Most Poker Nowadays Is Against A Single Opponent. In the early days of online poker, an era known as no foldem holdem, it was very easy to make money. All you really had to do is wait for a good hand and then look to get people to call you down with the weaker hands that they loved to take to showdown.
These online poker games were typically played at full ring tables, with either 9 or 10 players at a table, and these tables were loaded with fish. There were both loose passive and loose aggressive poker players, although most players were what we call calling stations, paying to see another card with hands that really should not have been played at all.
Since then we have moved toward U.S. online poker games that have become tighter and tighter, and the typical table size that you usually see has been reduced to 6 players or less, and this has resulted in a lot more head to head confrontations. It’s very often the case in these online poker games at Ignition Poker that there will only be two people seeing the flop onward, and therefore one’s skills, or lack of skills at playing heads up poker have become much more significant.
This is true at both cash games and tournament play, and if you look at how many instances where you’re playing against just one player these days, this happens extremely often.
People Have Adjusted, You Need to Adjust More
Players have gotten better at this over time as well, and while it used to be that a lot of players were pretty much clueless as far as how to play in these situations, paying attention to their own hand way too much, players do get the fact that you win a lot of these hands without showing down cards and therefore you have to play loose aggressive to hold your own or better in these situations.
If you really want to get good at this though, there’s nothing better than becoming proficient at heads up poker, where the entire match pits you against a single poker player.
Players starting out at heads up poker are better advised to start with heads up sit and go tournaments, where the most you can lose is your buy in, because money can change hands very quickly at heads up if one of the players does not know what they are doing and the other does, and you don’t want the player who is weak to be you if it’s cash changing hands.
Heads Up is a Great Way to Improve Your Game Overall
Playing heads up against good heads up players will not only allow you to see the weaknesses in your own poker game, you can also learn quite a bit by the way your opponents play you.
Make no mistake, they will be playing you, not their hands, and the cards hardly matter in heads up play, as it’s a lot more about adjusting to the way your opponent plays and looking to take advantage of that. Whoever adjusts to their opponent the best wins.
So this can be great training ground for those who enjoy games with multiple opponents such as 6 max or even full ring provided the play is tight, and it generally is these days. As you improve at playing the player, you will find that you will have a real advantage at any format that you play.