Best tournament strategy for 1v1?

For a 1v1 the strategy should be pretty straightforward and I’d expect it to typically come down to the final hand. For the beginning/middle of the tournament I would just stick to the minimum, play basic strategy, and let the other player bet reckless or make mistakes. Near the end, say the final 5 hands or so aim to bet in a way that can give you a slight chip lead over your opponent as this will make a big difference in the final hand.

For the final hand of course it’s a huge advantage to act second. I’ll break down the optimal strategy for each scenario, keeping in mind that the most probable outcome on any given hand is a dealer win:

Chip lead, act 1st – If you have 2X or more chips than your opponent then bet the minimum. Otherwise set aside your opponents chip stack + 1 and bet the remainder

Chip lead, act 2nd – If your chip lead would allow your opponent to win his bet and you still be ahead then bet the minimum. Otherwise set aside whatever your opponent didn’t bet + 1 and bet the remainder (e.g. if opponent went all in then leave 1 chip)

Behind, act 1st – bet your entire chip stack

Behind, act 2nd – if you have more chips than your opponent has left after his bet, then set aside that amount + 1. Otherwise bet your entire chip stack

Lastly, be sure to research the specific rules of the tournament. Surrender for example can be used as a huge strategic advantage on the last hand if it’s offered. And keep in mind that on the last hand you may have to break basic strategy in certain instances depending on your opponents play.

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