Big Stack Heads Up Strategy

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Big Stack Strategy for Heads Up Play

Being the big stack in any SNG or MTT heads up final is the best position to be in.  Although playing aggressively is the general requirements for succeeding in tournaments and SNGs; when playing heads up your strategy should largely depend on your stack size relative to your opponent.

Small Stack and Big stack players must employ entirely different strategies at heads up.  The following provides a guide to big stack heads up strategy.

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Don’t Make Loose Calls

You’re in the best position as big stack.  The important thing is to keep the status quo.  Don’t make loose calls in the hope of hitting a hand and forcing your opponent all in.  You don’t want to give your opponent any free chips.  Also remember he’ll be desperate and prone to value shoves; so the last thing you want to do is give him an opportunity to take down a big stack when you don’t have the cards to beat him at showdown.

Raise the Blinds Preflop

Raising the blinds (straddling), even if you don’t have a good hand, is an excellent way of putting your opponent under pressure.  Whether he’s big or small blind, try to raise 4xBB as often as possible.  If your opponent only has 25BBs or less, than it’s a big commitment for him to call.  He’ll ultimately be forced to go all in if he’s prepared to call such a hand – and after a few value shoves you’ll likely have a good enough hand to call him (A10+ or pocket pairs).

This heads up strategy works because your opponent can’t handle the variance at this level.  It’ll throw him off his game, and he generally won’t have the confidence or stack to make risks rebuffing or bluffing against you.

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