The Heads-Up Shoot Out

A heads-up game in poker is one in which just two players face off for the win. Some games are designed to be heads-up matches from the start, while others evolve into the heads-up scenario by accident, as other players drop out of a game one by one. The "heads-up shoot out" is a poker tournament in which players face off in a series of consecutive heads-up games until only one winner is left.

Changing Card Value

When playing a heads up game, or a series of heads up games in a shoot out tournament, it is important to change up your playing strategy. First of all, the value of certain hands will greatly increase when there are only two players at the table, so you should alter your notions of what hands to play. For instance, a pair could win a hand in a heads up game whereas it might never win at a full ring table.

Play Loose and Aggressive

A heads-up game also requires players to play more aggressively than they normally would. With only two players at the table, there won't be time to play tight, so you'll have to play more hands more often, and you'll be in a position to make forced bets more frequently. The game moves fast, so you'll have to think on your feet more often than you might in a longer, more traditional game.

It is still important to analyze your opponents' playing styles in a heads-up shoot out. You'll want to observe how they react under pressure, and use their weaknesses to your advantage just as you would in any poker tournament.

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