Sit n go strategy

Two poker cardsThe sit n go form of poker can be seen like a mini tournament, it often just involves one table. It’s a popular form of Texas hold’em, presumably since the game is varied and doesn’t last as long as a multi-table tournament. A good thing with sit n gos is that you cannot lose more money than the entry fee.

Stealing blinds

The big difference between cash game and sit n go are the progressive blind levels. You must know how to adjust your play depending on the blind level. When the blinds have increased several times the blinds begin to be “a pot” worth winning.

If you play too carefully and never try to steal blinds, you will be a victim for more aggressive players. “Stealing blinds” means that you do a raise against the player with the big blind and eventually the player with the small blind. There are better and worse moments to do this. The ideal situation is when all players before you have folded their hands and you have the button. The card strength that is needed for this maneuver is relative, it’s like always a mix of factors.

Short stacked

In a sit n go you cannot, like in a cash game, refill your stack. Therefore, you must learn how to play with stacks of different sizes.

When are you short stacked? If you start with let's say 1 000 chips, you become short stacked when you have around 300 chips left. When this situation occurs it’s no time for desperation and especially not giving up. Playing short stacked is just another art form to master. Like always you should play in a way that gives you the most profit in the long run. Keep your patience but take the chances you get – in this situation you cannot afford luxury, but it’s even worse to sell yourself too cheaply.

The worst mistake you can do in this situation is limp in early positions this speculative hand and then be forced to lay down your hand after a player has raised. This means you will lose important chips. It’s better to raise or go all in – depending on how short stacked you are – from early positions. Otherwise try to limp in cheap in late positions.

Play against stack

Consequently you should adjust your playing to the opponents stacks. It’s more comfortable to play someone with a smaller stack than yours. A short stacked player has fewer margins so it’s less expected he's trying to bluff you.

A common mistake players do when a short stacked player goes all in pre flop is calling with mediocre cards. In this way the player in trouble can be let back into the game. If you don’t have enough strong cards let the short stacked player have some blinds and he will still be in trouble afterwards.

When you play against a big stack it can sometimes be a good idea to slow play as a player with lots of chips may try to bluff you and that makes you win a pot bigger.

The most common mistake

The biggest lack of understanding of sit n go poker is shown by the high frequency of all in situations early in the game. All in is a weapon best used to steal blinds – when it’s time to do so – not to contest other player’s hands.

When to hands meet all in pre flop it’s very much luck involved and a good poker player doesn’t want the luck to get involved in that degree. Get yourself away from the single coin situations. Let’s think about it. If you put in all your 1 000 chips when calling an inferior player with 1 000 chips and you get a 60% against 40% chance, have you made a good move?

That’s not necessary so don’t think so. Come on, you can beat a bad player with lesser risk taking. Do it then – with solid and sophisticated poker.

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