Poker How To Articles


Double or Nothing Sit and Go Poker Strategy Part I: Picking Stakes and Running the Percentages

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
By Tino11
PS Members

I have been looking around the poker forums for some strategy articles and ideas on Double or Nothing (DoN) Sit and Go (SNG) games and have found precious little. DoN tournaments have been around for some time now and yet there is still little out there by way of strategy in succeeding in these games.

One article I read basically said play ultra tight, hit a monster, get paid, then fold to a place. Thats all well and good so long as you hit that monster [AA,KK] but what if you dont? You are then going to be in severe danger of blinding out unless you do something to avoid it.

I first started playing DoN's on Ladbrokes, one of the top UK poker rooms. I found them to be very profitable up to and including the $5 games. I built a nice bankroll there just from playing DoN games. I withdrew cash to fund all sorts of sports betting and some new household appliances when they were needed. So you can deduce from that information that my winnings were pretty decent. I turned away from the DoN scene to start playing more MTT games. Just recently my game has been in transition as I have been 'leveling' and the result of that has seen my return to the DoN games that I used to love so much.

What Level of Double or Nothing to Start Playing and Value of Tracking Software

I was playing the $1 games to start, but they were just massive all in fests most of the time, so I moved up to the $2 games and found a game that resembles poker. But still there is so little strategy out there, so I have been working hard at building my own. I think I have come to a point where I have found my optimal strategy for this level, or thereabouts. Cashing in 10 consecutive games makes me think I must be doing something right. So I shall aim to share that with anyone who cares to read this.

I am using some tracking software so that I can see what I am doing and when and with who. The DoN scene on the Merge Gaming Network has a good regular crowd who all have their own methods of playing. The stats I consider to be most important in following are VPIP (voluntary put in pot, meaning cash you add to the pot), PFR (pre flop raise, self explanatory I think),] and AF (aggression factor).

I am currently playing 17% VPIP, 12% PFR, and 6.9% AF. This means I am playing 17% of all hands, which equates to a hand range of 66+, A5s+, K9s+, Q9s+, JTs, ATo+ and KTo+. Of those hands I am raising 12% of them preflop, which again equates to a hand range of, 77+, A9s+, KTs+, QTs+, JTs, ATo and KQo. My aggression factor is high by most accounts, but I find at this level aggression works. AF is worked out by the number of bets, raises and calls you make on any given street. My high AF would indicate that I make too many bluffs, or indeed a high number of bluffs. I find this works for me because of the table image I am trying to build. If I go into a hand, it is usually by betting, raising, or re-raising. I don't limp very often as it achieves nothing at this level.

Interpreting Tracking Stats and Creating a Strategy for Double or Nothing Games

Once I have an idea of my opponents and some decent notes, added to the stats, I can then look further into what I am doing to win hands. I look at what my opponent's continuation betting (cbet) percentage is and also 3-betting percentage. Again, it gives me an idea of their ranges. This might be considered too advanced for this level, but I have found those stats a great deal of help. Someone who folds to a continuation bet 100% of the time is an obvious target for me to cbet.

If I did not pay attention to those stats, or did not have them, I would not be playing the way I am. So to me they serve a very good purpose. If I find players folding to 3 bets too often, again I will target them and 3 bet more frequently against them. I am currently cbetting 68% of the time, maybe considered high, but it's effective and is helping achieve results. Finally, I am looking at player stats and playing the person's tendencies more than the cards. I am getting better ideas of the range of hands they play (courtesy of Poker Stove) which can be crucial around bubble time if you happen to be short stacked, or in a precarious situation.

So that's what I have so far. I shall be continuing with this approach paying close attention to the results it brings. But I think I might just have got it about right for my style of play at this level. The aim should be to build my bankroll in order to move up levels as I go. I shall try and update this strategy as it develops.

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