Winning Sit And Go No Limit Texas Holdem Tournament Strategy.

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 26th, 2010

No Limit Texas Holdem has become one of the most popular types of poker played. No Limit Holdem Poker Tournaments have become especially popular since you can enter a tournament for as little as a $1 up to $1000's of dollars depending on your pocket book. Since No Limit Holdem has been televised it has grown in popularity. One of the nuances of this type of pokers new found popularity is the emergence of Sit and Go Poker Tournaments. These tournaments are mini versions of their bigger counterparts. The Entry field is usually limited to one table. Their are also bigger Sit n Go tournaments that consist of 5 or 6 tables or more. One other differentiation of these types of tournaments is that they form when enough players sign up, for example if you have a 10 man Sit and Go it will start as soon as 10 players pay the entry fee.

The Structure of Sit and Go poker games is much like regular tournaments. Blinds go up anywhere from every 6 to 15 minutes and the starting stacks are usually somewhere in between 1500 to 3500 in chips. You will find Sit and Go poker tournaments at most online poker rooms as well as some brick and mortar casino poker rooms. Usually the top 3 players are paid out in a 10 man sit and go. Depending on the Sit and Go structure the payout varies. It is best to look at the tournament lobby and find out what the set up is.

Below are some tips for playing Sit n Go Poker Tournaments:

First of all try and find a game that has a decent chip stack and slow moving blinds. Generally a decent structure looks like 1500 in chips and 8 minute blinds. the more minutes and the more chips the more the game will favor skill versus luck. This is mainly because if you are not in a hurry to play you can play a tight aggressive strategy which is ideal for most tournaments.

I would try a medium buy in of 10 dollars up to twenty dollars to start with depending on what you can afford. If the buy in is really low expect the game to be super wild. I therefore favor games at least 10 and up to start with. Ideally you will win enough to get a bank roll big enough to move up to higher stakes games.

The ideal strategy for these games is to play a tight aggressive game until the blinds get high enough to warrant a change in strategy. Usually if you will fold all your marginal hands in the beginning and be patient by the time you reach the second or third blinds level several players will have been knocked out. So hand selection is important. Early in the tournament play hands like: AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK, AQ, 1010, and AJ aggressively raise for value and play the hand as you usually would. If you meet much resistance with some of the lower pairs or you don't catch a pair fold and don't invest to much. Limp in with any pocket pair 99 to maybe 55 or 66 and hope to spike a set if you don't get out. If someone raises preflop fold. The main idea here is to not get involved in hands that will break you early on since only the last 3 players remaining get paid you want to let the other guys knock themselves out. Every time someone gets knocked out you get closer to the money. some of these games you will see get crazy early on. Just stay out of the way and let the crazies kill themselves off.

Once you get down to about 5 players and the blinds get high you want to loosen up some of your hand selection and try and run some positional raises. If you have been playing tight then you should have a tight enough table image now to get away with some steals. Don't over do it but raise in late pos with hands like A8 all the way to A3 if no one has entered the pot before you. If you have been playing tight the other players should have picked up on this and give you some respect. When you get down to 4, players will really start to tighten up because they are so close to a money finish. Once you see that happening take advantage and try to make some steal bets. Down get overly involved if you meet too much resistance get out of there unless you have a hand that you can win with. This style of play is usually the reverse of what your weaker opponents will do. Usually they will play a lot of hands early and deplete a certain amount of their chips early on and try to get lucky. Then they will tighten up when the blinds get higher. Since ideally the best way to play is the opposite of what everyone else is doing this poker tournament strategy advocates playing tight early and then loosening up later in the game to try and build a chip stack that will carry you in to the money.

Once you get down to 3 and you have hit the money. You can either get real aggressive and try for first place or sit tight and let the other guys take each other out and go for a sure second. This depends on your stack. If you get to 4 to 5 times the blinds and you are third make a move. If you can steal some blinds or win a showdown you should be guaranteed second. Their is a piece of poker tournament software that I used called sit and go shark which was really a great tool in finding a working strategy for this type of game. It is still available but unfortunately does not work in many poker room's where U.S. players can currently play for money.

I hope this helps to give an idea of how to play no limit holdem sit and go poker tournaments. Their is more to it then can be stuffed in to just one article, however just making these few adjustments should help get you in the money more often in these types of poker tournaments. Its really a general strategy advocated for tournaments by many of today's successful poker pro's.

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
Joined: April 29th, 2015
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