In the first part of this tutorial, I covered Sit and Go strategy during the early rounds of play when the blinds are still low and you have plenty of chips left.
Essentially, I recommend a very conservative strategy during the first 3 rounds while taking a few cheap flops with “double-up” hands.
Unfortunately, your strategy must change as the blinds increase both to take advantage of your opponents’ weaknesses and to combat getting blinded out of the tournament.
In this two articles, I will discuss Sit and Go strategy for the middle rounds – the period between the start of 50/100 blinds and until 3 players are left battling for the money. The following tips, barring excessive bad beats, should allow you to navigate through the middle rounds while still giving yourself a shot at winning once play gets to 3-handed.
1. Don’t make major adjustments to your strategy. A common mistake that I see from Sit and Go beginners is panicking when the blinds reach the 50/100 level. Your strategy shouldn’t change too much simply because the cost of doing business has increased. If you began with 1,500 or 2,000 chips and have managed to stay about even, you still have 15-20 big blinds left. In Dan Harrington’s language, your “n” is still at 10-13 because you can pay to see that many more rounds of blinds without playing a hand. While you don’t want to let your stack get down to 3 or 4 n’s, that’s still a lot of poker left to be played! If your natural Sit and Go strategy is a patient one, don’t let the blinds take you off of your game.
2. At the same time, make the conscious effort to become more aggressive. When the blinds increase the table naturally becomes tighter overall with more players fearful of risking too many chips on marginal hands. This is the time that you want to become more aggressive. When you’re the first to open the pot, consider a raise to 3-4x the big blind. Making larger raises at this stage without a specific play in mind isn’t wise as you don’t need to risk an excessive amount of chips to make the same statement. If you don’t feel that your hand is strong enough to raise with then consider why you’re playing the hand at all. Trying to see cheap flops with mediocre hands at this point will be a slow leak of your valuable chips. Avoid weak Aces, baby pocket pairs, and trap hands like Q-J and K-10. In the middle rounds of a Sit and Go you want to be taking advantage of your opponents tight play, seizing control pre-flop with your strong hands, and steal the blinds around once per round or two when in position. If you aren’t accomplishing any of those goals you should probably just stay out of the hand entirely.
3. Follow up your pre-flop raises with betting on the flop, even if you didn’t connect. Also known as a “continuation bet”, a common play is to bet anywhere between Ѕ of the pot to the size of the pot following your pre-flop raise. This is done regardless of if you improve or not on the flop. I also only recommend this against 1 or 2 opponents if you haven’t improved. With more opponents it’s highly unlikely that none of them improved their hand enough to stay with you. The continuation bet is a great play for Sit and Gos and works especially well on tighter sites. Although this play makes you susceptible to check-raises when you’re in position, it will induce your opponent to fold far more often. It is very difficult for good players to bet into or reraise the pre-flop raiser without a very strong hand. Because you raised pre-flop you’re expected to have big face cards or a big pocket pair. Your opponents know that sometimes you’ll have hit the flop and other times you won’t have. The difficult part for other players is trying to decide when you haven’t hit if you’re always betting into them.