Sit n Go poker guide

Sit and Go poker tournament guide. 

This guide should increase your strength in Sit & Go tournaments (sometimes referred to as “Single-table tournaments”).

A Sit & Go is a tournament that only starts when a predetermined number of participants have registered. This applies regardless of whether the number of participants is set at 6, 10, 20 or something completely different.

This guide focuses primarily on tournaments with buy-in ranging from $5+0.5 to $30+3. At these levels, you will often encounter inexperienced resistance, and they provide a good starting point for larger tournaments.

The guide is thus aimed at beginners as well as intermediate players.


The typical Sit & Go is divided into blind levels in the same way as a regular multi-table tournament. However, you will often see Sit & Go’s arranged with “turbo” or even “hyper-turbo” structures, where blinds rise faster than you otherwise see them.

Blinds usually start at 10/20, 15/30 or 25/50 in level 1 and grow steadily as the tournament progresses. The structure may vary from poker site to poker site, but common is that the tournament is always completed before level 10 is reached.

In this guide, we work with a Sit & Go structure that is quite widespread on the various poker sites on the Internet. Typically, there is money for numbers 1, 2 and 3.

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Sit & Go Guide

Level 1 – 3

  • Blinds 10/20, 15/30 & 25/50 as well as general strategies – Play tight and pending

At the opening of a tournament, it is imperative to realize that the way onward is NOT to play a large number of hands, even though this may seem obvious, “since it is so cheap to see the flop.” Calling/limping with a lot of medium hands is exactly what opponents intend to do.

This fact alone is argument enough that you shouldn’t do it. If you think and play waiting/tight, you can rise above many of the opponents you are up against in a Sit & Go tournament. This rule of thumb is crucial for you to get through the initial phase of the tournament.

However, if you are in position (i.e. on the button or just before it) you can allow yourself to “limp” in with hands like 78 in the same suit (read about “suited connectors”) as well as all pairs. This only applies if many are in the hand in question and this has not been “raised” in front of you.

Often it takes experience and many painful defeats to understand that hands like AJ, AT and KJ are not worth playing at this early stage of a tournament. Whatever your position! Why? Because there is almost nothing to gain, but everything to lose if the flop hits unluckily.

Understand the importance of your position

What do you do if you get a good hand in an early position when the blinds are only called 10/20? This is a difficult issue because while you want action on your good hand, you know that it is disastrous with too many “limpers” on your hands such as KK or AA.

If you are the first to announce, you do not have the slightest idea of the strength of your opponent’s hands. It is therefore recommended that you raise to at least 4 times Big Blind to sort out the most “tight” players. The goal is to be left with one or a maximum of two opponents when the flop is reversed.

An alternative (which is discouraged from all new players) might be to limp into the pot from an early position and then hope that another person raises behind you, thus enabling a re-raise on your part.

This is very dangerous, as you run the risk of everyone doing just like you and see a cheap flop – a horror scenario that can reduce your chances of winning to as little as 20%.

If this happens, you should be prepared to fold your hand immediately, unless you hit the flop very strongly. Your AA or KK is now (almost) reduced to a woeful middle hand.

If you choose this tactic, it is important that you have a strong sense that an opponent behind you is prone to raising. The above issue gives a sense of how much your position matters.

AA in the late position is thus good, compared to AA in the early position (this one is still extremely delicate).

But the scenario of the weakened AA can illustrate why a hand like AJ is not playable at all. With 5-6 (or more) “limpers”, AJ is probably reduced to the worst hand at the table. If you choose to raise it from an early position, you will probably only get calls from hands that are stronger than your own.

Thus, we can conclude that the hands we choose to play at this early stage are ones where we would like to see a flop, hit strong and then win a big pot. If we don’t hit strong, we fold without blinking and wait patiently for the next playable hand. The wish situation, on the other hand, is that we are assigned one of the very strong hands (AA & KK) and get one opponent lured all in – preferably before the flop is turned (preflop).

