Sit and Go – Basic Strategies

Sit and Go poker tournaments differ from normal games in a number of things. First of all, these tournaments have a limited number of players – the game starts as soon as all players are ready. Second – the game goes on until there is only one player left. It’s a ‘kickout’ game – a player who loses all chips leaves the table, and the rest continue to play – the three best ranked players are usually the ones being rewarded.

Another big difference is the amount of the blind bets – in normal ring games this amount is fixed, but in Sit and Go games in grows from phase to phase.

Sit and Go games have one main objective – be the last man standing. To do this, players must win as many hands as possible, stay in the game for as long as possible and eliminate other players. The game has several phases, depending on the amount of the blind bets. Betting strategies applicable to various phases differ, as the amounts in play go higher.

The first phase of a Sit and Go game is in which the stacks are high and the bets are low. This phase is the fun part – you play poker with the goal to win. You should play tight – avoid unnecessary losses and win as much as possible. Keep as many chips as possible for the later stages of the game, when it will be important to determine other players to fold.

The second phase of the Sit and Go games arrives when your stack is worth 10 times the big blind bet or under. This situation requires a completely different strategy – more aggressive and more reckless. This is the stage when the blinds and re-raises are most often stolen. Unlike in ring games, where the blind bets are considered ‘lost money’, in Sit and Go you have to defend your blind bets – especially because they grow after a certain period of time. It becomes more and more important to ‘scare away’ other players and steal chips from them to make it to the end.

The third phase of the game – called ‘the bubble’ – is the most aggressive part of any Sit and Go game. In the late stage of the game not many games continue after the flop. Most of the times players go all-in and a quick showdown follows. This goes on until there are only three players at the table (the bubble bursts) – the three who surely win, but the question is how much. In this stage players might become reckless again, raising on hands with lower values. Sit and Go is a game of change, and your success might depend on how quickly you adapt to it. Be patient, aggressive or reckless, as the game guides you – and have the best of luck.