Learning and implementing heads-up strategies is one of the hardest things to do in poker because no two opponents are the same and each heads-up confrontation will play out differently. That’s why your best bet is to get started with a strong foundation of simple concepts that can be applied to a majority of situations, requiring less guesswork on your end. Without imbuing this knowledge on yourself, you are sure to make some very common errors that plague players of all skill levels, costing you numerous pots.
Professional poker casino games player and heads-up specialist Gavin Griffin has seen lots of bad decisions during his time at the table . “The first mistake I see people make when playing heads-up is taking things personally. I often hear someone at the table say things like ‘you’re always raising my blind.’ Or ‘that’s the 9th time you’ve raised, why don’t you let us chop?’ It’s important to remember that nothing should be taken personally at the poker table.”
Additionally, another major mistake that happens all the time is that players get the impression that they need to aggressively play every hand they’re dealt. You definitely want to be the aggressor in a heads-up match, but defending 9-3 off-suit out of position will never work out in your favour. A bad hand is a bad hand, so don’t hesitate in releasing it and waiting for something better to come along.
Overplaying your hands also comes down to your initial hand selections. Your range will never be as wide in any other scenario as it’ll be during heads-up play, but considerations must always be made. Do a lot of research on which hands should be played both in and out of position so that you’re making the right decisions prior to the flop so that you have the best chance of taking down the pot.