QQ & JJ are riskier, and with these hands, we want to see a flop, since we are not interested in falling into a so-called “coin flip,” i.e. a situation that only gives about 50% chances of winning (this is the case against, for instance, AK).

If the flop shows no “overcards”, a bet will often make you the winner of the pot. With these hands, we want a maximum of 2 opponents and preferably only one. QQ & JJ are hands that require experience to play properly.

Analyze your hand's strengths and weaknesses

If we get to see a cheap flop with, for instance, 89s, and we hit something that looks interesting at first, it is important to ask yourself a few questions before you let go:

  • Do I have a chance of flush?
  • Do I have the option of straight?
  • If so, is this open (i.e., can a card at both ends help)?
  • Are the 2 cards that allow me a straight over or lower card to my cards?
  • Can I be sure to have the best hand in case the right cards hit?

If you have a so-called “draw” to either a straight or flush, and you choose to follow it to the river, you will win (or at least hit your target) about 1/3 of the time.

This means that you should NOT pursue all the draws you get on the flop. Therefore, it is important to choose the “worst” draws. Here are some things you want to avoid at all costs:

You certainly don’t want to call a bet that’s the size of the pot (unless it’s not too big and many besides you are in); You don’t want to call a bet from the player sitting just to your right (you don’t know if there are any further re-raises behind you).

You should avoid chasing a so-called “ignorant” straight (the 2 cards in the flop that are higher than your 2), as you don’t want to hit a seemingly super card that gives another player a better straight; You don’t want to chase a straight or flush if there’s a pair in the flop, as your flush/straight card shouldn’t give another player a full house.

In other words, avoid “drawing dead”), in Sit & Go’s, as in all other variants. If you can weed out hands/draws that contain these elements, you will avoid situations where you hit what you were going for, but still, end up losing your hand.

Make reads on your opponents

If you keep a close eye on your opponents in the initial stages, this can make you the winner of the tournament. Most poker sites offer you the option to write down notes about your opponents – a feature you should use.

You should especially keep an eye out for players who show a propensity to go all-in; particularly careful players who only play their very best hands; And most importantly, look at your opponent’s hands at showdown.

Furthermore, you should note that you may be able to steal blinds from someone later in the tournament. Perhaps your collected information can reveal a bluff from an opposing player.

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Blinds 50/100 & 100/200

Levels 4 & 5.

In this phase of the tournament, you must find more advanced methods if you want to go all the way to the top. You’ll typically have less than the 1,000 chips you started with since you’ve played significantly more “tight” than your average opponent.

Of course, it cannot be ruled out that you have hit a good hand in the preliminary rounds (i.e. during the first 30 hands of the tournament), but it will be the exception.

Use your opponents' reading of you to "steal" their blinds

Now you will need the reads you have formed of your opponents in the initial stages of the game. At the same time, you can consider what reads your opponents may have of you. Experienced players may have the impression that you only play premium hands.

This means that they will tend to fold relatively strong hands when you exhibit strength. They fear great strength from us when we raise them, and they generally don’t feel like too much interaction with us. It makes it easy for us to steal blinds from them.

Conversely, you can very easily shoot yourself in the foot if you do not manage to adapt to the new situation that the larger blinds present you with. The worst is if you are finally awarded AA or KK, and all folds as soon as you look at your chips.

To avoid this situation, we need to loosen up our game a bit. The fact of the matter is that we are gradually forced to play more hands. If we don’t, blinds will eat up the sad remnants of our stack.

On the other hand, blinds are now so large, compared to the total amount of chips, that individual “blind steals” will work miracles for our stack. If we are in a good position (i.e. on the dealer button or just before it) and everyone before us has folded, we should try a steal – i.e. steal blinds from SB and BB.

Since we do not want to get a call, in principle we can steal with anything on hand, but it is clear that in the case of a call, we do not want to sit with a completely useless hand.

