How to Play Sit n Go Tournaments

Basic Sit n Go Strategy

The one thing and the most important thing that sit n go players need to learn in order to successfully build a sit n go bankroll, is that sit n go strategy changes according to each stage of the tournament. There is of course a lot to sit n go Poker strategy, and here we'll look at some of the basics that will allow you to take your game to the next level. Two key features of sit n go strategy are chip value, and the three stages of the tournament, and how they should be played.

The Real Value of Chips in a Sit n Go Tournament

The value of your chips change as the sit n go tournament progresses, while in a cash game for example, a $10 stack is always a $10 stack, in an SNG tourney this is not the case. As players are eliminated from the tourney, your average equity will go up and down. Your fold equity is your ability to be able to make other players fold their cards, and without a high number of chips in proportion to those on the table your chances of hitting the money are massively reduced, here is an example....

There is a standard payout in the tourney of 50% for 1st, 30% for 2nd and 20% for 3rd place. There are 10 players in the tourney, and the prize pool is $100, and each player starts with 1000 chips. This means that there are 10,000 chips on the table, and as each player paid $10 to enter, then each chip is worth $0.01. Your task is to win the tournament by taking all 10,000 chips and the $50 1st place, and when you do that then each chip is actually worth $0.50. As you can see, at the latter stages of the tournament, the amount each chip is actually worth is much more than at the start.

The Three Stages of the Sit N Go Tournament

Rule number one for most sit n go grinders is to play very tightly at the early stages of every single tournament. Only good hands from good starting positions should ever be played. Losing chips during the early stages gives your opponents a big advantage and, going back to your fold equity', with each hand you lose early on, you become less and less of a threat to other players at the table as the bubble approaches.

During the tournament middle stages you need to begin to play more aggressively and keep your stack at a high level, ready for the bubble. There are several tactics you need to use at this stage of the tournament that include stealing blinds, re-raising and stealing smaller pots. At this stage of the SNG you need to risk the odd all in, and try to forget about just calling. You should continue to raise the aggression until the bubble has burst and you are in the money seats.

Once that bubble has burst then your strategy changes again. The blinds are now higher and you are much more likely to be called, so take this into consideration when deciding which hands you want to play, and make them good hands. If there is a player remaining with a smaller stack (which there usually is) take advantage of this, and if that player has folded, then think about a raise...the other player will not want to bust out before the short stack, and you can steal. Remember that at this stage of the tourney, chips are extremely valuable so play your good hands aggressively and isolate the short the stack where possible.