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Changing Gears Throughout Sit and Gos

For SNG players, changing gears is an absolute necessity. In sit and gos, the dynamics and game play will be shifting from hand to hand. Cash game players can essentially play the same way day in and day out with little to no discrepancy in how they play any given table. In sit and gos, however, the pace of the game is always changing.

For example, the hands that you play in the beginning stages of a sit and go are going to be very different that the hands you play in the middle or later stages. This is a simple example of how sit and gos are really broken down into a number of different sections. As you gain more experience, the time to make moves will come naturally.

One of the biggest struggles that new sit and go players have is identifying when to kick it into another gear. This is an understandable obstacle to overcome because it is almost unique to sit and go play. If you have prior experience in tournament settings, you probably know what it means to change your game play up as you move near and past the bubble. The same types of transitions will make you a winner in sit and gos.

Without the ability to keep up with game play in sit and gos, your opponents will inevitably burn you over and over again. Needless to say, this will be far from advantageous when it comes to your long term profitability.

For all intents and purposes, there are three different primary sections in any given sit and go. You will first play out the beginning of the game. This is when you can sit around and wait for good hands to play. Hopefully you will also be able to pick up some uncontested pots when play begins so that you will have extra ammunition down the line.

Once the blinds start to creep up a bit and the playing field is dwindled down, you will then be approaching the middle stages of the game. This is when you should focus on chip accumulation and positioning yourself for the win or a big cash. You don’t need to take major risks at this point in your game, but you should be looking for opportunities to cash in on the apprehensiveness of other players.

The final stage of any sit and go is from the bubble to the end of the game. This is the time where you are likely to be all-in on a consistent basis. Having success at this stage often comes down to an ability to run well, but that is not the only way. Players who are scared to bust will let you walk all over them with aggressive play. Don’t ever be afraid (if you are making the right plays) and you will have a significant edge over almost anyone that you will face.

Getting Into a Groove

The first plan of action for any particular game should be to get in a groove. In other words, get comfortable with your opponents and start to form a game plan for how you are going to make a deep run. If you are at a loose table, think about how you can exploit this characteristic so that you can add to your stack. The same can be said for any noticeable dynamic that you can eventually use to your advantage.

This time in a sit and go is not so much for changing gears as it is for preparing to change gears. Think about how you have played up until this point and consider what you are going to do differently once the field is thinned out just a little bit more. When you start to notice your table livening up, it is likely time for you to make a move.

Making Moves

Making moves is the very basis of any winning sit and go player’s strategy. Weak sit and go players tend to either wait around for big hands or to play recklessly from the beginning to the end. If you really want to become a winner, you will have your entire strategy planned out with each new sit and go you join.

If possible, always try to consider who is left in the game and not only how many players are left. The tendencies of the players that you are facing will play a major role in deciding what the optimal strategy is to try and beat them. Of course, if you are playing many tables at once, you won’t be able to do this. If you happen to be a multi tabler or a mass multi tabler, you will need to instead form a more systematic routine as play nears an end.

This might mean shifting to all in or fold tactics, playing more aggressively on the button, or simply waiting for the other players to make mistakes on their own. No matter what your individual strategy is, you should always be ready to take the nest step to ensure that you are not left behind.

More Sit and Go Strategy
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