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SnG Tournament Strategy

SnG Tournament Strategy


SnG’s are a huge amount of fun because they add a lot of flexibility to your online poker play and offer a great way to earn a load of loyalty points should you be looking to make the most of the best poker bonus that you managed to pick up.


Sit and Go tournaments (to give them their full name), allow poker players to sit down and play a tournament no matter what time of the day or night it is. However, they shouldn’t be confused with your regular multi-table poker tournaments as they  are principally different and also require a different strategy should you wish to be successful in them.


As their name suggests, SnG’s start as soon as their enough players willing to participate in them. Generally speaking, SnG’s only consist of nine players (as opposed to the hundreds or thousands you’ll find in more traditional tournaments), although you can also find SnG’s listing fields of just six or even two players.


It’s usually due to the relatively small numbers involved in these kind of tournaments that convinces a lot of players that the best strategy is to sit tight, keep their head down and hope that they sneak into the top three.


If that happens to work, it will be more by luck than planning though. Generally speaking, for a strategy like that to pay off, you will need to find a table that is both loose and aggressive and quite frankly, you’ll be lucky to stumble across many of those.


With that in mind, concentrate on a slightly more aggressive strategy and be prepared to adapt it as you go through the tournament.


Early stage:

You need to grab as many chips as you can, as it will set you up for the rest of the game. Therefore an aggressive stance is key. Try to see as many flops as possible while the blinds are still relatively small. If you have a marginal hand such as suited connectors, a medium pocket pair or even a couple of high cards, then it’s probably worth throwing a few chips into the middle of the table and see if you hit anything on the flop.


It’s quite possible that one of your opponents may raise you, in which case you need to be prepared to take the loss and throw your hands into the muck. Take things with a pinch of salt though, as the potential rewards greatly out number the risk of throwing a few hands away.


Intermediate stages:

Once a couple of players have dropped out and the blinds have moved up a stage or two, you’ll need to become a lot more reserved in the cards that you chose to play. I wouldn’t advise getting involved in a pot unless you’ve been dealt premium hands in the hole. If that’s the case, then make sure protect your hand by raising the pot before the flop is dealt.


If you’re going to start getting choosy about your hands, then you need to make sure that they’re likely to be the strongest before the flop is dealt. There’s no worse way to lose a pot other than letting an opponent in cheaply and then watching him outdraw you. So if you’ve got a good hand, defend it!


Latter stages:

You’re now down to the last four or five players. It’s time to change things up again. You’ll notice that play suddenly become a lot more aggressive and loose as players being their scramble for the number of chips that remain on the table.


If you find yourself sitting in the top three, then I’d suggest that you keep your head down and let things sort them out for themselves.


Should that not be the case though, and you find yourself on the bubble, then you need to be prepared to find a bit of strenth from within and make a stand. You’re going to have to start raising the blind when you get the chance.


Obviously there are going to be times when someone finds a good hand and decides to call you. In that case you’re just going to have to bite the bullet and hope you get lucky on the flop. However, I’d like to think that the majority of times you’ll find yourself picking up the blinds (maybe as much as 300 or 400 chips now!!) from your opponents sat around the table who are too worried about going out on the bubble.


Once you’ve climbed into the top three positions, then relax. You’ve reached your objective and can be sure that you’re going to make a profit from the tournament. Let out a deep breath, generally felt good about yourself and then concentrate on getting your hands on the rest of the chips.


From here on in, play the starting hands that you feel comfortable with. Make sure you either raise or fold though. There will be no calling. If you think you’ve got a good hand, then raise the pot. If not, then muck your cards.


In the long run, calling will just cost you chips and I’d much rather put the pressure on my opponents and have them worry about me rather than have things the other way round!
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