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Poker Strategy

5 Great Strategies for Sit & Go Tournaments

Written By: PokerNet.com | May 9, 2013 | Posted In Poker Strategy

Strategies for Sit & Go Tournaments One of the most popular games at online poker site is the Sit &Go tournament. Buy-ins for these events balloon from just a few bucks up to several thousand at high-end Internet poker rooms, and Sit & Go tournaments (sometimes called simply S&G) tend to be short and sweet, most ending in about half an hour.

These tourneys are designed for poker players interested in playing more than one tournament table at once. Sit & Go tournaments are perfect for increasing your poker bankroll because they lack the variance found at most multi-table tournaments.

Here’s a quick look at S&G strategy, seven tips to help you win more at your next Sit & Go session.

1. Protect Big Hands with Small Raises

When S&G tourneys start, blinds are just a tiny percentage of your starting stack. Beginners use these small blinds as an excuse for not protecting their big hands (AA, KK, etc.) with the kinds of tiny raises required. If your blinds are low, stick to playing suited connectors and gap connectors. These cost you very little and allow you to hit a flop hard with two pair or hit the flop with a strong draw.

2. Play Big Hands Correctly

Big hands are starters such as AA, KK, QQ, AK, AQ, and other high value cards, suited or simply paired. In S&G tourney strategy, you should raise these hands 3-4 times whatever the big blind is. If you can get two or three callers along the way you’ll be set. Remember that S&G tournament play can be pretty soft, so that your opponents are chasing the pot with any pair above 55, even when the hand carries a low kicker. This will help you to thin the herd at the flop, an important tactic for winning in the early rounds of your chosen S&G. The trick is to make your bets high enough that people with weaker hands get chase you to the pot based on pot odds.

3. Understand Good Starting Hands

As the blinds go up in later rounds of a Sit & Go tournament, you’ll need to vary up your starting hand selection. That means no more playing suited connectors due to higher stakes. Later rounds are the time to raise your standards and play only the best hands and any pairs 77 or larger for raises. If you have played correctly and your stack is high, there’s no reason to rush. Wait for your best starters and play those hands only. If your stack is a bit smaller, you may have to work a little harder to build up before the later rounds.

4. Change Strategy as Blinds Go Up

That isn’t the only strategic change you need to make. As the S&G continues, blinds get higher and higher. That means your strategy needs to change as well. Late in the tournament, avoid going after pots with anything but the best hands. Know where the big chip stacks are and play around them, as you are an easily busted target for their strong starters.

5. Know When to Play to Win

Playing to win means knowing when you’re in the money and playing for it. First place in S&G tournaments typically pays about three times more than third place, so S&G tourneys are one time when it is okay to play slightly risky hands to go for first place. You’ll need to relax and trust your natural poker instincts—you may even want to bluff a little to shoot for the big win. Final round play at S&G events means playing short-handed, so beat up on your aggressive opponents by check-raising all in on hands that you may normally not even play to the flop. If you have ace or pocket pairs pre-flop, move in for the kill. That’s possible because of the size of the blinds at late stages of S&G events.

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