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Basic Tips for Sit & Go Poker

I decided to write my personal strategies and tips on sit & go's. I will be writing detailed strategies and will include a new article daily about each stage in a sit & go. This article is an introduction to sit and go's and the correct mindset and strategies to be a constant winning player.
All I play is sit & go's, why because I have been successful in sit and go's since I started playing always earning a profit month after month. I'm sure there will be people that disagree with my strategies and think that it's not correct, I probably do have some leaks in my sit & go game I'm open to discussions about my strategies and would love to hear your view points as I think it's important to accept you have leaks in your game.

Why Play Sit & Gos?:

Sit & Go's are a great way to earn a consistent profit and to keep your bankroll from the swings of cash games. One of the main reasons why I like sit & go's is I believe there is a great skill in the strategy of playing sit and go's. Sure you could be a great cash game player and win consistently but never seem to make the money in a sit & go. Another reason why I like playing sit and go's is that it's tough to go on tilt, usually if you end up about to tilt your knocked out already by a bad beat so you have that important 5-10 minutes to cool down and collect your thoughts. In a cash game after taking a tough beat you are thrown into a hand within seconds and don't have time to recoup and calm down.

Your goal in a sit & go:

Your main goal in a sit & go tournament is to make the top 3, that should be your main goal. So you should never worry or panic if your short on chips and someone has 80% of the chips. Your goal is to always have chips and to find the most optimal situations to get your money in when your a favorite, if the cards don't fall your way then so be it. But your main goal is basic, get your money in when you have the best of it. Never risk chips that you don't have to, the all in move is a weak move in sit and go's in the first 4-5 stages and should rarely be used, in the later stages it should be used more in the rite situations we will discuss that in the next parts of this series.

What style of poker should I play?:

Overall your goal is to play a tight solid game and only put chips out there for a reason and when your confident you'll win the pot. Your playing your cards but more importantly the situation always waiting for the best situation. I don't care what you have whether it's 7-2 or pocket aces, you play the hand according to the situation not because some book told you to raise all the way with pocket aces. So to sum it up, your playing a tight waiting game waiting for the best situations to get your money in, your not sitting around waiting for AA, KK, your sitting around analyzing the play and waiting for the correct situations. In sit and go's it's not about the cards it's about the situations. If you want to improve your sit and go game you need to listen and prepare to change your game up. I don't care if you always raise with aces, or never lay down aces, you need to change your game or your never going to improve. So to sum it up, I guess there's no set style of play or a name for it, If you want to call it something it's "tight hawk" your playing tight and being a hawk waiting for the best situations to go in swoop up the chips.

What buy in sit and go should I play:

I would suggest you have at least 20x the buy in of the sit and go in your bankroll, no matter how good you are your going to through stages of losses and you need a bankroll to sustain the swings.

some important key's to being a winning sit and go player:

- Never change your style of play no matter how bad a run of cards your getting, no matter what. The minute you change your game and playing style you'll fall apart. You need to play a consistent solid A game every time.

- When you make it in the top3, don't change your style of play just because your in the money. Once you've made the top 3 in a sit and go your goal has just changed to 1st and nothing less. Don't settle for 3rd or 2nd, your style of play will switch up at this point in which we will disucss in the next few articles. If your even money playing heads up and your opponent is a solid player offer a chop, if you are stronger then your opponent heads up never accept a chop.

- Study your opponents by seeing how many hands they play, what they play, how much they risk, etc... This is CRUCIAL in determining whether the situation is correct when your in there playing a pot with them. Your going to have a variety of different players in a sit and go wild ones, tight ones, weak ones, timid ones. Try and put yourself in the shoes of your opponents and feel them out, see if they're playing with scared money perhaps and are doing anything just to make the top3. Or maybe there's a hardcore gambler that is in the mood to play lot's of hands and gamble. So it's very crucial to know the playing style of your opponent so when it comes to decision making time your able to make the correct decision. This is a huge edge & when your not playing in a pot your still playing by analyzing your opponents.

- Always make sure you have chips left, if you don't need to risk all your chips don't risk them all. I don't care if you have 100 chips left that is a MUCH MUCH better situation then being and broke and out. No matter how low stacked you are you always have a chance in sit and go's.

- Patience, Patience.... Never play a sit and go unless you have the time to play one. If your in a rush or if your in antsy mood and want to play lots of hands don't play a sit and go. Heck don't even play poker, make sure your in the correct mindset and that your relaxed and ready to go to war and complete your mission.

- Make sure your playing in sit and go's that favor skilled play, Poker Stars has an excellent setup that favors skilled players, you start with 1500 chips and blinds move up at a set time. Party Poker has sit and go's built in that luck and preflop poker play a huge roll. You start with just 1000 chips and the blinds are raises every 10 hands, this is setup so the house can have more games going and that luck plays a big factor so weak players still have a chance to win and keep the money flowing evenly.

I think I summed up the basic thinking and basic intro to sit and go's. By all means you don't have to listen to what I say, you may think what I say is incorrect that's fine. I'm basically passing on information and tips that have made me a successful sit and go player. I can guarantee that if you read each article and understand my thoughts and views and discuss with me on how to improve your sit and go game that you will become a better player. I ruled out that it was luck that I was having after about the 6th successful month of playing sit and go's. Sit and go's are a slow but fun competitive grind game, you won't have extreme highs or extreme lows, your goal is to end up with profits by month's end. Sit and go's can be pretty boring at time but if you approach playing them as a business and to grind profits you'll do well.

In the next article I will discuss the early stages of a sit and go...