Sit&Go: First Levels

Sit & Go: The Game

Once paid the buy-in, i sit and chips are dealt, usually 1,500. The number of participants in the full ring table is 9 or 10 players for the purpose of strategy is not a relevant fact BUT the game is divided into blind levels, which are gradually increasing in each phase. Each blind level lasts a certain time, and precisely the time of each level is a very important issue that we must adjust depending on our game. We consider that there are two types of S '&' G in relation to what is each stage of the game.

1. - Tournament Express: Duration of each level: 6 minutes.
2. - Normal Tournament: Duration of each level: 10 minutes.

First Run
Level 10/20
Level 15/30

In these first two levels of the blind bets are very low in relation to the initial stack (1,500 chips) so the game is very loose and everyone gets into the game. For practical purposes the game becomes crossfire between the characters that come to flop in the hope of hitting some kind of play. There are always a couple of characters who are in a hurry to double-up or leave. Let them play.

First important concept: In each hand that is played, there is a chance that someone gets eliminated.

In No Limit Hold'em hands are not trivial. Every time you put money on the table are risking your money. Make no mistake.

The game in the first two levels should be ultra-tight. Try to steal a pot if you have the position and ALWAYS with a hand. Remember what was said, every time you put money into the pot, at this stage of S'n'G is very likely that you find one or two maniacs, and we must avoid playing against them at all costs, unless, of course, you have a "premium" hand: AA, KK, QQ or AK. If you have time to track down the maniac/s try to isolate them when you have a good hand don’t be afraid to play him, because playing safe hands much lower level, you should keep in mind that if you play in leagues the flop and you have the position are at a disadvantage against the maniac. The particularity of these players is that they can play a flop with any two cards. So beware!

Second important concept: Avoid at all costs make difficult decisions in the first levels. Our goal in this game is to win, but to win you first have to reach the Heads up.

The money from the maniacs and the rookies is considered "dead money" because sooner or later someone will take them out of the table, but of course there is the issue here, that money you should try to take it with you, because if you don’t it will fall in the wrong hands, the friend becomes "chip leader" (the one with the most chips at the table) and little to know what is going to acquire a considerable advantage with the rest of the players at the table . If the S'n'G is "express" this fact is not so important because as the blinds go so fast he will not have time to exploit its advantage, he will not be able to pressure anyone because then people just go out of chips and start to play desperate. Anyway don’t become obsessed in catching the maniac. What you have to do, is to check him down and trap him in the best opportunity.

Specific hands

As the blinds are low and there is many people on the flop, is the ideal time to play minor projects and pairs and of course the "premium” cards.

The cards must be suited and connected, ATTENTION! connected. You don’t need them to be consecutive BUT they are connected but have 4 intervals (gap) Ex: (8cor-4cor). Never play cards with negative "expected value", meaning that we will lose more money than we earn. Cards should be connected (with a maximum of 4 intervals) and suited. Remember that each time you bet in NL potentially you're playing your whole stack. If played correctly, choosing the hands with which we are going into the game will avoid being in problems and in this case unnecessarily.

The key to these levels is to play less and avoid problems

An important aspect is that you ALWAYS play in position with minimal investment. NEVER play them from the beginning of the table (early position) or half board (medium position). With these cards we can try to steal the pot if the setting is right, that is, no one bet before you and you’re playing in late position.
The limit to play these cards is the last position of the average table, i.e. UTG +5. This position can be considered as late position to play this type of cards.

How to play


Strait draws must ALWAYS be open, meaning that we can connect the two sides. Ex: 7-6 on a flop of 4-5-K. We have option to complete the sequence with an 8 or a 3. The two cards (8 outs) give us higher possibility to achieve our goal.
Avoid inside straight draws and especially the “idiot Strait”, a low end trait, because if we connect it, our opponent is very likely to have the higher nuts. Ex: 7-6 on a flop of 7-8-9. We have attached below playing with 8 outs again, we can connect to the 5 and 10, BUT if we connect with 10 texture of the table is as follows: 7-8-9-10, so any player that has a Jack will beat you.

Options when we connect our project with the flop:

If we open ourselves the betting round, we must make a strong bet to give the chance to win the pot right then: 3/4 pot or the pot. If they see us because we play with the advantage of position we can get a free card on the turn and reach the river without betting a dollar more.

If we open the betting round and one player remains behind to make us re-raise, we should expect to talk us to calculate the odds, with the aggravating circumstance that our opponent is VERY LIKELY going to bet on the turn, so that the best option is to throw the cards (fold) unless you have very favorable odds.

If they open the betting round before me, I weigh the odds and implied odds above. How many people do you think you going to call to make that bet? If we play from late position and we are the last player to act the action ends there, but if there is any player behind us, we must weigh the possibility that the last player can re-raise putting us in the middle of a war, this is known as squeeze, so that one push and shove other we will see probably will be all-in, but with odds against for sure, and what is more important: NOT at the appropriate time. Once again the importance of the position is in the decisions to be taken.


