Welcome back to our occasional guide to the vagaries of the world of the casino. Following the theme of this category we have already explained how several tournament types are played. We’ve talked about the Shoot Out, the Freeroll and the Sit & Go. Each tournament type will generally suit one type of player, be they aggressive, cautious or somewhere in between.
The subject of this article is the Heads Up. This is possibly one of the most dramatic of gameplay styles and it features just two players. There are two occasions on which a heads up can occur. the first is during a match set up just for that purpose and the second is when a multi-player match comes down to the final two contenders.
The first example can offer some of the most dramatic gameplay – many specific two player heads up matches tend to be high stakes affairs and large amounts of money can be won and lost in a scarily short amount of time. Some matches of course take a lot longer – for example the legendary (and possibly apocryphal) match between Johnny Moss and Nick ‘The Greek’ Dandolos in 1951. If the stories are to be believed Johnny Moss, regarded as best all-round poker player at the time, relieved the high stakes gambler Dandolos of between $2 million and $4 million over a period of several months. The match was set up by Benny Binion as an attraction at Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas. To read more about this famous match up and why it may not have happened, please go here.
The second category of heads up play will occur at the end of every multi-player game when just two players are left. The rules, in a game such as Texas Hold’em, are usually tweaked slightly to take this into account. For example the dealer now lays the small blind while the other player is the big blind. Additionally the dealer acts first before the flop but second in all other instances.