For many poker players the heads up game is the highlight of the poker season. It is a battle of wits, skills and sheer luck as people bet and bluster against each other. It can be a test of mental strength and luck as you try to read your opponent’s hand.
It is a game loved by all levels of players, from the beginner to the experienced, young to old. And in the world of online poker, heads-up poker is becoming increasingly popular as well.
What is Poker Heads Up
Poker heads up is the name for the final stage of a Texas Hold’em tournament. It is the most exciting and popular poker game in the world of poker.
It is a game that begins when the players are seated at a table of ten. For the first round of betting, the players are forced to bet in $1 increments. This is called the blinds. The first player to act is the small blind and the second player is the big blind.
Under the gun in poker heads up has two players. On the first round of betting, the player to the left of the big blind is forced to place $2, the player to the left of the small blind is forced to place $4. This continues around the table until every player has bet the same amount, referred to as the big blind.
The cards are then dealt out. The first card that is dealt is the down card. The player who is the dealer acts first in this first round of betting. Once this is done, the first betting round begins with the player sitting on the immediate left of the big blind.
In this betting round, the players are given the option to raise, call or fold. In a nutshell, to raise is to raise by increasing the bet amount, to call is to match an opponent’s raise and to fold is to surrender your hand and forfeit betting on the hand.
After this betting round, the flop cards are dealt. The first three flop cards are dealt to the community. This is followed by a second betting round beginning with the player sitting on the dealer’s left.
In the third and final community card, the fourth and final betting round takes place. This is followed by the last and final betting round and the showdown. This is what winning a poker heads up tournament looks like.
At the showdown, the players must use their two hole cards and the five community board cards to form the best five-card poker hand. The five community cards are shared by all players. This means that a player can use both his hole cards and the community cards to form his hand.
The idea of heads up poker is to always remember that you are playing your poker hands in the context of the opposition. When playing heads up, it’s important to realise your superior hand and the inferior hand. You are not playing against the other players, but the dealer.
Heads up poker is often referred to as the “02” game. This is a common name for no limit Texas Holdem poker. “02” is the number of players at the table. In short this is the number of cards in a deck. In the old days of no limit Texas Holdem poker, the term “hound” was used to refer to a loose aggressive player.
The most important thing to bear in mind when playing heads up poker is you are playing your hand in opposition to the other players at the table. When playing heads up, just because you have a better hand, doesn’t mean you should play every hand. Sterling has referred to heads up poker as the ” chores” of poker.
Sterling Knight on about heads up poker in Poker After Dark:
“The biggest problem with playing heads-up is that you can’t see the other guy. You know, you can’t see whether the other guy’s holding anything, whether he’s got a straight, a flush, three of a kind, four of a kind, he’s got a monster, he’s hauled in $Florida, what the hell is this? You’re not entirely sure you’re going to win $Florida, you’re not sure you’re going to win the tournament as a whole, so instead of having the judgment to play the hand the right way, you fold. That’s a problem, that’s a problem for the player, I don’t know that I can say that’s a problem for the player.
In the course of a lot of tournaments you will see players going all-in, or raising with an ace card for the sake of it. It really makes no difference what cards you are playing. You will see players raising with pocket fives in early stages, and calling with a trash hand in the end.