6-Max vs. Full Ring SNGs
Six handed sit and gos tend to have more aggressive players than full ring sit and goes. The reason for this is that with fewer players, the range of hands players open pots with is wider. A six handed game should be treated as a constant battle to win chips. At the beginning of a six handed sit and go you should look to play aggressive, but, also look to stay under control. The way to do this is to play hands in position and avoid playing big pots with marginal hands. If you start to play more hands, you'll lose chips and diminish your chance of winning the sit and go.
Full ring games are more passive in nature, they are slowly built to be more and more aggressive as players bust out. A full ring game you should treat at the start like a multi table tournament. If you treat it like a multi table tournament and a slower grind, you'll have more success at the beginning. Also, you won't bleed chips off of your stack, and you'll have a better chance at advancing as every player busts out.
6-Max Sit and Gos
Six handed games are passive at first with slow blinds until one player busts out of the game. When that first player busts out of the game you should look to open your range of hands up more. Also, depending on the blinds and how big they are when the first player busts out, you should look to attack and pick up the blinds frequently. If you get labeled as an aggressive player early on in this game, it can help you later on as opposed to hurt you.
When sitting at a six handed game often times the player who opens the most pots is the player who will win the game. If you play too passive in this game you'll most likely get your money in flipping a coin and that's not the best way to go about it. The only thing to avoid is getting involved in big pots without big cards. If you play small ball poker, it will help you build up a stack and win pots with minimal risk. If you want to win in this game, then you shouldn't be risking your stack or life in the game right away. You should wait until there are three or four players left to start gambling with hands and applying the max amount of pressure.
Full Ring Sit and Gos
Full ring games are the slower version of six handed games. You should look to play passive and protect your stack at all costs early on. If you get involved too soon it will often mean a quick demise. Play pots carefully and less often in full ring games to start off. You should not look to stack up right away. If you are careful and play only big pairs and hands like AQ or AK, you'll have more success when playing this game.
You should begin to open your range up more after a few players have busted out of the game. What you want to do in the full ring game is establish a tight image. If you have a tight image when the blinds are small, then change gears and play aggressive when the blinds are big because this is the best strategy. The reason to play tight is because at the end of the game, you'll get credit when you decide to shove in with marginal hands. You'll force more folds at the end of games than you would have otherwise. You'll have to play marginal hands at the end of these in order to win, but, in order to get credit and win the pots you'll have to make the slow progression from tight and passive to aggressive maniac.
Most times to other players if you don't show hands down it will appear that you have caught a rush of cards and will make them feel good about folding away the small pocket pairs or ace rag type hands. If you are constantly playing pot after pot to start the game off, you won't get any credit for having hands and will probably get called off by weaker hands.
Once you are in the money in a six handed game this means you are playing heads up poker. With the blinds as big as they will be, the easy decisions of whether to shove or fold are left. If the blinds are still small, you can pick pots up by using the minimum raise. If you use the minimum raise, your goal is to win the pot before the flop without risking your stack. Also, it will allow you to see if your king high is indeed the best hand. If you shove with a weak hand like k5 or a Q10 and get called, you'll be behind and it could be a big mistake if the blinds are still relatively small.
Also, when using the minimum raise, if you have a big pocket pair it allows your opponent to shove over the top. If you were to simply shove in with a hand like aces or kings, it doesn't give the other player the option of a re-steal or re-shove.
If you have made the money in a full ring game you are three handed as opposed to heads up, and at this point it's shove or fold poker almost all the time. If you are on the button in a three handed game, you should be shoving hands like K9, QJ, an ace, and any pair. You should look to gamble at this point and build your stack to play heads up poker. If you choose to muck marginal hands where you should be shoving, it will most likely cost you the chance to play heads up and win the sit and go. If you are sitting in the blinds, calling with a hand like A7 to a shove is a relatively standard play depending on your reads of your opponents. In a full ring game, you'll have a better chance to see how your opponents play and a better opportunity to guess their range of hands simply because of the time these games will take.
Author: Jonathan Wanchalk
Updated: March 2015
Related Poker Articles