Poker Strategy – Heads Up Play In Sit And Go Tournaments

Sit and Go Poker Strategy Guide – Heads Up Poker Strategy

While many glamorize heads-up no limit hold’em poker as the ultimate test of skill
the truth is that in a sit and go tournament
heads-up play is usually the simplest and most mathematical poker you can play. The reason for this that usually the stacks are small enough – fifteen big blinds or so – that the only correct poker plays are pushing all-in or folding. Because of this reality of short stack poker
many of your opponents will make big mistakes
so you can still come out ahead in the long run.

The Button or Small Blind

On the button in a standard heads-up poker match you are first to act preflop and only have to post the smaller blind. In a short stack situation it is actually something of an advantage to act first
and of course it is better to have the poker privilege of putting less money in the pot without looking at your cards. The correct play here is usually to to push all-in most of the time
folding your worst poker hands. With any ace
any pair
and any two face cards
you should push in against all opponents with fifteen times the big blind or less. With twelve big blinds you can add hands like king-medium and suited connectors. With ten or less you should push any face card in addition to these hands. And with eight big blinds or less you should push with any two cards. Some may say this is not “real poker” It seems like you might be risking too much to win too little
but the reality is that you usually will have a 35-40% chance to win when called even when pushing with a truly trashy hand
and it is the correct poker strategy. You aren’t “risking your whole stack” when you push
but simply risking playing a pot as an underdog
which will usually only cost you one or two big blinds in expectation while you win 1.5 if you push and win the blinds. Naturally
if you know your opponent is a chronic caller with bad poker hands
you might choose to fold some of the worst hands when your stack is large
but don’t take this too far. With many of these hands
you could show your cards to your opponent and pushing would still be highly profitable poker strategy.

The Big Blind

In the big blind you will often be facing an all-in push from your opponent. Your decision whether to call should be based on what range of hands you think they are pushing
and like all poker strategy
the odds the pot is offering you to call. Quite simply if you are getting 2 to 1 or better pot odds you should always call
and you should just about always call getting 1.5 to 1 or better. There are just few very hands that have you in a poker situation where you aren’t going to win at least 30-40% of the time. Above 1.5 to 1 pot odds or so it depends more on your opponents poker hand range. For example if an opponent pushes ten big blinds into you
you will be getting 11 to 9 on your call
meaning you need to win 45% of the time to profit. At this level of pot odds a good default range to call with is any ace
king ten or better
queen jack suited
and any pair. But if your opponent is an extremely aggressive poker player
pushing nearly every hand
you can add more marginal calling hands like the weaker kings and suited face cards. And if your opponent is the type to limp preflop unless he picks up a monster
you should of course be folding without a large pair or ace yourself.

Against Players that Limp on the Button

Many players will limp in on the button. This is usually bad poker strategy
but you still need to react correctly against it. Usually you should respond by pushing. Push a range similar to what you would push on the button in this situation. Usually an opponent will limp with slightly better than average poker hands
but this is offset by the fact that there is more money in the pot as they have added another half a bet With trash hands
check and take a flop. One
common poker mistake many players make from here is checking too many flops in this situation when they miss. The type of player to limp on the button is usually not very aggressive
and you can steal a lot of pots with small bets. A good poker strategy is to make a minimum bet (half the pot here) each time you hit the flop
plus on about half the flops that you miss. This bluff doesn’t cost much
but against most opponents who will automatically fold if they miss the flop
can be very effective.

Most sit and go strategy is complex enough that a simple guide like this one will only provide the fundamentals
but for heads up play with small stacks
nearly everything you need to know is right here. Remember
the most common mistake made is folding too much
followed by limping on the button. Your opponents may constantly seem to be getting the better of the luck in the all-in showdowns
but play aggressive poker and you will win more than you will lose in the end.

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