word type: adjective

  1. Poker slang for play involving exactly two people. Heads-up play can exist in any pot where exactly two players remain in the hand.

Popular Uses

Heads-up for rolls? -Many a cocky internet poker player. Also: HU4ROLLZ?

I re-raised to isolate the original raiser so that I could play him heads-up. -Unknown

In Popular Culture

Almost every movie involving poker uses a heads-up confrontation for a key dramatic scene. Mike McDermott versus Teddy KGB in Rounders, Bret Maverick versus Angel in Maverick, Henry Gondorff versus Doyle Lonnegan in The Sting, the list goes on. The one-on-one, tense battle of egos makes for great drama.


NBC's $20,000 buy-in, invitation only National Heads-Up Poker Championship has become one of the most popular big buy-in events of the last few years. In 2008, Chris Ferguson won for the first time after coming in second in 2005 and 2006. Phil Hellmuth and Ted Forrest won in those years, followed by Paul Wasicka in 2007.

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