Sit & Go Starting hands
Picking your starting hands might be the biggest change you need to do to your cash table strategy. Sit & Go are tournament poker and should be addressed as that. You cant afford to loose your chips so pick good starting hands.
When I pick what hands to play I go by what I want to call the relative value of the hands. The only really strong hand there is, is the pocket Aces. No one at the table can have a better starting hand than you do when you hold the pocket rockets! But after that things get more complicated. A lot comes down to what type of players I think that I am up against and also what position I have.
Sometimes you can get to see flops really cheap, because no one ever raises. In those occasions you sometimes can play some extra hands that you normally would lay down if someone come out betting. I am talking about hands like medium connectors and low suited connectors. What kind of hands you want to play and what fits you are very individual and I advocate a tight play. Go with the cards that are good enough and let the other ones go. If you play tight is very hard for your opponent to beat you, because when you are in the pot you have a reason for it!
Example hand 3. I want to tell you about a hand I misplayed. In a 9 handed game I was holding JJ in middle position. I raised but a bit to much. I choose to raise about 6 times the BB, which in this case was 200 (first a small mistake). I should have settled with a more normal 4 times BB or gone all in from the beginning. The player on the bottom raised me, putting in 450.
Here I have a tough decision. I do not know very much about this player. But would someone bluff this early risking about 1/3 of his chips? No probably not. And the analysis I should have made was to understand that the relative value of my JJ, when getting reraised in this way, dropped like a stone in water. I should have thought about it and then let my hand go.
Why? Well, the only hand that makes sense to do a play like that is with AA, KK or maybe AK. So I am hoping that I will play a 50/50 chance (the AK). What happened? I reraised him all-in (second mistake: huge!). I could have called to because the odds are laying me 3-1, but I choose the worst play of them all. Of course he called me holding AA and I was out of the tournament on the third hand. This hand is excellent example of that one of the strongest hands you can get sometimes are useless.
Specific Starting Hands for Sit & Go
When you play Sit & Go I advocate a tight play. Very tight! From an early position I say the power and premium hands below are playable, but you need to try to figure out how the other players are playing. If they are to tight you can steal blinds and get away with it. But for now we want to give you a set of starting hands.
Power hands are hands that you should play aggressively preflop. If you don't win with these hands its not your day and not much you can do about it. You always hope that you will be able to put all chips in before the flop with these hands. If someone raised before you I believe its time to move all-in. If you are first to act maybe a raise with 3-5 times BB and hope that you will get reraised and then move all-in.
First group (premium)
Second group (good)
When the table are getting fewer players you can probably loosen up a bit, but don’t forget your first goal is to get into the money. The second goal are to win the tournament. These hands are playable in late position or when the field of players are getting lower.
Third group (speculative, used against to tight or to loose opponents)