Under 99 are considered minor pairs, pairs from 99 to JJ middle pairs and JJ QQ, KK and AA high pairs.

Minor / medium pairs

Options when we connect our minor pairs on the flop:

- We have a trio (set). We have an important play because our trio is lower, but is well disguised. BEWARE, important move I said, I said we have a monster move (monster). The only excuse for slow play is an uncoordinated and tricolor flop. If there is no possibility of straight or flush. Ex: We have 2c-2d on a flop of 2h -9c-Ad. If a dangerous flop comes DO NOT HESITATE to hit hard. The probability of someone having project is very high. How much? 3/4 pot, the pot or even exceed the pot. Do not be surprised if your opponent makes you re-raise, then you put him all in and pick the chips ($).

Options when we DON’T connect our pairs on the flop:

- Play with a lower pair offers other possibilities that the project, although we have not connected, we can play as the first choice of the project. Bet, and if we do not win the pot immediately check on the turn (free card) unless we are connected, in that case we must make a bet on the amount of the pot and the river more of the same.

Big Cards (Premium)

These are the cards that we all want to play forever: AA, KK, QQ and AK. They are the best cards but still have to be adapted at the time of the game.



From early position and from middle position we need to adjust the amount to bet depending on the stage of the game. We can not be guided by the reference system x Big Blinds, because the blinds are very small relative to the stack of players in the game now. If anyone posted before, over 150 chips are enough to narrow the field. BUT if you have a bet before you the raise amount will depend on the number of players who have entered the pot, i.e. is not the same "to frighten" two, three, four or more players once they have entered into the pot.
A pair of aces is the strongest combination of hole cards in Hold'em, but still, two players who see the flop and get to the showdown, they will beat you 40% of the times. What does this mean? Well, if you play with best hand there is no reason for you to relax in your bets. We must narrow the field. Generally less than 250 chips from late with half players in the pot is wrong, in late position i can go further along in this by betting a little less, without losing sight of the people inside the pot Remember that we just started the tournament, people have many tabs and you will surely have a couple of maniacs at the table. This is our chance to get their chips.
Make just call from early and meddle position is also a good move if the table is aggressive and we have many chances that someone makes a raise. If this happens, the opponent is already ours, All-in. BUT as one who does not raise must be ready to take your pair of aces to the dustbin.


90% of the time you have to bet 3/4 pot or the pot. And the remaining 10%?
The remaining 10% do not gamble or bet considerably less because there’s a dangerous flop.

Hazardous Flops:

- The flop that includes pair of 10-10 or more. Type: 2-10-10. People think is a good good idea to call a raise with A-10 suited, and even A-9 and A-8, What the hell! People even seem to think is a good idea to call a raise with Ax suited. Be the "x" whatever card. BUT for all practical purposes we will believe they are not suicidal and that at least they play with A-8. If the character is a looser we can consider dangerous flop pairs from 8 and up.
- The flop includes 3 semi-coordinated or coordinated cards over 10 (inclusive). Type: 10-J-Q or 10-J-K
- The flop is monochrome. Type: 8d-2d-Jd and we have the ace of diamonds.
- In general, the texture of the flop brings any combination with the cards that we think our opponent has.

A dangerous flop against two players becomes VERY dangerous, and against even more players is suicide. Again, the important of raises to narrow the field on pre-flop betting rounds. We must isolate one or at most two players. We must think seriously about folding our aces in a dangerous flop against two (or more) players.


If the flop is not dangerous to bet the pot. There is no turning back.


All in



Same as pair of aces.


Basically the same, unless the dangerous flops expand. This new type is added: A-x-x.

Turn and River

Same as AA.



Same pair of aces.


Basically the same, except that expand more dangerous flops. This new type is added: K-x-x. BUT it has a special flop. People often play A-x but not K-x, except AK. Then we have more assurances of victory with this type of flop than with the other.

Turn and River

Same as AA.



Like aces except for the play of all-in.


If we have connected bet 3/4 of pot or the pot BUT if we have not connected bet half the pot. If we get raised abandon the cards. No excuses.


If we connect bet the pot and if we still do not connect more than playing against a player check-fold out of position. Our real opportunity has been the flop bet and if we have been called, is because they have something. If we play with position check will get a free card. But if we are in head-up and believe that our opponent did call on the flop because he had a project and wanted to see the next card you can bet strong, though not recommended (now). Still time to leave and we have enough chips to remake.


If we get our hand made, all-in. If we come to a free card and we believe that the river card has not helped our opponent, you can make a proof bet, i.e. 1/4 of the pot. Enough to go to showdown if you have nothing and not much money to throw the cards if you get raised. Amazingly, it works. Of course in these levels.

By Juan Carreno


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