I LOVE HU - NL SnGs Poker

I got hooked on HU NL ring games a while ago. I was making good profit playing 4/6 MAX but I like the fast paced 1V1 battle of HU.

I’m not a great HU player but play short hand well so I asked for help on community FORUMs for tips & strategy. I learnt a lot quickly & deff benefited!

I’m now going to try & improve & play HU SnGs. I’ll post some good wins etc but I’ll probably try and post some losses more often for #hand review & analysis bc that will be more benfeficial for my own improvement but hopefully others too. To start with the following are only wins unfortunately.

The following is the first hand of a short 13 hands match HU SnG which I won:

Hand# 619513394 (1st hand)
Button: I raised ATo 3x.

Flop: 9cQs4d rainbow so I’m ok to defend & check in position for some pot control. I’m not concerned about Q and feel I can give a free turn HU.

Turn/River: Turn is a 4s which is meaningless so I still feel good & call 63 into 180 pot quickly. I river a Th & its checked to me. I consider a value bet, but in SnG I’m more cautious. I don’t think enough hands call my river value bet so I check to win a decent 1st hand pot.

This hand is revealing & gives me some good Villain info. V will bluff, & calls a little lite with 7d6d!!!

This hand was my favourite:
Hand# 619514030 (9th hand 86o)

Flop: 6sJcJd

I limped 86o on the button a hand I will often fold. I bet 75% the flop bc its very often the best hand & a small pot. V check raises to 195 into a pot of 105. I call what I feel is probably a bluff or maybe a 6 often based on tendencies.

Turn/River 8sTh

On the turn I bet a lil more than 25%, a small weak deff value bet, bc my hand improved to 88JJ & I now beat 6 with a better kicker, which I was losing to.

I check the river in position bc I dont think its worth value betting especially in an SnG and win 23BB.

The final winning hand:
Button: limping Js6s & calling a min raise.

Hand# 619514497

Flop: 9d3s4s

I flop a flush draw & have an easy call.

Turn/River: 4h so im still drawing & very much doubt V has a 4 & my J could still hit top pair to win, so I feel Im still in good shape. River is a great card As so I have the flush & hope V has top pair. RP players play so bad so its difficult to know, but V shoves to show T8 nothing bluff.

Villains play didn’t make much sense but I expect an A a fair bit on the river with a preflop min raise.

I like the fact HU is against only 1 opponent, & strategy is simpler to some degree. Its fast paced & rarely boring.

I’m going to try & post a minimal amount of simple hands with the following objectives in mind:

  • Villain: defining & exploiting their play etc.
  • How Hero could play better, including mistakes ets (generally losing hands)
  • Hands played well.

The point of reviewing these hands is to improve my own game & possibly help others improve their game too. Constructive criticism welcome & I’ll try & post some more interesting hands later.


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For the past few weeks I’ve been playing lots of of HU and 3-Max SNG. I needed the practice for short stack endgame MTT play, plus they’re quicker, simpler, and I have had less time, less patience lately. I may have to try ring 2-seaters, and forget about how much it sucks to not be able to finish off an opponent in a SNG after taking 90% of his chips 4 times and still losing in the end because the blinds went up and he got hot and won 4 straight hands doubling up each time. I find a variety of different styles of opponents at the mid-stakes tables, and it’s nice to be able to play against mix of rocks, TAG, and LAG players, and figure out how to outplay them.

It sucks when you go card dead, because there’s nowhere to hide at a 2-seat table. Then again, you can play a much wider range, so it matters less than you’d think.

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Keep in mind this OP & Topic is no long hand analysis/review specifically but it IS about HU SnG games. If it helps improve your MTT final table & short game then thats great, but keep in mind specifically HU SnG games & hands. Also Villains etc & perception.

Please post a hand that you played HU, the good the bad the ugly, for discussion. Its about improving your game & learning something otherwise discuss a hands I played & posted & offer thoughts & analysis etc.

I’m still hoping to post some interesting loses later at some stage but I have another win to post in a short 5 hand match I got very lucky in.


The latest hand in HU SnG won in 5 hands. 1st hand Hero wakes up with KK on the button & open 3x (90) with a call.

pop pop

Hand# 619547782

Flop: is very nice. 4dKdTh

Flop a set KKK & Villain donks pot (180 into 180), Hero fairly quickly min raises back to 360, & V calls quickly.

Turn is 8c which is meaningless & V checks & Hero tanks a little & raises small 250 into a 900 pot, & V quickly calls. The river is 3c obviously great so Hero half pots hoping for a call. V insta calls. I guess maybe coulda bet river for more? Great win regardless.

Understood. I will be posting commentary on your hands once I have a clear head to do so.

My initial comments are just general thoughts to give you background on where I am coming from and how/why I view HU the way I do. To elaborate on that, so much of poker is about the HU game. So playing HU is a good practice for most any game. At larger tables it’s standard to try to isolate the hand during the preflop phase to a 2-player matchup. In HU that’s already taken care of, so you can put more focus on the post flop strategy.

This does raise a question about the preflop game, as normally the preflop action has a dual purpose of getting players to fold and building a pot. With your better hands, you can assume that you have a good chance of winning, and you don’t need to get players to fold, and you want the call so that you can build that pot. Anything can happen of course in any hand, but it’s a disaster to raise too much preflop in HU play and see your opponent just fold and give up a blind when you were hoping to get their stack. So slow play and trapping become important for taking larger pots, and looking weak and looking like you’re on a draw are useful tactics, if you’re able to get your opponent to bet you off the hand.

I will be looking at hands from such perspective.

Currently on a pretty big downswing. 3 losing hands in 1 match. Latest game HU SnG:

#620226434 1st hand Vs unknown Villain Probably shoulda played this safer or IDK TBH? A4o flop 3hJhAd Kh top pair & backdoor nut flush. Turn: Kh nut flush. Lost a big pot here & folded the river.

#620227286 Pocket QQ & Villain flops 222A. Mighty fine dealing.

#620227466 JJ and the perfect Villain flop…

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Yeah, you got pugged, it happens.

Getting “pugged” is like getting mugged, but since it’s poker, we remove the “M” and substitute a “P” for poker.

Note: Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons or characters, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


It is nice to see this happening to other people, rather than just hearing “it happens to everyone”.


620226434 probably a good laydown, considering the weakness of your A kicker and the fact that the board is looking like a broadway straight for your opponent, or if they’re holding any two face cards they have you beat with Two Pair. With the nut flush draw and top pair, it’s worthwhile to hold on to see if you fill the draw, and if the board texture isn’t so wet for a straight, I think you can call, and just get beat by higher Aces.

620227286 reminds me a lot of the hand I posted the other day, where I had AA and raised it big enough that you’d think something like J2 would fold, but no, it called and Flopped two pair and then Turned a full house.

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I’m thinking possibly fold the turn. Its hard to fold top pair & nut flush draw, but as annoying as it is I guess Im beat. Will I get paid off for a flush, IDK? 1st hand, it was frustrating.

I dont think I played badly, but maybe I could have played some hands a little better, & obviously unlucky.