If you haven’t already done so, definitely read the following pages first (in the order listed below), as the information provided there is crucial for properly understanding this tournament strategy: starting-hands ranges and respective percentages for Texas Hold ’em, equity and expected value (EV) and many other fundamental concepts you’ll need to become a card shark in the shortest amount of time:
- Texas Hold ‘em (Cash Games)
- Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #1: Short-Stack Strategy (SSS)
- Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #2: Poker Betting Strategies
- Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #3: Big-Stack Strategy (BSS)
- Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #4: Deep-Stack Strategy (DSS)
- Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #5: Mid-Stack Strategy (MSS)
- Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy Article #6: Fixed-Limit Strategy (FLS)
Note: This page is is currently still under construction, but there is a lot of information provided below; please check back in a few days for the finalized version.
As a valued member of the Winner in a Week community, you will be notified via the poker-strategy blog or newsletter as soon as the respective strategy sub-pages per game type have been finalized. In the meantime, please also feel free to visit our YouTube channel for many other hidden treasures for increasing your bankroll.
Sit-and-Go Tournament Strategy: Brief Theoretical Overview
Sit-and-Go Tournament Strategy: Real-Time Sessions
General Strategic Considerations
General Notes for all No-Limit Starting Hands Charts
As always, keep the initiative and fold/fear equity on your side. “Pushing/Jamming” creates maximum fold-equity and nullifies post-flop skill differences (“edge”).
Note: the following recommendations are general guidelines for Texas Hold’em and must always be adjusted and sometimes markedly altered according to table conditions, the respective limit, effective stack-sizes, player profiling, respective positions at the table, etc.
SnG NL Full-Ring Tournaments: Open Raising Early Phase (35+BBs) Open-raise Size: 3-6BBs + 1 per limper
~SNG-Early Phase Starting Hands (total range from all positions): 22+, AJ+, KQ (10.68%, 1 in 9.4)
EP: QQ+, AK (2.6%) – some players just limp w/TT or JJ in EP, folding these hands to open-raises
MP: TT+, AK – some players limp all other pockets, folding these hands to open-raises
LP (CO, BU & Blinds): 77+, AJ+, KQ (8.45%)
EP: 3bet open-raiser only w/QQ+ (push directly against 2+ raisers only with KK+); cold-call w/TT/JJ/AK
MP: 3bet open-raiser w/TT+, AQ+
LP: 3bet/Cold-Call open-raiser (re-steals from the BU or blinds): player/stack-size dependent
3bet Raise Size = 3x open raise + 1 per cold-caller
4bet Push to a raise behind you or 3bet Push a large open-raise: only with QQ+, AK
4bet(5bet) Raise Size = your entire stack!
Tip: You can also “cold-call 15,” over-limp or 3bet IP w/pocket pairs and occasionally w/max-stretch suited connectors on relatively passive tables.
SnG NL Tournaments: Open Raising Middle Phase (~20-34BBs) Open-raise Size: ~2.5BBs + 1 per limper
Be careful of potential pushes behind you; when in doubt, push directly or fold!
EP: JJ+, AK
MP & LP: TT+, AQ+ (4.69%, 1 in 23.3), fold TT/AQ to any raises before you
3bet direct push against 1 open raiser: JJ+, AK (consider folding JJ/QQ/AK to 2+ raisers)
SnG NL Tournaments: Push/Fold Late Phase
See ICM-based push/fold/call-push charts when you or all players behind have =<13BBs (15BBs)
~SNG-Late Phase: 22+, A8+, K9+, QT+ (20.41%, 1 in 5) … but this range can be up to 100% depending on the respective stack sizes, positions and players.
-EV pushes when very small-stacked should be considered in certain situations
Note: Adjust your push/call-push ranges according to your opponents (especially if they’re not pushing/calling the “Nash ranges.”)
Heads-Up Starting Hands Recommendations
Starting-Hands Recommendations (“Ranges”)
Full-Ring Texas Holdem Starting Hands Recommendations
6-Max Starting Hands Recommendations
Full-Ring No-Limit Texas Hold ’em Cash Games
Your hand is listed in the starting-hand ranges below per position. That means that if you check the hole cards you’re dealt from early position (EP), middle position (MP), late position (LP) or the blinds and you don’t see a hand on that list, in general, you fold. The percentage listed after the range indicates the amount of all possible Texas Hold ‘em hands that range comprises (Ex.: JJ or better, and AK comprise 3.02% of all possible Holdem hands).
Note: The following recommendations are general guidelines for playing a small-stack strategy at full-ring no-limit Texas Holdem cash-game tables and must always be adjusted and sometimes markedly altered according to table conditions, the respective limit, effective stack-sizes, player profiling, respective positions at the table, etc. If you would like ALL the details on starting hands for Texas hold ’em cash games, including 6-max and heads-up games, click the button below.
Big-Stack Strategy (~80+ BBs) “Tighter” Starting-Hands Ranges
“Broadway” in the ranges below means ATs+, KTs+, QTs+, JTs = AT, AJ, AQ, AK, KT, KJ, KQ, QT, QJ, JT of the same suite.
Early Position (EP = UTG, UTG+1, UTG+2): TT+, AQ+ (4.68%)
Middle Position (MP = UTG+3, UTG+4, UTG+5): 77+, AJ+, KQo+, suited broadway (10.3%)
CO: 55+, broadway, A9+, A7s+, J9s+, 78s+ (19.6%); 2.5-3.5 BBs “steal”: o-Raise CO, BU, SB
BU: 22+, broadway, A2+, K9+, Q8s+, T8+, 98+, 54s+, 64s+ (36.3%); tighten vs. aggressive re-stealers
SB: 22+, broadway, A9+, A2s+, K9s, Q9s, T8s+, 54s+ (24.3%); BU range adjusted to Villain’s style and aggression from the BB in “blind-battles.”
(Generally) 3bet all open raises with JJ+, AK (3.02%); adjust markedly for a 3bet or SQZ vs. steals!
(Generally) raise all limpers when you are in later(er) position with: TT+, AQ+, AJs (5%)
Over-Limp and (sometimes) Cold-Call or make an isolation raise (when in doubt, raise/fold!) in LP with: TT-22, ATs-A2s, suited broadway, 64s+, 54s+ (11.9%). See below for the speculative details.
3bet raise size = 2.5-3x open raise + 1 per cold-caller (i.e., “flat caller”)
4bet(5bet) raise size = 3x 3bet(4bet) + 1 per 3bet(4bet) caller (OFTEN A DIRECT PUSH!)
See poker-strategy blog and of course in the Essential Poker Knowledge videos for additional details and clarification on the following content.
Strategy Recap and What’s to Come for Our Members
Although the strategies for SnG tournaments are not as complex as play in large MTTs, SnG strategies are also dependent on the phase of the tournament, the players at your table and the respective stack sizes.
Other Useful Tools for Maximizing Your Profit
Poker Tracking and Equity Analysis Software for Online Play
Holdem Manager (My personal favorite online poker-tracking software for Texas Hold ’em)
Omaha Manager (My personal favorite online poker-tracking software for Omaha)
Sit-and-Go Wizard (a must-have for all serious SnG players and very useful for MTT pros)