The Basics: Low Stakes Sit And Go Tournament Strategy

Since their introduction into most online poker rooms’ repertoire, Sit And Go tournaments have become one of the most popular forms of the game for new players. They offer a wide range of buy-ins and typically last less than an hour, making them perfect for those that are gun-shy about entering a multi-table online poker tournament, and their quick speed allows players to enjoy a short, potentially profitable break before going on with their day-to-day life. How should you approach Sit And Go Tournaments?

Let’s break everything down by the rounds.

The Early Rounds
In early rounds, the blinds are a small portion of your starting stack and you need to make sure that you use good and even marginal hands because these cost a relatively small percentage of your stack. Look out for suited connectors and higher-end gap connectors and make sure that you maximize the monster cards if you’re lucky enough to get them. Big pairs means that you should be willing to call three to four times the big blind and in that case, your ideal situation is getting two or three callers who throw themselves at the pot. You’ll see that the level of play in these tournaments is that people will commit themselves with top pair after making it with the board, even if they have a smallish kicker. You shouldn’t be afraid to take their money, in any case.

Middle Rounds
Blinds go up, and suited connectors are no longer as profitable for you. Fewer players are getting in on each hand and stakes are relatively large compared to their stacks. That means that you should tighten up your game as well and stick to premium drawing hands and pairs higher than 7s. Your stack size becomes more important if you’ve made it to this point in the proceedings. A bigger stack means that you get to be a bit choosier about which hands you’re going to play. If you’re in the middle, you’ll need to loosen up in order to build your stack. Play higher pairs (77 and up) aggressively and you’ll be able to push out players with hands like Ax, KQ and lower pocket pairs. The only hands you’ll really need to worry about are JJ-AA and you should see your stack grow if you’re judicious in your actions.

The Last Third
Blinds are getting higher in relation to your stack size and you need to tighten up. Be very wary about confronting other large stack holders who have made their way this far unless you’re holding serious cards because they can break you. As soon as you’re in the money, however, you should go for the gusto. First place generally pays over twice as much as third and if you’ve made it to the final table, it’s advisable to take a few risks and win. Other players generally like to get more active as the tournament wears on and you’ll see your stronger hands going against Ax, KJ, etc, giving you a serious chance to grow your stack.

These are, of course, just rough guidelines and you’ll need to adjust your game a bit. Remember to adapt and don’t worry about losing in smaller stakes tournaments. If you’re consistent and you learn from your mistakes, then you can become a force to be reckoned with.