Ultimate Poker Bonus
USA Online Poker Sites and Bonuses - US Players Accepted
Promo's and Extra's | Trouble Depositing? Find poker sites that accept USA Credit Cards.

Head's Up Tournaments

by: Ultimate Poker Bonus

One of our favorite sit'n go tournaments are Turbo and Ultra Turbo Head's Up play. While this style of tournament is not for everyone, we like it because it's almost instant gratification and we have been pretty successful in playing them. As a result we would like to offer our strategy as it comes to this type of tournament.

Head's Up tournaments are offered at virtually every major online poker site. They generally can be found under the sit n' go tournaments section and range from a $1 buy in up to a $5000 buy in. We have had our most success in playing at the lower stakes below $100 but avoiding anything below $20. The reason for this is we believe at below the $20 level there are a lot of newbies, and one thing about Head's up is if you experience more than two bad beats it can be tough to recover from them.

The style of play we recommend is solid aggressive. You can't expect to get cards on every hand, but neither will your opponent. For this reason you must play mediocre cards and represent you have the best hand regardless if you do or not. Never be afraid of playing connectors, suited cards and suited connectors.

Initially we play very conservative for generally the first or second level of blinds. We do this for two reasons:

1: we want to act like we will be a pushover so our opponent becomes over aggressive which we will take advantage of later.

2: there is not a lot of money to made at the first levels of blinds. Especially on the first hand or two we will never raise (yes even if we have big slick or AA) because as the saying goes first impressions are the most important.

In Head's Up play you must figure out what type of player you are playing against early on in the game. Is your opponent a bully, a pushover or tight? We always want the bully because we will sit back and wait for him to hang himself. Because we have acted very passive he will bet big regardless of his hand. With this type of player we always want to see the flop with connectors or better, but will not chase if we don't hit as will cost to much money. Also, if we see the flop and hit, we almost always check as he will bet pretty big and we will come over the top and take the pot more times than not, and may even get a re-raise.

If the opponent is tight, as the blinds level go up we will raise pre flop more times than not, and if the flop blanks make a nice bet to see if he hit anything. If he calls chances he did and then we must make the decision whether we have a hand that can win with or can we make a big enough bet to have him fold if doesn't have top pair or an opened ended draw.

If the opponent is a pushover be careful when he bets first. We will call pre flop raises if we have any kind of a hand and wait to see what he does. If we have a good drawing hand and bet last, a pot bet is generally a good call. Worse case scenario he calls and you get a free card for the river as they will almost always check the turn. If the pushover checks after the flop, even without a hand a half pot bet is usually our play. These types of players seem to fold as they won't play a hand unless they are already holding something.

In head's Up play chips are everything! At most sites you start with 1500 chips and the goal is to never fall below the 900 level. If you find yourself below this level, and the blinds are increasing there is no shame in folding pre-flop until you get a hand to play. Also remember the 10x's rule, if your chip stack is less than 10x's the blind level, pick your hand and go all in.

If your on the better side of the chip count - get AGGRESSIVE! If your at a better than 2/1 ratio in chips make your opponent pay to see the cards. Don't give away chips, but at pre-flop this is a good time to steal the blinds.

Last but not least - Take notes! Even at the larger sites you will see the same players time to time. If you have labeled a player correctly note that player so that before the first hand you know how to play your opponent. If you realize maybe you were wrong the first time, update your notes or re-confirm you were right.

Head's Up play will not make you a millionaire over night, but if you can find your groove and grind it out, an extra $100 bucks a day is not bad!

Back to Poker Strategy.