Sit and Go (SNG) tournaments are gaining ever more interest with the easy accessibility offered by the internet. Playing an SNG requires careful strategy to match each stage of the tournament and this needs to be applied in addition to your regular poker skills.
In the early stages of an SNG it is wise to play tight. That means fold out unless you have a good strong hand that is worth taking to a showdown. Because the blinds are increased as each round progresses your main goal is just to make it past the early stages of the tournament. The raised blinds will take care of the weaker opposition and there is no point in risking chips against players who are just trying their luck. In the early stages of SNGs some players tend to go wild and play fast in the hope of hitting big pots by making big raises all the time. The key here is to remember that you have to play to the end and you can’t just get one good pot and then leave the table.
Take advantage of the lower blinds by making bold raises when you do have a good hand. Don’t be timid if you have something good because the more players who stay in the pot the greater the chance that one of them will pick up a better hand in a later in the round.
Don’t be tempted to try and build a big stack in the early stages just because other players are getting ahead. The time for stack building is during the middle stages of the tournament when the raised blinds have knocked off some of the opposition.
During the early stages you should take time to observe the other players and try to learn their style. This is important when you start to build your stack in the middle stages. Look for the players who are either weak or playing tight. If you come up against them in head to head then try and bluff them out. This includes going all in if that is what it takes. You play should generally pick up and become more aggressive in the middle stages because you need to have a good stack for the final stages. You can’t afford to play tight because, after all, if you aren’t in the prize money then you are going home empty handed anyway.
Another strategy to try against smaller stacks is to only call bets even though you have a strong hand. By feigning a weak hand a small stack that is eager to make some chips may by drawn in to keep raising.
By the final stages, with just four or five players left, you should be playing aggressively even if you have the largest stack. The stronger you hand is though, the better it can be to call instead of raising to counter any caution the opposition is showing to protect their stacks. At the same time, stay away from any desperate small stacks that may try something wild to save themselves before they are eliminated.