Strategy

It’s more fun to watch a game that you understand, so we’ve decided to offer a basic heads up strategy guide. Poker is a complex game, and a complete understanding of the strategies that the best players in the world use in the NBC Championship would be far beyond the scope of this site, but the basics aren’t too tough. Luckily we have friends at HUSNG.com, the best heads up poker training site in the world, and they helped us out with some awesome strategy information for this page.

Strategy info will go here

If you want to win the NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship, and be known as one of the best heads up poker players in the world, you’ll need to start with a solid basic strategy. Most players who are used to nine or ten handed games make significant mistakes in heads up play, but we are lucky enough to have a fantastic strategy guide from our pals at husng.com.

Let’s start out where every hand starts – preflop. Depending on the number of big blinds in the size of the shorter stack, most players will raise between 75% and 100% of hands from the button, while only calling a raise with around 50% of hands. This means that hands like jack-seven and six-four suited are typically raising hands from the button, bu they are not necessarily good enough to defend the big blind with.

Much of preflop play depends on stack size. Correct opening raise size changes directly according to stack size, with solid players never raising more than 10% of the smaller stack unless they are going all-in preflop. This means that with the short stack holding thirty big blinds, the correct raise size is two and half big blinds instead of the three big blinds that is acceptable when stacks are deeper. Many players follow a chart something like this –

  • 40 big blinds or greater – Raise to 3 big blinds from the button
  • 25 big blinds or greater – Raise to 2.5 big blinds from the button
  • 10 big blinds or greater – Raise the minimum
  • Under 10 big blinds – Push all-in or fold from the button

Playing ten big blinds or less can be frustrating for a new player, but as a general rule you can push all-in with a hand range of approximately –

22+, Ax+, K5s+, KTo+, Q8s+, QTo+, J8s+, JTo, T8s+, 97s+, 76s+

from the button and not be giving up much advantage to a strong opponent. The folks at HUSNG.com have a full set of charts inside their member’s area that we use when we play. These charts allow you to play well against even the strongest opponents by using the Nash Equilibrium to determine the correct all-in or fold ranges.

With less than 20 big blinds, in a raised pot, you may want to get all-in any time you think there is a chance your opponent may fold and you have top pair or a good draw. Learning when to be aggressive and how to handle different types of opponents are well beyond the scope of a single strategy article, but they are important skills if you want to become a strong heads up player and have an advantage when the stacks are deep.

To practice your deep stack play and work on your heads up game without risking too much money, we recommend playing low-limit heads up sit and go tournaments online. At the $10 level and below there are always players waiting to play and you will see variety of opponents, from very aggressive and strong players to weak passive players who have almost no chance to win if you play well. Playing a few hundred of these quick heads up tournaments will help you become comfortable playing with different stack sizes and get used to the unique challenges involved in heads up poker.

We love heads up poker, and we can’t say enough about how much help we have received from our favorite heads up sit and go training site. The membership fee is a steal when you see how much you can learn and how quickly you can become a strong heads up player with their videos, articles, push/fold charts and the advice on their forums. Join them at HUSNG.com!