Sit & Go Poker Strategy – Poker Tournaments Explained

If you want to get a lot of practice playing poker, sit and go poker is a great, fast-paced, and fun way to play. In many ways, sit and go poker is like playing a big multi-table tournament without spending hours.

Good strategies for sit and go poker are fairly similar to strategies for playing regular games of poker. On the other hand, sit and go tournaments are structured in particular ways. The structure of most sit and go tournaments is this: there is a one-table freeze out and the top two or three places pay out. Most games start off with at least nine or ten players at a table.

As with every version of poker, every game and every tournament, each individual player needs to develop their own strategies. However, there are a number of basic strategies that have proven successful over a long period .

Play tight in the first few rounds: In the early stages of sit and go games it makes a lot of sense to play tight. Most importantly, you should consider that most of your opponents at the beginning of the game will play with a considerable degree of recklessness. Beat them out. Play conservatively; let the loose players bleed themselves out of the game. Reserve your energy; be cautious. Observe your opponents, those who look likely to stay in the game.

In the early rounds, most guides suggest watching the ratio of risks to rewards. The blinds are low in most sit and go tournaments so there is little to gain by bluffing and focusing on snagging the pot with a weak hand. Another thing to consider: in the early rounds, the pot itself isn’t very big anyway.

Take into consideration things like your table position and the habits of your opponents. Keep in mind whether you’re facing a loose or tight player; an aggressive or a conservative player. In an early table position, in the first few rounds, you shouldn’t play with a hand weaker than ace queen suited or a pair of queens because the risk isn’t worth taking. In later positions, you can afford to be a little more adventurous but still, the best strategy is not to get carried away.

When your table has lost a few players, as the binds are rising, then it is time to play more aggressively. Most seasoned players will look to take control of the game when there are two or three players left at the table; it’s generally best to make a move.

Middle Round Strategies As the blinds begin to increase, as the tournament progresses, it comes time to open up the play and become more aggressive.

When you’re ready to take over the game, play aggressively in the later rounds, continuation betting is one of the most popular options. A continuation bet is one placed after the flop, in succession to a raise. Most of your opponents will check your raise; you should bet anywhere between half of the pot and the whole pot.

The objective in the middle rounds is less about simply staying in the game – although that’s still important. But you need to make some progress; build up a stack so you can keep paying the blinds.

The best tactical advice is to look for tight players to go up against. You need to look for tight players from whom you can steal the blind. It’s quite common for everyone to enter the pot as the game tightens up and you should consider raising if you have a decent hand, such as two face cards, an ace, or a pocket pair. As you’re playing against tighter players in the second round, beware of players who respond aggressively to your raise. Those who call and particularly those who reraise are likely to have a strong hand. Most experienced players will throw in their hand at this. The general advice is to fold in response to a raise or a reraise unless you’re holding a very strong hand. Make the most of late positions at the table to play aggressively.

Final Rounds – Keeping It Cool When you’re down to head-up play, in the last rounds of the tournament, be prepared to think and act fast. That’s the nature of this particular version of the game towards the end. There shouldn’t be a pot at the end of the game that you’re not involved in. Not unless you want to fall out of the game. Your play needs to be open and aggressive. Don’t be cautious with a good hand. Challenge your opponent to go all in if you can.

Remember that sit and goes are designed to be a lot of fun and good practice. Try not to take things too seriously because second place is just as good as first, and so on. You’ll win some money and, most of all, improve your game so you can win some money in the future.

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