Top Ten Tips for SNG Players

Mario Alfonsi by Mario Alfonsi  |  Published on May 23, 2017  |  Updated on May 23, 2017

There are some common mistakes new sit n go poker players make that can be quite costly. By paying attention to these simple tips a new or, experienced player can increase their win-rate, and find themselves cashing in more sit n go tournaments.

  1. Marriages are made in churches, not in poker rooms.
  2. New sit n go tournament players tend to think about their hand alone. They look at their beautiful cards, they fall madly and deeply in love, and they agree to stick to those cards, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until the river doeth them and their chips part.

    Remain aware throughout the hand. Consider the board, and what the other players in the hand might hold. Watch for changes that might signify that you are no longer ahead in the hand.

    While marriage to your aces preflop, as neither over-betting or under-betting will likely get you into to much trouble here seems nice, On the turn, or river, those aces might not be looking so hot anymore. Their odds sagging against your opponents outs… An obvious example would be a player who had the ace of hearts and the ace of clubs, and the dealer dealt 4 diamonds out onto the felt. If the player isn’t watch the board, and the other players, they’re going to lose to a random 3 of diamonds here.

  3. A pair of deuces beats Ace-Ten
  4. A good starting hand isn’t a lock to win, it’s just a good starting hand. Players constantly overplay hands like Ace-ten, Ace-Jack and even worse, King-Queen suited. Here’s something to think about when you’re holding Ace-ten .. Any pair, even threes paired on the flop beat you. Worse yet, when you’re holding that king-queen suited, it has potential, we all get that, but right now, before the flop, any ace is ahead of you, and Ace-King has you smashed.

  5. Don’t wear your running shoes to the poker table
  6. One of the biggest mistakes any player can make, especially a sit n go tournament player, is to make a habit of chase down pots. Tournament poker is a game of endurance, you can not go swimming after every river in the green sea.

  7. Be observant, be very observant
  8. One of the things that sets the pro’s off from the hobby players and tourists is that we’ve learned that it is important to pay attention to other players. Not necessarily to make judgments, that will come, just watch. Assess, and reassess. In the beginning, you won’t even know what you’re looking for. Just about the time you figure it out, other players at the table will realize you’re watching and try to trick you, and then finally… you’ll get a feel for watching the game, and knowing who is still mentally in the hand.

  9. Proceed with Caution
  10. When you’re playing those mid-pairs, such as JJ, or even TT for that matter proceed with extreme caution. These are great starting hands, in fact, if you can take the pot down with them preflop, get-er-done. If you have to see a flop, and there’s an ace or king on it, there’s a good chance you’re no longer the favorite. You might still be the favor, but realize here and now that good starting hand does not mean good showdown hand.

  11. There’s no such thing as a minimum bet anytime before the river.
  12. Many new players make the mistake of minimum betting during the early stages of the game. If you are going to bet then you will do better doing so aggressively. Until you’ve learned something different, there’s no such thing as a minimum bet. Just cancel that strategy right out of your book. Not preflop, not with aces, not on the on the flop when you make a straight or a flush. If on the river, you are sure your opponent is going to fold, and you want him to call, an exception can be made to this rule.

    At any other point in the game, there’s only two things that can happen. You’ll get sucked out on, or your opponent will also notice the three flush cards on the board and fold. As a bluff, it’s just to risky, they might just call because it’s cheap, and then what?

  13. Ready, Set, SHOVE!
  14. Don’t limp or call bets when you’re short stacked. If you have less than ten big blinds, you have one action. It’s all in. Keep in mind while you’re shoving that stack around how far you have to go before you money, and then when you do make a move, make it a big one. When new players find themselves short stacked they tend to try to make every hand work for them, this will work against them. Instead, choose your hand carefully and take advantage of the chance to double up.

  15. Start Slow, Finish Strong
  16. A common mistake new sit n go players make is starting out loose/aggressive, and then finishing early. There’s no reason in the world to be risking all of your chips early in the game, understand that playing tight during the early stages of the game will have you remaining in the game later on when it’s time to become aggressive. In sit and goes especially, players should start tight and end aggressively.

  17. Stop, Look and Listen
  18. Sit and Go players want to make sure they pay attention to everything. They don’t want to get so wrapped up in their own hands, or whatever’s playing on ESPN in the local poker room, that they miss out on picking up on important things and chances to learn. Every hand can be an opportunity for a beginner to learn something and they should take advantage of this.

  19. Must Have Fun!!!