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Heads Up Sit and Go Strategy

Heads up sit and gos have risen dramatically in popularity. These games would have been considered a small niche just a few years ago, but are now among the most popular in online poker. Heads up cash players, too, often switch over to the heads up sit and go games when a few bigger games are running.

If you watch the HU SNGs on, expect to see the biggest names in poker playing $2,000-$5,000 games. Heads up sit n gos are very profitable, but with strong profits almost always comes a lot of competition.

As a result, you will need to put in a lot of effort if you want to truly reap the rewards that heads up sit n gos have to offer. There is a moderately steep learning curve that might seem like it never ends, but eventually you will find that heads up play is quite systematic. The routine nature of heads up sit and gos will likely cost you money in the beginning when you face tough opponents, but it will be your primary source of profit in the end.

Consistency is one of the most vital aspects of any heads up sit and go player’s skill sets. If you can’t play the same way on a regular basis, you will inevitably get eaten up by the flood of sharks that full up these tables. Variance will certainly be a challenge to deal with, especially for players who are unused to it.

The most consistent heads up players, be it in cash games or sit and gos, are almost always the players who win the most money. It is very little coincidence that the top heads up players are all able to remain calm and even keeled no matter what happens in their games. The importance of emotional control and general consistency in your approach to heads up sit and gos should never be undervalued.

One accidental slip up can easily cost you a buy in, which could then lead to two or three buy ins. There is next to no room for error in heads up sit and gos, and there is even less room for error in the mid stakes and high stakes games. If you are prone to tilting and/or losing your concentration, you would be better off looking for a different game.

Small Stakes Heads Up Strategy

The small stakes heads up sit and gos are some of the easiest games in all of poker. Lots of players join these games without any real idea of what they are doing. You will run into the players who are either trying to get better so that they can play higher stakes, or players who are just after a quick fix and are trying to double their money. No matter who you are playing, the same basic approach should be applied.

Don’t try to force anything until the blinds start to diminish your stack. There is plenty of time to go after uncontested pots in the beginning of a SNG. If you are playing in a turbo/ultra turbo SNG, you have no choice but to pick up the pace rather quickly, but you will still have a chance to play a few hands with postflop strategy in mind.

The overall goal in these limits should be to pick apart the other player’s weaknesses. Now, this is your goal in any form of poker, but it is exponentially easier when you only have to beat one player. If you can identify some areas of weakness, it will be somewhat easy to capitalize on them. Go for the kill after you have established an edge.

Don’t try to win the whole match within the first few hands (unless you can do it safely). Work on chipping away at your opponent and pushing them to the edge. Because players at these limits are not all that experienced, you will be able to force your opponents into mistakes just as easily as you will be able to outplay them.

Mid Stakes (+) Heads Up Strategy

The mid stakes and high stakes heads up sit and gos are where the games start to really get tough. If you haven’t been able to beat the small stakes games over a significant sample size, don’t even waste your time trying to compete at these limits. The players that you will face in mid stakes games have practiced over thousands and thousands of games, and that is at the very minimum.

As mentioned previously, consistency is the absolute key in these games. Beyond this, you need to be consistent with some very advanced plays. If you can’t pick off light three bets with regularity, the chances are that your opponent will continue making that play. There isn’t a massive edge to be gained once you hit the mid stakes games, so your only chance of winning is to actually be very skilled yourself.

The strategy in these games is not so much taught as it is learned. There are many varying styles that can each work well. Dealing with variance is a necessity because it will smack you on a repeated basis. If you want to beat the mid stakes and high stakes heads up sit and gos, you should have the capability to remain as calm as Phil Ivey, as focused as Patrik Antonius, and as creative as Tom Dwan.

More Sit and Go Strategy
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