in a very fine position indeed.
Some players really take a liking to heads up though and also may show a real flair for it with experience, and may never go back to regular poker, or may play it on the side. If this happens, that’s great, but in any case you’ll come out of this educational process a better player, and if you are willing to really work at it, a much better player.