After some time, most people will be aware of what is going on. They’ll find that you’ve changed your style of play, and they’ll be more careful going forward when raising the pot from certain positions. Of course, this means that you will have to adjust your game further when you sense that the time is right.

Keep an eye on the patterns of your opponents' bets

Other players’ perception of you gives a sense of when a bet on your part commands the most respect from opponents. But just as you are interested in stealing blinds, you can expect the same from them. And you can likewise expect them to do it in the same situations as you would yourself.

What do you do if you have a strong feeling that an opposing player who raises from the button is just out to steal your blinds? You simply fold your cards and let them steal their blinds.

Of course, this only applies if you do not have a good hand. If you have a premium hand (AA, KK or QQ), the most sensible thing would probably be to call your opponent’s raise in the hope of setting a trap for him later.

Hands like 88 – JJ, AK and AQ should be followed by a raise or pre-flop. Unless one is under pressure due to high blinds, other hands should be folded in the vast majority of situations.

You don’t want to be squeezed into hands where others show aggression with mediocre cards in hand. This is simply not where you should win your pots. For those experienced players who want to try out the more advanced techniques, the following can be said:

If you have a strong feeling that a player is out to steal with an unqualified hand and you are not willing to let him, do it, there is only one thing to do: All in. For this to be described as a so-called “strong move”, the following criteria must be met:

  • Your assumption must be supported by previous reads.
  • Your read should describe the player in question as the sensible type who can fold even if he has already put money into the pot.
  • The opposing player in question should think of you as a solid player who doesn’t raise unless “it’s good enough”.
  • You have been reluctant lately at the table.
  • You have to be an experienced player. New players should never engage in what has just been described.

Even very experienced players should not often try this tactic. If it is attempted at the wrong time, it will probably be an unnecessary and not very elegant exit from a tournament.


An attempt to steal is called. What do you do?

A thief’s worst nightmare is being caught red-handed.


If you get a call from an otherwise reluctant player, you should be extremely careful. Fortunately, due to your late position, you have an advantage (you are last to bet after the flop has fallen), but if the flop is missed and your opponent “bets into the pot”, you should immediately fold your cards.

If you hit the top pair on the flop and your opponent checks, it will often be correct to move All in to protect the pot. However, this can become fatal. If your opponent sits with a high pair in his hand, you risk being lured into a trap. It takes a lot of training to see through high pairs in an opponent.

It will always be difficult to play your cards in this situation, and this is often how you get knocked out of a tournament. Most importantly, you try to learn to read your opponents. If you polish this ability sufficiently, you will eventually become better and better able to make the best decision in the situation.

Defend your blinds when you get odds for it

When you choose to raise a pot – whether it’s to steal or because you have a good hand – we suggest that you ALWAYS raise to at least 3 times the Big Blind. Regardless of the motive, the hands should always be played roughly the same.

Many inexperienced poker players make the mistake of preflop-raising a pot incorrectly. Sometimes they put so much money in the pot that only an absolute premium hand will get odds for a call.

Most often, however, stupidity consists of an excessively small raise. Raising to only 2 times BB is a real mortal sin in professional poker. Nevertheless, you will constantly experience this phenomenon at the tables, and in 99% of cases, it is the result of inexperience.

If you sit in BB and there are raises to 2 times BB, you will almost always get odds for a call. Roughly speaking, you need to win 1 in 4.5 times of these hands to get your money back. Poker is very much about math. That’s why you should read about poker math.

Thus, it can be defended to call with medium-strength hands, but it is important that you can fold again if the flop is not satisfactory. A raise of 3 times BB, on the other hand, places much higher demands on your cards, and you should fold the vast majority of your hands without blinking when this is the case.


We want to defend our blinds, but only if we get the correct odds for it.

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Level 6+ and "heads up"

The game is often limited to 2 or 3 players in levels 5-6. They are often the ones who have been able to keep a cool head and steal their share of opponents’ blinds.

