With all the new poker players joining this great game the past few years it’s obvious that many players need some guidance when it comes to poker strategy. Sit and go tournaments are very popular online and you can find these small tournaments being played around the clock throughout a bunch of different online poker rooms. I’ve been playing sit and go tournaments for a few years now online and have become very familiar with the techniques you need to succeed.
The first thing you need to realize is that these tournaments have different buy-ins, amount of players and payouts, but the most common form of sit and go tournament is a nine player one with the top three players being paid money. Some people think you can sit at these tournaments and finish in the top three, but this is very unlikely unless the table you’re on is very loose and aggressive.
In the early stages of a sit and go tournament you should be playing quite a few hands. Pocket pairs, suited connectors, high cards and any marginal hands should be called. The idea is to see some cheap flops while the blinds are low so that you can try hitting your hand and increasing your chip stack. If you encounter a raise and your hand is only marginal then give it up without second thought, but when the flop is cheap it’s worth taking a look at it to see if you hit.
As the blinds start raising you should start making your hand selection tighter and this means playing fewer hands. Start only playing your premium hands and make sure you bump up the pot pre-flop when you have good hands. Nothing is worse then limping with premium cards and then losing to junk cards because they hit two pairs or something like that, so make sure you avoid this. You should also start looking for chances at bluffing pre-flop by making a marginal raise. You will need to steal blinds in these tournaments as they increase or else you won’t survive, the only exception is if you have a good chip lead and you don’t need to steal any blinds.
End Game Strategy
Once the blinds increase some more and there are only about four or five of you left the action will become really loose. If you’re in good position for top three then I recommend staying out of the action unless you have premium cards. If you’re on the bubble then you’ll need to start making your move, you can do this by raising the blinds. You’ll either need to get lucky and double up or you’ll win the blinds which at this point could be 100/200 or more with potential antes.
If you manage to make it to the top three then you’ve done your job and made money in the tournament. Now no holds bar and you need to either make or break your stack. Play your hands as you want them, but don’t flat-call unless you’re slow playing a monster because it’ll just cost you. I personally prefer putting the pressure on the other players and I do this by making big raises and all-in bets once it’s down to the final three.