5 Table SNG Strategy

As you probably know, a typical Sit’n'Go tournament has only one table of 9 or 10 players participating. The strategy for such a tournament is designed to finish quickly and profitably. When playing a 5 table SNG, strategy must be adjusted accordingly, almost to that of a standard multi-table tournament.

A 5 table SNG strategy is much more involved since you’ll need to outlast 44-49 players – not just 8-9. However, setting a starting goal of finishing in 1st place is the wrong way too look at any online poker tournament. This 5-table SNG strategy will teach you how to set priorities and achieve them in orderly fashion. This is the only way to increase your odds of cashing in the tournament, and hopefully going on the take the top prize.

5 Table SNG Strategy – Survival of the Tightest
In the earliest stages of a 5-table SNG, you need to apply a very tight poker strategy. In fact, the first few hands should be folded with virtually no exception. The only time to move on in the first few hands is 1) in late position when no other player has invested more than the big blind, and you’re holding a very good starting hand; or 2) if you are dealt pocket Aces.

Even pocket Aces could be a trap this early in the game, so don’t be surprised when we recommend you fold them if another players goes all-in out of the gate. When the tournament begins, you have to except that 15-20% of all players are going to be extremely loose. These guys don’t care if they lose, they just want to double up early.

If a player has gone all-in, they could easily enough hit a lucky draw, eliminating you – and your beautiful pocket Aces – from the tournament. The only way to prevent this from happening is to fold every hand until the loose players are all ousted, or have double-up and subsequently tightened their game. This should not take more than a few hands to accomplish.

5 Table SNG Strategy – Early Stages
After surviving the frivolous bettors, you’ll still need to play a very tight game in the early stages of a 5-table SNG. The bubble is still a long way off as 30+ players yet remain. Stealing blinds is hardly worth the effort as the blind levels are still too low to be worth the risk of bluffing.

Use this time to observe your opponents. You may or may not see them in the latter stages of the tournament, but if you do, it will help tremendously. It will also increase your chances of claiming a good portion of their stack and them to the rails.

5 Table SNG Strategy – Bubble or Bust
Your new goal is to aim directly for the bubble, without busting out short of a cash. A typical 5-table SNG plays the top 7 positions. It is now your number-one priority to finish in 7th place (or the lowest paying position if different).

At least half of your competitors should be gone by now, leaving 20-25 opponents to contend with. Once more, a tight poker game is essential. However, you should be mixing things up just a bit to keep others from reading your betting behavior. By this, we mean don’t always slow-play your monsters, or check-raise against a single opponent.

Change things up just enough so that you do not become predictable. Stealing blinds is starting become profitable, but be very careful not to do this very often.

5 Table SNG Strategy – Taking the Crown
Once you’re in the bubble, you can heave a sigh of relief – you have succeeded – you will be paid! The only thing left to do is aim for the crown. With the ultimate goal of 1st place within reach, it’s finally time to loosen up.

Loosen up, are you insane? Yes, we are! Think about it. At this point, everyone is going to be playing incredibly tight. They have come so far and want nothing more than to take 1st place. Their tight strategy got them this far, so they are going to stick with it. You can take supreme advantage of this by changing up your strategy completely.

Have you ever heard of a “maniac” poker player? Good, because you’re about to become one. Don’t jump into a pot with noting but junk, but use your position to strong-arm others out of pot contention. Steal blinds when you can, and don’t be afraid to raise when you have enough outs. We do not suggest going all-in unless you know you have the nuts.

When you become aggressive, tight players fear you. They know you may very well not have a good hand, but they also know they could be instantly eliminated if they make the call in error. If there is not a large pot to contend for anyway, they won’t bother contesting your aggression. If a tight player such as this suddenly becomes confident enough to invest in a pot, beware – he’s probably got you beat.

If you keep mixing things up, reading your opponents and using loose/aggressive poker strategy most of the time, you can easily find yourself finishing in 1st place. Don’t be disappointed if you falter. Cashing in a tournament is a something to be proud of, regardless of whether it’s 5th place, 3rd place or 1st.

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