Let your stack size determine your game

If you’re left as a small stack against a big stack, your only way out is extremely aggressive play. You might as well accept your fate and role as the “underdog” – and in poker, you are rarely bombarded with premium hands over a short period. So don’t expect that to happen now.

If you play conservatively in this situation, blinds will eat you up in a short amount of time. An arbitrary hand against any hand gives you a minimum chance of about 33%, and your opponent will certainly seek stronger odds now that he has enough chips to wait for the right hand.

In the meantime, you’ll steal his blinds with all you got — as well as hope that the margins are with you in the event of a call.

Blinds at this point are very high (minimum 150/300), and if you can steal a few of these, it will look much brighter. You will often be pressured to steal with your entire stack. Thus, your opponent will know that you have “committed” yourself to the pot, and therefore he must have a strong hand to call.

If you go out with a weak hand trying to fight back, don’t feel stupid. You are allowed to work with what you are assigned, and under no circumstances can you allow yourself to be picky.

If your mission succeeds and you eventually gain more stack, you can slow down a bit, but you must continue to be the aggressive one at the table for as long as you are smaller than your opponent.

Aggression should increase/decrease inversely proportionally to your stack size.

If we turn the situation upside down and you are a big stack against a small stack, completely different precautions must be taken. If your opponent plays well, he should adjust to “aggressive mode”. You should play fairly hesitantly in this situation. However, your game mustn’t become too tight. Your opponent is under pressure, and he will fight with all he got to get his hands on your blinds.

You must therefore look for hands where you dominate him. You often “just” need an ace for that. If you get one and he goes all in against you, you should consider a call. The higher the “kicker” (your second card), the more likely you should be to call. Any pair also qualifies for a call (or possibly, all in, depending on the situation).

If you end up in a heads-up situation against a tight player, your strongest weapon is to drive aggressively at him. He can’t survive the tall blinds for very long, and you should push him as hard as you possibly can.

If you have been paying attention throughout the game, you will have a good read on him even before the heads-up battle has started. A tight opponent’s heads-up is preferable to an aggressive one, as these can be incredibly difficult to play against. Therefore, we encourage you to generally play more aggressively during this late stage of the tournament.

General considerations in the final phase of the tournament

You feel on top after winning a big hand. Therefore, it is often an effective weapon to play aggressively immediately afterwards. Just like you’re upstairs, your opponent will feel bitter. Of course, you shouldn’t be (too) overconfident, but it’s powerful to be able to play on your opponent’s mood swings.

If you have just managed to fight back from a looming defeat, pay close attention to the change of pace of your opponent. There’s probably a reason why this one has come as far as yourself, and you should acknowledge that he probably knows what it’s all about.

If he starts playing aggressively, you should pull back a little and let him take control, hoping to catch him on a good hand. This will often decide the tournament in your favour, but if it does not succeed, he will quickly become bigger than you again, and you should once again take control of the game.


Finally, we will list some of the rules of thumb.

  • Remember that a Sit & Go tournament changes as blinds get bigger and the number of opponents decreases.

Level 1 – 3

  • Play tight
  • Don’t bluff
  • Stay away from calling all in preflop unless your hand is called AA or KK
  • Take notes on your opponents

Levels 4 & 5

  • Play even tighter than before
  • Steal blinds when the situation is right
  • Keep an eye on your stack size concerning blinds – how many times BB do you have?
  • Use your reads to sense if there is a possibility of bluffing, but be extremely careful
  • Stay in control despite pressure from blinds

Level 6+

  • Adapt to “aggressive mode”
  • Raise all hands as you participate in the pre-flop. Any exceptions AA or KK, but be wary
  • Set traps for your opponent(s)
  • Let your stack size determine your style of play
  • Bet on the psychological aspects

With this guide, we’ve tried to stick to general, solid poker without too many advanced strategies.

Many of you may be ready to try out more advanced strategies. We recommend that these are used in tournaments with higher buy-ins than this guide has covered.