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Sit and go tournaments are the most common type of poker tournament online and the easiest to start playing. Unlike other types of poker tournaments, there’s no set time for the tournament to begin. Instead, there are a set number of seats, and once these fill up, the tournament will get underway. The number of players, size of the blinds, buy-in, and prize pools can vary a lot depending on where you’re playing and what tournament it is.

They’re suitable for online play as most players online don’t want to wait around for scheduled start times. Being able to join a tournament whenever you want is far more convenient. As well as being common online, you’ll also find sit and go tournaments used in live poker. Because of how common they are, it’s important to understand how they work and know how to play in them. For tournament poker, your play style should depend on the type of tournament you’re playing in. 

Sit and Go Strategy

Tournaments can be split into three main stages, the early, middle, and late phases. In most cases, the middle phase is the shortest for sit and go tournaments, and this means that you have some leeway if you get off to a bad start. Even if you have a poor early phase, it’s still possible to do well and finish in the top positions. 

Early Phase

Your strategy will depend on which phase of the tournament you’re currently playing in. Early phases usually dictate that you should play tight and wait for a few players to be eliminated. Stick to playing monster hands, and don’t get carried away with your bets. Once the crowd has been thinned somewhat, you can start to gradually change your strategy and play more hands. 

Middle Phase

When playing in sit and go tournaments, you’ll want to preserve the majority of your chips for the middle phase. The middle phase is usually when the antes are first introduced, and these will give you far more opportunities to steal chips without fear of facing a showdown. 

The middle phase can be affected by the type of sit and go tournament you’re playing in. While most sit and go tournaments are regular, others are known as turbo sit and go tournaments. In a regular sit and go, you’ll normally need to wait for good opportunities before playing your hand and stealing the chips. However, for turbo tournaments, blinds increase rapidly, and you’ll need to try and survive long enough to go all in and take your opponent’s chips. 

Late Phase

The late phase is the most important as it’s your chance to take home the winnings. At this point, you’re on the bubble, meaning that the next player to get knocked out doesn’t win anything but the remaining players will. Even after the bubble has burst, you want to maximize what you can win, so it’s important to have the right strategy. Blinds will be high here, and players tend to loosen up and play more hands. 

In the late phase, you’ll rarely have a chance to open/fold, so you should develop a good push/fold strategy. This is where you either go all in on preflop or fold. Most of the time that you play a hand, it will most likely be to go all in, as the blinds are very high. Put the pressure on your opponents and pick on those who have smaller stacks to steal as much as you can. 

Sit and Go Tips

Here are a few quick tips for playing well in sit and go tournaments:

Play tight early

When the blinds are small, you should only be playing with good hands and folding anything else.

Take advantage of weaker players

If you see players making small bets to try and steal the pot or limping on the flop, you should do your best to take advantage of them.

Know when to quit

You’ll often play hands in sit and go tournaments that you wouldn’t in a cash game, but if you find you get raised by an opponent on a weak hand, you should fold.

Get aggressive late on

When the tournament is down to the final few players, it’s time to play as aggressively as possible. Raise whenever you can and put pressure on with continuation bets.