Heads Up Sit n Go Strategy

Heads up sit n goes can be very profitable to a knowledgeable player.  Many inexperienced players register in heads up sit n goes, as they figure its a 1 on 1 so anything can happen.  Solid heads up players can take advantage of weak players and consistently dominate them heads up.

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Structure

Heads up sit tournaments are either two player sit and goes, or four player sit and goes.  In the four player matches, two heads up matches are played, then the winners play each other.  In both types it is a "winner take all" payout.

Sit and goes usually have 10 minute blind levels, but since the play is so fast you have plenty of hands per level.  The poker sites' take is usually the same as a standard sit and go.  This means if you play a $5 dollar sit and go, it will be $5 plus a $.50 cent fee.  The button posts the small blind and acts first preflop, and last post flop.  The player who is not the dealer posts the big blind and acts last preflop, but first post flop.

Position

Position is a crucial topic in heads up matches, as you will either go first or last.  When you are the dealer, you will often want to raise with any decent hand, as you have a positional advantage throughout the hand.  An example of this is raising 3x the big blind in dealer position with J9.  This is a weak hand, but it is likely you are ahead of your opponent, and he will need to hit the flop to beat you.

Also, there is a chance the big blind will fold the hand to avoid playing out of position.  Your raise also allows you to represent strength on the flop, even if you don't hit.  After the flop, if the big blind checks you should usually bet again, as his check shows weakness.  If you raised preflop, and the big blind bets into you on the flop, you have to give him credit for a hand. You can practice your positional play at Bodog Poker.

When you are in the big blind, you should usually check unless you are holding a premium hand.  If the big blind raises you, you should fold any weak hands because you are going to have to play the hand out of position.  When the flop comes down, if you get a piece of it you should make a pot sized bet, because it is likely that the button caught nothing.  If the player raises you, you should fold unless you have a very strong hand.

One tricky play you can make in the big blind is as follows.  If you hold AA, or another big pair in the big blind, and the dealer raises, you should just call.  You are heads up against a weaker hand, so it is unlikely he is going to outdraw you.  By just calling, you make him think you're just trying to catch a flop.

After you check the flop, he'll bet, and you can either raise, or continue trapping by just calling.  This will make you much more money opposed to re-raising preflop, as the dealer will usually fold to a decent re-raise unless he has a quality hand.  Also, occasionally you will find that the dealer thinks you are just drawing and continues to bet into you with as little as a high card.

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Hand Strength

In a standard sit and go, you often need big unpaired cards or a pair to play preflop.  However, since you are always in the blinds you have to play many more hands in heads up matches.  Any decent hand should be played, as long as the pot isn't raised.  If you are in dealer position, you should rarely if ever fold because of your premium position and pot odds.

When you are the big blind, you should fold to raises if your hand is weak, because of your bad position.  When the flop comes down, if you catch any piece of it you should bet out to try and take the pot.  For example, if you hold 89 and the flop is 2710 you should bet to steal the pot, as you have outs if you are called.  The same applies if you flop mid or bottom pair, because it is likely you are already ahead in the hand.

Also, when you actually make a decent hand it is sometimes more profitable to slow play, as it is likely you are way ahead of your opponent.  Say you have AK in dealer position and put a raise in.  The big blind calls, and the flop is K42.  If the big blind checks, you should check here.  A bet will almost always scare him away if he has nothing.  However, if the turn is a 10 and he makes a pair of 10s, you will be able to extract a significant amount from him.

Ready to Play?

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