The most important thing in heads up play is to find out real quickly what type of opponent you are dealing with. So the first stage of the game must be the gathering of information. This means constantly listening to what others say and watching them to get to know them. This is the time when you are going to spot possible tells. If your opponent reacts in an aggressive way immediately say something like, “you got caught”, this will probably be a powerful tell.
If your opponent reacted in a more consistent way and you think that is because he has a strong hand than be silent and wait for a stronger hand to start playing. Moreover, if your opponent plays very loose than you can probably go aggressive against him. In fact, there are some players that love to have a lot of decisions made for them, so if you have a high quality hand in early positions like AA, KK, AKs, QQ, JJ, you can defend against higher raises with weaker hands.
When playing against weak hands, what you want to do is to gather information on how the other people play. If someone raises you greatly consider thinking that he might have a better hand than you. Remember, the chance to win is also equal for weak hands as it is for strong hands. If someone has played three times at the table but looks like he has nothing in the last hand, he probably does. Those who play lots of hands but win very seldom are very easy to read.
There is a risk of being too predictable however, that you might scare people away with your raises. If you are giving raises with hands like QQ, AKs, JJ, ATs, you definitely need to have a very strong hand that you are going to be going after. The idea of this is to get a little bit of money in the pot when you have a very strong hand, and to get a lot of money out of the pot when you have a weak hand.
When you play regularly in cash games and show a profit, then you can try playing Sit and Go’s. I did this and I found that the best way to win is to play at a table of tighter opponents. TheANSwag studies show that the best return on investment games that you should play in are games in which the rake is low relative to the dollar amount that is spent. This will lead to a conservative play especially useful in building a good stack.
I want to remind you again that when you are trying to analyze your opponents, you should not focus on the cards that they play. The cards themselves don’t tell anything about the player’s hand. This is a very important tip.
When you are trying to analyze your opponents, you should also observe their betting patterns, the way they strengthen their hands in position and the hands that they check-raise with. When you play against very aggressive players, you should be careful especially when it is a heads up match. These players are likely to pay you off more, but also become more aggressive as they know that it is easier to push them around now.
When you play as a mask player, you can study the differences between your play in a full ring game and in a Sit and Go tournament. rebuild your bankroll where necessary and begin to pressure the other players by slow-playing strong hands. When you play as a mask player, at least you can study your opponents for free.
When you play in a full ring game, you want to exploit the image you created yourself. Scatter your bets about but don’t let your opponents within range of your rage. If you won a pot against an opponent, make sure you exploit it further.