How to Win Turbo SNGs
There are a couple of advantages to playing Turbo Sit ‘N Goes. The first advantage is that the rake is less than regular Sit ‘N Goes. For example, a $20 SNG usually has a rake of $2 (10%), but a $25 turbo SNG will still have a rake of $2 (8%). Of course, you’re also playing for a larger prize pool since everyone is kicking in $25 instead of $20.
Another advantage to turbo SNGs is that they usually take half the time that a regular SNG takes so you can play more of them an hour. Once you combine the lower rake, higher prize pool and increased number of games; it’s easy to see why some people choose to specialize in turbo SNGs.
However, turbo SNGs aren’t without risks. The turbo format gives you less time to accumulate chips and reduces your edge if you’re a solid post-flop player. The variance can be high in turbo SNGs, but here’s how to win them.
Start Off Tight
Many new players use the turbo format as an excuse to go crazy out of the gate. These players won’t make any money. You still have to play tight when the blinds are low. Your range should be something like this:
Early: TT+, AK (maybe AQs)
Middle: 88+, AQs+, AK
Late: 55+, ATs+, AJ+
Button: 22+, JT+ A2s+, AT+
As you can see, your range opens up considerably as you move closer to the button. When you’re not the first person in the pot, the gap concept applies.
I would, however, fold the bottom of my range on the button when the blinds are low so you can cultivate a tight image so your steals will be taken seriously when the blinds are high.
Loosen Up When the Blinds Get High
Once the blinds get to 100/200, they’ll probably be a significant portion of your stack. This is the point where your SNG becomes a pre-flop game. If a player raises and you think you have the best hand, you should usually shove over them rather than call. The blinds are accelerating fast and players are under pressure to accumulate chips. You’ll often get a call from inferior hands.
Steal, Re-Steal and Steal Some More
Steal with a wide range of hands when you’re in late position and the action folds to you. The closer you are to the button, the less of a hand you need to steal. You should usually go all-in rather than raise when the blinds are high to prevent your opponents from re-stealing. Become familiar with the Independent Chip Model to determine what your stack size has to be to make a shove profitable.
When you’re in the big blind and someone makes a steal attempt, re-steal with your decent poker hands. You can even re-steal with less if your opponent has shown he’s willing to fold.
ICM and Nash Are Your Friends
Learn the Independent Chip Model so you know when you can profitably shove a hand. The Nash Shove/Call charts will help you when you get heads up since the blinds will be so large that you’ll have to push or fold.
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Turbo SNGs are mathematical games. You have to exploit every edge to build your stack quickly and take them down. Just remember that normal SNG rules apply. Don’t get too crazy early, but be willing to shove wide when the blinds are high.