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SIT & GO TOURNAMENTS

Sit ‘n’ Go tournaments are perfect for new players as they have a low buy-in cost and last less than an hour. At the same time, they allow players to get a feel for shifting hand values, the importance of chip stack sizes, position and aggression.

Starting a Sit ‘n’ Go is as simple as taking a place at a table. As soon as enough players arrive (usually five or more), the game is on.

Any player, even a beginner, has a good chance of winning since many chancers try their luck at Sit ‘n’ Gos. Sticking to the basics and keeping cool will make for a good head start.

Five reasons to play Sit & Go tournaments

Take your seat and get going with these quick and easy tournaments.

  • Play on demand. Since the tournament starts once the table is full, there’s no waiting around
  • There are games to match any budget, with buy-ins starting at just $1.50
  • The game is over within an hour when six or 10 players are involved
  • Multi-table Sit ‘n’ Go tournaments against up to 50 players help them improve strategies
  • Many different types of the game are available to choose from

Sit & Go strategy

Start

While all tournaments have the same tree stages — the start, the middle, and the finish, Sit ‘n’ Go stands out with its middle stage being much shorter than one in a big tournament. What that means is that even if a player is off to a poor start, there is a good chance they’ll still make it into second or third.

Tighter than normal play is recommended in the early stages. Folding most hands and waiting until a few players have been eliminated before getting involved is recommended.

In a Sit ‘n’ Go, it's important for players to preserve a sizeable portion of their starting chips (at least two-thirds) for the middle stage of the game. This is the stage when four or five players remain and the blinds are high enough to be worth stealing by pushing all-in.

A lot of what happens after players have arrived into the middle of a Sit ‘n’ Go stage depends on whether they are playing a regular or Turbo Sit ‘n’ Go.

  • Regular. It's common for the final four players to jostle for a long time until either one player makes a fatal mistake or two big hands collide. Waiting for good opportunities to get involved is key
  • Turbo. The blinds quickly become astronomical and people will be forced to go all-in and call with far less. It may simply come down to a matter of counting how many hands one can survive before being eaten up by the blinds and looking for the best hand to push all-in with

middle

Once in the middle stage with an average stack for the last four or five players, the first thing to do would be to look around and see what the other players have in front of them. When there are different-sized stacks, if there's only one short stack between the player and the bubble, the player should try to stay out of harm's way as much as possible (unless a great hand comes along). However, if the stacks are pretty evenly matched, the player will need to carefully look for ways to maintain his chips or get ahead without risking a disaster, as any all-in benefits the by-standing players so much.

A player shouldn’t risk a lot more chips with a marginal hand if another player shows commitment, but this is also a chance to effectively win the game by getting a mile in front. Even if a player loses an all-in, they have probably paid for it with all the stolen small pots. What's more, the other players will know they’re being gunned for and won't pass as easily next time.

The last three

Once at the last three, the blinds will probably be quite high and after the tension of the squeeze-out stage has passed, the players will loosen up considerably. If the player was the big stack, his bullying privileges have just been revoked to a large extent. If, however, the player was the short or medium one, this is the time for him to gamble it up.

Assuming the traditional 50/30/20 payout structure, the smallest change in pay by position is from third to second, so it's well worth taking on the bigger stacks at the first decent opportunity in the hope of being in contention for first position.

If a player has fewer than 10 big blinds and finds a decent hand, he might want to go all-in (unless one is looking for extra action), as there will be nothing to lose. Similarly, if the player is the big stack with any kind of a hand, he might force the short stack to commit. Because of this situation and the pace of a three-handed game, a player will probably reach 1-on-1 play quite soon after making the money.