PokerJunkie > Poker Strategy > Poker Tournament Articles > Sit & Go's: My Strategy, Part 1 - Introdu

Sit & Go's: My Strategy, Part 1 - Introduction.

23 October 2005, By:
I decided to write my personal strategies and tips on sit & go's.

I will be writing detailed strategies and will include a new article daily about each stage in a sit & go. This article is an introduction to sit and go's and the correct mindset and strategies to be a constant winning player.

All I play is sit & go's. Why? Because I have been successful in sit and go's since I started playing, always earning a profit month after month.

I'm sure there will be people that disagree with my strategies and think that it's not correct, I probably do have some leaks in my sit & go game and I'm open to discussions about my strategies.

Why Play Sit & Gos?

Sit & Go's are a great way to earn a consistent profit and to keep your bankroll from the swings of cash games.

One of the main reasons why I like sit & go's is I believe there is a great skill in the strategy of playing sit and go's. Sure you could be a great cash game player and win consistently but never seem to make the money in a sit & go.

Another reason why I like playing sit and go's is that it's tough to go on tilt. Usually if you end up about to tilt you're knocked out already by a bad beat so you have that important 5-10 minutes to cool down and collect your thoughts.

In a cash game after taking a tough beat you are thrown into a hand within seconds and don't have time to recoup and calm down.

Your goal in a sit & go:

Your main goal in a sit & go tournament is to make the top 3. So you should never worry or panic if you're short on chips and someone has 80% of the chips.

Your goal is to always have chips and to find the optimal situations to get your money in when you're a favorite.

If the cards don't fall your way, then so be it. But your main goal is basic: get your money in when you have the best of it.

Never risk chips that you don't have to. The all in move is a weak move in sit and go's in the first 4-5 stages and should rarely be used.

In the later stages it should be used more in the right situations - we will discuss that in the next parts of this series.

What style of poker should I play?:

Overall your goal is to play a tight solid game and only put chips out there for a reason and when you're confident you'll win the pot.

You're playing your cards, but more importantly the situation. I don't care what you have, whether it's 7-2 or pocket aces, you play the hand according to the situation not because some book told you to raise all the way with pocket aces.

In sit and go's it's not about the cards, it's about the situations. If you want to improve your sit and go game you need to listen and prepare to change your game up.

I don't care if you always raise with aces, or never lay down aces, you need to change your game or you're never going to improve.

So to sum it up, I guess there's no set style of play or a name for it, If you want to call it something it's "tight hawk" - you're playing tight and being a hawk, waiting for the best situations to swoop in and pick up the chips.

What buy in sit and go should I play:

I would suggest you have at least 20x the buy in of the sit and go in your bankroll.

No matter how good you are you're going to go through stages of losses and you need a bankroll to sustain the swings.

Some important keys to being a winning sit and go player:

- Never change your style of play no matter how bad a run of cards you're getting, no matter what. The minute you change your game and playing style you'll fall apart. You need to play a consistent solid A game every time.

- When you make it in the top 3, don't change your style of play just because you're in the money. Once you've made the top 3 in a sit and go your goal has just changed to 1st and nothing less.

Don't settle for 3rd or 2nd, your style of play will switch up at this point (which we will disucss in the next few article)s.

If you're even money playing heads up and your opponent is a solid player, offer a chop. If you are stronger then your opponent heads up never accept a chop.

- Study your opponents by seeing how many hands they play, what they play, how much they risk, etc... This is CRUCIAL in determining whether the situation is correct when you're in there playing a pot with them.

You're going to have a variety of different players in a sit and go - wild ones, tight ones, weak ones, timid ones. Try and put yourself in the shoes of your opponents and feel them out, see if they're playing with scared money perhaps and are doing anything just to make the top 3.

Or maybe there's a hardcore gambler that is in the mood to play lots of hands and gamble. It's very crucial to know the playing style of your opponent so when it comes to decision-making time you're able to make the correct decision.

This is a huge edge & when you're not playing in a pot you're still playing by analyzing your opponents.

- Always make sure you have chips left. If you don't need to risk all your chips, don't risk them all. I don't care if you have 100 chips left that is a MUCH MUCH better situation then being broke and out. No matter how low stacked you are you always have a chance in sit and go's.

- Patience, Patience... Never play a sit and go unless you have the time to play one.

If you're in a rush or if you're in an antsy mood and want to play lots of hands don't play a sit and go. Heck don't even play poker, make sure you're in the correct mindset and that you're relaxed and ready to go to war and complete your mission.

- Make sure you're playing in sit and go's that favor skilled play, PokerStars has an excellent setup that favors skilled players. You start with 1500 chips and blinds move up at a set time.

Party Poker has sit and go's built in that luck and preflop poker play a huge roll. You start with just 1000 chips and the blinds are raised every 10 hands. This is set up so the house can have more games going and that luck plays a big factor so weak players still have a chance to win and keep the money flowing evenly.

I think I summed up the basic thinking and basic intro to sit and go's. By all means you don't have to listen to what I say, you may think what I say is incorrect and that's fine.

I'm basically passing on information and tips that have made me a successful sit and go player. I can guarantee that if you read each article and understand my thoughts and views and discuss with me on how to improve your sit and go game that you will become a better player.

I ruled out that it was luck that I was having after about the 6th successful month of playing sit and go's. Sit and go's are a slow but fun competitive grind game, you won't have extreme highs or extreme lows, your goal is to end up with profits by month's end.

Sit and go's can be pretty boring at times but if you approach playing them as a business and to grind profits you'll do well.

In the next article I will discuss the early stages of a sit and go...

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