How to Spot Regulars

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The one thing standing between you, the sit and go grinder, and winning nearly every tournament is another sit and go grinder. A regular, or “reg,” as we like to call them. We want to show you how to spot regulars – and with relative ease, too.

Regs create problems for us because they understand the game we’re playing. They know about ICM, ranges, basic strategy, etc. So they know what they’re doing. Worse yet, they often know what you’re going to do.

There are multiple strategies for how to deal with regs. But that’s not what I want to talk about now.

What I want to talk about now is how to spot regs. Because the sooner you know who’s who, the faster you can adjust your strategy, and the less often you’ll get caught with your pants down trying to shove 92o blind vs blind.

That’s kind of embarrassing.

7 Ways on How to Spot Regulars at the SnG Tables

VIP Status

This isn’t possible on every poker site. Not every site will show the VIP level of their players.

But some (like PokerStars) do.

The sites that do often give players the ability to remove the symbol from their screen name, but for some reason many regs don’t. Maybe it’s bragging rights. I don’t know, but it’s a quick way to determine if a player is competent or not.

Take a PokerStars player, for example. If I see someone with GoldStar and above (watch out for those SuperNova’s!) status, I know how much they have to play to earn that. Especially as a regular in my games. So I can immediately label them as a regular player.

Does that mean they’re a “good” regular player?

No. Absolutely not.

But it gives you something to go off of.


One of the first things you should do when a game loads is check everyone out. If you already have stats or notes on them, read those real quick. Determine who is who.

However, if there are players unaccounted for, you’ll want to SharkScope them. SharkScope is a database for tournament and sit and go players. It keeps track of what games players play, the buy-ins they play, how much they’ve won and so on.

This information is priceless to you. So use it. You’ll quickly figure out who is good and who isn’t.

SharkScope gives you 5 free searches everyday. However, I think it’s worth the $10 to pickup 200 searches. You can also pay them monthly for (more) searches.

HUD Stats

If you already have stats on a player, but have yet to label them a reg, then do so. Once you have 500+ hands on someone, that’s enough history to deem this player a regular, even if they only play a few games each night.

How They Play Their Hands

How players play their hands can be a big tell, too. If you see someone limping aces to trap at 10/20, going all in with AK or 3-betting with a pair of 99s, then you can assume this player isn’t a reg. At least not a reg worth noting.

Forum Screen Names

If you participate in a forum you might very well come across a few familiar names. Many players use the same handle in forums that they do for their screen names.

Are They Multi-Tabling?

Another way to spot regs is to see if they’re multi-tabling. Sites like PokerStars makes this simple. All you need to do is right-click on the players name and click Find This Player. It will bring up a list of all the tables they’re on. If your opponent is playing more than, say, 6-8 tables, I would consider them competent at the very least, and possibly a reg.

Keep in mind that on many sites (including PokerStars) it is possible to hide yourself from search. It’s what good regs do at least. If you see that someone blocked themselves, that’s another indicator you can use to determine if they’re a reg or not.

Moving Up in Stakes

If you see players that were once in the $3 tournaments, but now they’re playing in the $6s or the $15s, that’s an indicator that they’re a reg. Most bad players don’t go anywhere, or if they do go on a hotstreak and move up, they aren’t there very long. So if you see players keeping up with you as you move up in limits, that’s another indicator that they’re a regular in those games.

How They Play the Bubble

I think the bubble is very telling of who the good players are. Bad players will make calls with AK or pairs, even if they have the second or third best stack. They will limp/call or limp/fold a lot. And they won’t abuse the other players when they have the opportunity.

Good players — regular sit and go players — will do the exact opposite. They’ll throw their stacks around, abuse players, do the shoving and very little of the calling.