Single Table Sit’n'Go Strategy

Playing single table Sit’n'Go (SNG) tournaments can be very fun and highly profitable. However, the fast pace and sudden eliminations can be daunting to any poker player who is not well experienced at these types of tables.

In this article, we’ll be revealing a solid single table SNG strategy to greatly increase your chances of walking away with a piece of the prize. You may notice that the single table SNG strategy is very similar to a multi-table tournament strategy, but greatly reduced like a fine rue.

The cardinal rule to winning any tournament is to set achievable goals. A player should never set their eyes on the ultimate prize of a 1st place victory until such an opportunity is well in sight. Setting priorities and focusing on accomplishing each one individually is the only way to win a single table SNG without relying on lady luck alone.

Single Table Sit’n'Go Strategy – Survive the Careless
At this point, you are seated at a table with 8 or 9 other players. At least one, if not two or three, are going to lack the patience to play a strictly tight poker game. These are the first guys you have to beware of. Players like this don’t want to spend half an hour or better sitting at a table with a low to medium stack just to fall to the way side without a profit. Instead, they would rather go all-in from the start and double or triple up early. If they lose the gamble, oh well. They can join another SNG and try again.

Your first goal is to survive this wave of loose, careless bettors. It may seem like a simple task, but too many players look down at a good starting hand and decide to toss chips into the pot, only to lose them by folding to an all-in pusher. Or, they make the even worse mistake of calling the all-in. Loose players like this often get lucky and hit a draw – that’s why one reason they attempt it in the first place. But this is not the way to see consistent profits from single table SNGs.

Sit back, relax and prepare to fold A LOT. The only time to put a single chip into the pot, unless forced by a blind, is with absolute premium holdings like pocket Aces or A-K suited. Even then, if an all-in bettors challenges you, folding is recommended. Yes, the chances of winning are good, but the chances of him getting a lucky draw and your hand being stale are too high to risk at this early stage.

Single Table Sit’n'Go Strategy – Aim for the Bubble
Once the loose, careless bettors have either left the table, or doubled-up, sending the semi-tight players to the rails instead, it’s time to play a few hands. You still want to play a very tight game and be conservative with your stack, but you need to keep your chips above the average stack size.

Your goal is to make it into the money bubble. This is a terrible time to become the low stack. The weakest player becomes a target for everyone else. You need to play premium hands, but don’t risk too much pre-flop until you’ve got the winning hand in your grasp. Then draw in as many chips as you can.

If you have several callers, slow play the hand to keep the chip count high. If only one player is willing to take on the challenge, you’ll need to bet higher in order to collect a worthy pot. Try to place a bet high enough to be worth it, but low enough to get the call.

Without the nuts, never put all of your chips in the pot. Remember, the goal is to make it into the bubble. An unlucky draw can kill your chances if you aren’t guaranteed the win o begin with.

Single Table Sit’n'Go Strategy – Taking Top Prize
At this point, there should be only three players at the table, including yourself. Most single table SNGs  pay the top 3 finishers. By working your way into the bubble, you are guaranteed to cash. You can finally relax and loosen up your game a bit. The new goal is to finish in 1st place.

You may think loosening your game and aiming for #1 aren’t compatible, but in reality, most poker players continue to play a very tight game at this point. It is the loose player at the table who is going to be drawing in the most chips. He may not end up the victor, but he has a very good chance so long as his opponents stay tight.

Don’t play a strictly loose game, but don’t play strictly tight either. Actually, you want to mix it up completely. Be aggressive, but keep changing up your game so that you do not become predictable. Chances are, your opponents have already pegged you for a very tight player because of your previous play. This works to your advantage as you loosen up. If your opponents can no longer predict your behavior or betting strategy, their own confusion will be their downfall.

Blinds become much more valuable at this point, making it well worth your effort to bluff in late position. Stealing blinds is a great way to keep your stack on the rise when the cards aren’t falling in your favor. Plus, since your opponents are still playing so tight, you should be able to take down a few extra pots with post-flop bluffs as well. When you’re in late position and an Ace falls on the flop, if no one else attacks the pot, you should. They won’t risk a lot of chips if they don’t have the cards to back it up.

Keep mixing things up and making aggressive attacks when your opponents aren’t showing any confidence. If you can get these guys down to a low stack, that’s when they’ll start making mistakes. You should be able to wipe them out when they are forced to push.

Following this priority-goal-based single table Sit’n'Go strategy, you should be taking down your first top prize within a few tries at the tables, and certainly cashing a lot more often each time you try.

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