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Push/Fold Strategy in Sit and Gos

The push/fold strategy is a skill that all MTT and STT players should be familiar with. In a nutshell, the push/fold strategy calls for players to either go all in or fold their hand. This particular strategy is most useful when events start to wind down and players are either in the money or near the money, or if a player has a short stack at any time.

Even if you are not close or in the money, a small stack will still warrant a push/fold strategy. You should be looking for ways to either force folds or get calls when you go all in, or instead bail out when you have nothing worth playing. If you are somewhere in the middle and feel like calling to see a flop, don’t.

One of the biggest mistake that any STT or MTT player could make is to call in an attempt to play post flop when they do not have a good hand or a big stack. Read below to find out more about why limping or calling bets pre flop with a smaller stack is so killer to your chances of winning.

Players who are able to effectively implement a push/fold strategy will find that their play becomes much more streamlined. With push/fold play, the only real challenge is knowing when to go all in and when to fold. This strategy takes much of the guessing work out of the equation. You don’t need to know how much to raise, whether to call a re raise, what you are going to do post flop, or anything else that would otherwise complicate your play.

This is both an asset and a detriment to this particular strategy, though. While it is easier to simply go all in or fold, it will disallow any opportunities to truly outplay your opponents. Sure, you could always get a fold from a better hand when you go all in, but this is not nearly as profitable as a double barrel that works perfectly.

The push/fold strategy is a major weapon if it is used in the right way and at the right times. There are far too many players who will try to push/fold when it is either too early in the tournament, or before their stack size warrants the play. Be careful and selective with how you apply push/folding to your skill set.

Push to Force Folds

Pushing to force folds is one of the ways to gain valuable equity in your hands. If you are able to go all in with a moderate hand and get another player to fold their hand that had you beat, you are going to win a whole lot of pots where you would have otherwise lost. This is the reason why it is still profitable to go all in with mid range hands that could easily be beat. You could certainly lose a pot when another player calls you and you are crushed, but there is always a strong chance that the other players will pass up on a gamble in an attempt to wait for something better.

Remember, from the perspective of other players, your all in play is indicative of strength. If you either have a stack size that would pose a threat to your opponents, or give the other players reason to believe that you are very strong, there is going to be a lot of value in going all in with the hopes of forcing folds.

Push to Gain Calls

Sometimes you will  have a chance to push all in with a strong to very strong hand. If your hand stands to be ahead the majority of the time, you should be fishing and hoping for a call from one of the other players. It is not the most relaxing play, going all in pre flop and getting calls, but it will be necessary if you hope to build your stack back up.

Players who are in a push/fold situation are running low on chips, meaning that a double up is a requirement if they want to get back in the game. You need to put your worries aside and go for the kill when you are starting to really fall of the pace. Even going all in with AA can be very nerve racking, but it is better to lose a big pot than to have your stack slowly blinded away. There may not be a ton of value in going all in with a hand like A9, but there is even less value in eliminating your own chances of making a deep run by sitting around and bleeding chips.

Fold to Live Another Day

If you have a small stack and are also working with a very weak hand, it could be tempting to just go all in and hope for the best. The reality is, however, that this is nothing more than taking the easy way out.

You should be looking for your best possible chance to either double up or force folds. Your hand could easily go from wanting to force folds to an actual fold. Pretend that you have K7 in early position with a short stack in a nine-handed SNG. This is going to be a fold nearly all of the time, where it could easily be a shove if you were in later position.

One of the most crucial elements to using the push/fold strategy correctly is knowing what hand is best played in what way. It’s impossible to say that any given hand is either a push or a fold, but if you are very unsure about your chances with a weak hand, it is safe to assume that you are better off folding. If worst comes to worst, you get another shot at it. This is a much better outlook than going all in and busting out entirely.

More Sit and Go Strategy
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