Super Turbo Sit and Go (SNG) Poker Strategy
Super turbo SNGs (also known as Hyper Turbo SNGs on PokerStars) offer players an extremely fast paced arena to battle against their opponents. The precise structure differs depending on which site you are playing on but the blinds increase very quickly on all sites and you will be playing short stack poker in the majority of hands, so correct super turbo SNG strategy remains similar for all sites.
Super Turbo SNG Strategy
If you normally like to stay on the tighter side of recommended poker strategy then you will need to get out of your nitty habits quickly to do well in super turbo SNGs. With the exception of the very first round of blinds you will normally need to play extremely aggressively, incorporating a lot of all-ins into your play.
You may have heard the term ‘push/fold strategy’ before. It usually applies to situations where you are short stacked and since you are short stacked most of the time in super turbo’s it is important you understand it. It is a strategy where you either push all-in or fold and it is often a good strategy in super turbo’s. Precise ranges for shoving and calling shoves vary depending on the situation and your opponents.
Tip: Using ICM tools such as SNG Wizard will help you practice your push/fold game and will help get you to a level where you don’t have to guess what the right play is, you will just know it.
Whether to push or fold shouldn’t be the only decision you have to make in super turbo’s though. You will find opponents with tendencies that suggest other plays (such as limping into an aggressive player with a premium hand), and occasionally you will get semi-deep with someone early on after several all-ins.
Super turbo means super high variance?
Variance is certainly larger in super turbo SNGs. There is less room for manoeuvring and clever plays so luck plays a big role in the short term. The edge a good player can achieve is smaller which increases the variance. This means you will need a larger bankroll to start playing super turbo SNGs. Check out our article on poker bankroll management for more information on bankroll management.
Where does your profit come from?
In super turbo SNGs your edge (your ROI) will be small so your profit will come from putting in some pretty sick volume. Professional super turbo SNG players play more tournaments than anyone.
Multi-tabling super turbo SNGs
Due to the smaller edge that it is possible to obtain in super turbo’s you will need to play a lot of them and multi-tabling is almost a necessity. Because they play so much faster than normal tournaments though, you may not need to play as many tables at once as you normally do. Before you fire up a set of the same number of tables you usually play, you may wish to consider the increased speed and reduced thinking time that super turbo SNGs offer. The increased speed can be a bit overwhelming at first so it’s a good idea to start with half your usual number of tables and build up from there if necessary.
Taking notes and colour coding your opponents
At one end of the scale you will find some recreational players that treat super turbo’s like a total crap shoot and make no attempt to learn good super turbo SNG strategy. They are there to have a few minutes of fun for a fixed price and every now and then they will win some money which will keep them coming back for more.
You will also find many somewhat competent players that seem half decent but are clearly used to a different type of poker and do not fully understand ICM. Then at the other end of the scale you will find some very competent players that play super turbo SNGs regularly and successfully.
Colour code each of these groups (you may separate them even further into more groups) and you will be able to table select much better. Edges are small so if you notice a tournament lobby with several decent players it will be hard to turn a profit in that game.
You should also take notes that will assist you in making decisions while playing. For example these notes might include notes on players who call shoves too loosely when ICM dictates that they should fold, enabling you to adjust your range accordingly.
Super turbo SNG strategy summary
With a few exceptions (like the first round of super turbo SNGs on iPoker where you start with 1500 and the blinds are at 10/20) you will be playing extremely short most of the time. Edges are small so knowledge of good push/fold strategy and ICM is the key to conquering this high octane variation of poker.