10 Tips for Winning Sit N' Go's
Sit and Go tournaments (sit and goes) are a hugely popular poker variation.
Usually involving just 1 table these miniature tournaments pay the top 3
finishers. With no scheduled start time, sit and go tournaments begin as soon as
enough players have joined the table. This article looks at 10 tips to help you
start winning sit and goes today.
When you are done reading, play some sit n go's at PokerStars.com
Winning Sit and Goes – Tip #1 – Stay Tight Early
Playing too many hands early in a sit and go is often a mistake. This is because
you need to have a reasonable number of chips in your stack during the middle to
late stages to retain ‘fold equity’ (the ability to get your opponent to fold
their hands). Losing several small pots early will put you at a big disadvantage
later in the game that will often not be compensated for by the times you do
increase your stack.
Winning Sit and Goes – Tip #2 – Use Your Position
Using you’re position in a sit and go means ensuring that you are the last to
act on the betting rounds after the flop. The best place to do this from is the
dealer button. Be aware that if the pot is multi-way then you do not want to be
to the immediate left of the pre-flop raiser. In this scenario when the raiser
bets on the flop you will have to act before any other players still involved in
Winning Sit and Goes – Tip #3 – Adjusting to Blind Increases
As the blinds go up in a sit and go your starting hand requirements need to go
down. This is particularly the case when the number of players has gone down
(meaning the blinds will come around to you faster). While the starting hands
you raise with should reduce in value, be aware that you still need a strong
hand to call an opponents raise with.
Winning Sit and Goes – Tip #4 – Correctly Playing From The Blinds
Ensure you strike a balance between defending your blinds often enough and not
over-defending them. If you never defend your blinds then they will be stolen by
observant opponents. Conversely if you always defend them someone will trap you
for a big pot at some point – balance is the key factor here.
Winning Sit and Goes – Tip #5 – Bubble Dynamics
Much of the profit in a sit and go tournament will come from opponents making
mistakes at the bubble – the point where there is just one opponent to go before
the paying places begin. Good bubble play involves taking into account the
relative stack sizes of opponents and not calling all in bets without a good
Winning Sit and Goes – Tip #6 – ICM and Chip Equity
ICM stands for the ‘Independent Chip Model’ and is used to assess risk / reward
situations at the bubble by converting chip stacks into dollar equity. This
often throws up some interesting conclusions about which hands you can push all
in with and which ones to call with. A basic understanding of mathematical
models will give you a huge advantage in any sit and go – whether you choose to
use them or not.
Winning Sit and Goes – Tip #7 – Play After The Bubble
Moving up the paying places once you are ‘in the money’ involves correctly
adjusting to opponents new starting hand ranges. Take some time to learn how
these ranges adjust and the effect of different stack sizes on ‘in the money
Winning Sit and Goes – Tip #8 – Heads-Up On The End
By the time you get heads-up in a SNG it is often the case that the blinds are
so large in relation to your stack that your strategic options are limited. Take
some time to look into mathematical models of heads-up play with less than 10
big blinds. Examples include the SAGE system and ‘Nash Equilibrium’.
Winning Sit and Goes – Tip #9 – Danger Hands
At different stages of a sit and go certain hands become more or less playable,
for example suited connectors may be playable in the early stages (due to large
implied odds) but not in the middle stages of the tournament. Once you reach the
end stages with high blinds they become playable yet again. Work through each
hand type and decide how the increasing blinds and decreasing number of
opponents affects the strength of such holdings.
Winning Sit and Goes – Tip #10 – Keep Learning!
Almost every poker player has some aspect of their game that could be improved.
Take some time out to go through you hand histories after each sit and go
session. Decide which hands you played well and which ones could be played
better. The more leaks you fix the greater your eventual profit will be.