Make "Money" Playing Texas Holdem Sit-n-Go!
Texas Holdem is fun! Or is it?
So you wanna be a big time poker star! I am not one, but I have figured out a way to make a profit in 9-player Sit-n-Go tournaments! By "profit" I mean leaving the table with more money than you paid to enter the game! To do this consistently requires patience. Impatient players do not win at poker consistently. If you are willing to spend a lot more time folding than playing, you can leave the table in 3rd place or better more often than not! Only 3rd or better is required to make a profit on your buy-in and have made your time worth it.
Sit-n-Go Payout Rules
On Zynga Poker, which is available to users of social networking sites such as Facebook, Sit-n-Go tournaments start with nine players. The 3rd place player wins 20% of the total buy-in, 2nd place 30% and 1st place 50%. No "real money" is paid out by Zynga Poker, so it's a good place to practice and not risk your rent payment! (Which I would not suggest you do anyway!) Other sites have the same rules for 9-Player rooms, but they also have six and four player rooms with different pay-out rules. The methods I describe here are strictly for 9-Player Texas Holdem Sit-n-Go games and DO NOT apply to Shootouts or other poker games!
How to "not play" to win!
I'll assume you already know basically how Texas Holdem works. In Zynga Poker, the starting dealer is always to the left of the very bottom center seat. The first person in the room will take that seat, of course. Get the seat you can closest to the right of the dealer. You want a lot of hands to go by before you have to pay blinds and play at all!
Fold like you just washed a weeks worth of laundry!
Fold every hand you do not have to put money into! Especially when a game first starts, you do not want to waste your calls on the idiots that are going to go all-in or raise a lot before any cards ever show on the table! It's tempting to bet a lot when you have a pair or a couple of face cards, but save your coins! Right now your goal is not to loose more than trying to win! Keep folding the hands you can until all the idiots weed themselves out and leave the table! The only time you will call a LOW bet is if you have a really good starting hand and the bets are still low. When the first three cards come on the table and don't help your hand, then fold!
Remember, we just want to at least make it to 3rd place! You won't do that risking your coins when you don't have to! Be patient and let the eager players beat themselves off the table!
Eventually you will have to pay blinds, since you're still in because you finished folding all your laundry! On your large blind, check if no else has raised. You're already out the coins to pay the blind and checking is always free! If you have a good hand and no one raised a lot, go ahead and call. If some one bet a lot or went all-in then fold. If you stay in and still don't have a good hand after the first three cards come on the table fold! We're still trying to make it to 3rd place, so stay protective of your coins!
Last Call (and raise)!
Here is when you will prudently stay in a hand. After you have done everything above and you find yourself holding a good, winnable hand after the first three cards have come down, stay in! Hopefully you have a good three of a kind, a full house, a flush or a straight. A high two of a kind may be worth staying in for. One pair is a fold.. Have a good hand already there before you continue to stay in! Do not depend on one of the last two cards making your hand!! The chances are slim!
Poker Pitfalls To Avoid!
The biggest pitfalls to poker players are impatience and over-confidence. When you play very defensively like I do, you will fold more than play. Keep these tips in mind for any poker game:
Never go all-in just because you were dealt two aces! I've seen a lot of people go all-in holding two aces or other high cards. Two aces is still just ONE PAIR and will do nothing for you if a guy holding a 6 and a 9 gets a full house after all the cards are down!
Don't keep putting money into a losing hand! Maybe you stayed in and called when you should've folded.. If you see you're not likely to win, FOLD! Staying with a bad hand just cost you more coins.
Don't second guess yourself! You WILL see you have folded hands that you would've won had you stayed in. The chances of the wining cards coming down for you were slim and you made the right choice.. You'll get it back!
Don't get angry! Bad beats and mouthy players can cause you to make poor decisicions. Don't let it get to you! This is supposed to be fun, right?
Remember it is a game of chance! And although it is a game of chance, some commen sense and keeping in mind the odds can give you a better winning percentage! Still, don't take a bad loss hard!
NEVER GAMBLE YOUR BILL MONEY! If you try out a "real money" poker site, please only use recreational income to play poker! NEVER depend on winning at gambling for needed income!
I hope these tips will help you enjoy the game more!