All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Poker Duelling:
The Heads-Up

The most exciting event in poker
games is the heads-up poker duel...

Poker Duelling - the heads up - like a gunfight with cards!

The most exciting event in any game of poker is always a heads-up contest where two players face off against one another. You can feel the tension in the big tournaments when the final table reduces down to that pair of guys who have hacked their way through thousands of contestants to face off against one another for the big bucks. What most online players don’t realise as they log onto their chosen gaming site and head for the cash games or the tournaments is that they have the option to go directly into a one-on-one heads up game. You’ll see a tab marked: Heads Up. Hit it and you’re facing down a single opponent without any of the pre-amble.

poker heads up final

So what does a heads up game teach you? Basically it teaches you about aggression. Heads up is the most aggressive form of poker. If you’re not a natural pit bull player you won’t be a winner in a one-on-one. Think about it. There’s only two ways you can take the pot down. You’ve got to have a premium hand every game or you’ve got to intimidate your opponent enough to make him fold. We all know premium hands don’t come along that often, especially in a two handed game, so it’s all down to the power of your raising. Some professional players don’t even look at their cards in a heads up situation. They just look at the other guy’s stack and if they think they can overwhelm him, they will do!

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For those of us without balls of stainless steel, keep the following strategy in mind: In heads up poker you always raise with reasonable same- suit cards, aces or kings and obviously with pocket pairs. The odds are against much coming from the flop in a two handed game so this is where the battle is really fought. Bet and bluff is the order of the day. You can’t allow niceties like pot odds to affect you in heads up. It’s far more gladiatorial. What you learn from these one-on-one plays is how to handle yourself if you make it to the top table of a mega prize competition. That’s your goal. That’s why you should hit the heads up tab regularly.

Heads Up! Make sure you understand it properly!

Play heads-up poker online at:


Q: I overheard someone use the term “golf bag” in a game the other day. What does it mean?
A golf bag usually applies to a “club” flush as opposed to hearts, diamonds or spades.

Q: After my first game of poker I was called a “fish”. What does that mean?
A: You’re not going to like this answer. A “fish” is someone who tosses their chips at you, indicating they’re not very good (Yet!). Work on your game and try an online tutorial. You’ll get even.

ALL THE ACES poker column:
October 17, 2005: 
Poker duelling: The Heads-Up