Turbo Sit n Go Tournament Strategy
Turbo Sit n Gos featuring a maximum of only six players have become very popular among a certain segment of online poker players. The quick pace of the game and higher level of action with escalating blinds every three minutes makes this style of poker quite fun–and profitable–if you can adhere to a winning strategy.
There are several factors you should keep in mind when attempting to be successful at the short table Sit n Gos.
It has been said that the skill level in turbo Sit n Gos is reduced because of the ever-increasing blinds, leaving much of the outcome to luck. This statement is true to some degree, but solid poker skills of learning the playing styles of your opponents and adjusting your game to those styles, as well as knowing when to shove all-in or fold will still win out over the luck element involved.
Some tips to remember while playing turbo Sit n Gos include playing tight in the early stages. No need in overdoing it when the blinds are 10/20 or 20/40.
Starting Hand Selection
There is a distinct advantage to waiting for premium hands at the beginning of a turbo Sit n Go while other players may proceed to knock each other out. Your starting hand selection should be somewhat typical of a regular Sit n Go, looking for high pairs and A-K, A-Q, and the like.
Some players tend to come out of the gate extremely aggressive, hoping to double up and set the tone for a dominant, aggressive style throughout the tourney. It’s best to hang back and sit tight until the blinds get a little larger. Unless, of course, you receive excellent hands early in the contest. Then, by all means, take advantage and bet and raise accordingly.
Building up a chip stack is crucial at any stage of the tournament, and if your hole cards are favorable in the early going, all the better. Just don’t widen your range of playable hands until the tourney progresses.
Open Up Your Hand Range
Toward the middle stages, you can start expanding your starting hand selection to include mid-level pairs and high card combinations slightly less than the favorable A-K. As the time and blinds will be rapidly increasing, hands such as K-J and K-10 pick up more value.
Take Advantage of Your Reads
By now you should be getting a good idea of the looseness and styles of your table rivals. You should also be cognizant of stealing the blinds of your opponents while you are in the later positions based on the strength of your hands and the perceived passivity of your opponents sitting in the blinds.
Remember that with blinds going up every three minutes, waiting for a monster hand is not an option as it is in a multi-table tournament or even a non-turbo Sit n Go, for that matter.
The stack sizes of your opponents, as well as your own, should always be a factor in any decisions you are confronted with from the middle stages to the late stages.
Remember those short-stacked players are often desperate and will often defend steal attempts of their blinds so as not to get knocked out of the tourney by having their blinds stolen without giving it a shot regardless of the hole cards that they may be holding. This strategy is not to say you shouldn’t try steal attempts against small stacks while you have the position. You definitely should. But as the tournament progresses, don’t be surprised to get called by your big blind opponent with an extremely wide range of hands.
Stealing blinds becomes a huge part of turbo Sit n Goes from the middle stages on through the tail end of the tournament. A well-timed steal will increase your chip stack significantly. These stages are not the time to be passive unless your cards are so bad that your odds of winning the hand are incredibly low.
In the latter stages of the tourney, your hand selection has to be reduced even more. With time running out, you will often be confronted with all-in situations with hands that you normally would not play if the tourney were not running on a turbo pace.
Being in an all-in situation is why some believe that skill gives way to luck at this point, as you are forced by the speed and time constraints of the event to get involved in a do-or-die situation with somewhat less than a premium hand. However, keep in mind that your opponent who has forced your hand is playing under the same rules and may also not have the strongest hand at that stage of the tournament as well.
When you are faced with a decision of waiting for a better hand or shoving all your chips in the pot toward the end of the tournament, the general rule in turbo Sit n Gos is that it’s more often than not better to push all-in than waiting. You could be waiting in vain for a hand that never comes.
You don’t want to get blinded out of the tournament without putting up a fight. Of course, it’s often better to be the aggressor and to be the player acting first to get all your chips in the pot because you have the initiative and can sometimes use the chance of your opponent folding or fold equity to your advantage.
In the latter stages of a turbo Sit n Goes, to give yourself the best chance at winning instead of fading into third place and out of the money, aggression is often the most profitable choice to make.
In conclusion, play tight from the outset, gradually lower your starting hand requirements as the tournament advances, identify the styles and tendencies of your opponents. Lastly, keep an eye on chip stacks, be aware of opportunities to steal blinds, and don’t be afraid to go all-in toward the end when you have a hand that gives you a good likelihood of winning.
Due to the fast-paced nature of the tournament, this is the best strategy to employ in 6-man turbo Sit n Gos.
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