Min-Raising in Turbo Sit and Go’s

In the super turbo sit and go’s at Full Tilt Poker most people will tell you that there is no play at all and you have to either push all-in or fold every hand because you will almost always have fewer than 10 times the big blind in chips.  This is true in principle, but in reality the minimum raise has a place in super turbo sit and go’s.  Especially in the early stages or the tournament or when you have more than 8 times the big blind in chips and even in some other unique situations when you are short stacked.

Early game minimum raises

Early in a super turbo SNG the minimum raise can be used to test the strength of your opponents hand without risking your entire stack.  For example, if you have 300 chips and you are in the small blind with a moderate hand making a minimum raise isn’t a bad option.  If your opponent has a bad hand here, they will more than likely fold because they know they are behind and they consider themselves in all-in/fold mode.  They may also put you on a big hand because you didn’t push all-in, which they consider to be a standard play at this point in the tournament.

The majority of the time your opponent will fold their big blind to a min raise.  On the other hand, if your opponent pushes in over the top then you can assume that your hand is beat and lay it down with 240 chips left to play with (most likely 210 since the big blind will have just hit you).  You will have just lost 60 chips, but you still have plenty of chips to double up to a healthy stack.

If your opponent does move over the top, then that means they likely would have called you if you pushed all-in in the first place.  So it’s much better to have 210 chips in this situation than 0.  If your opponent feels they have the pot odds and decides to call, then you still have a chance to catch a hand and possibly trap your opponent if you can.  There are many advantages to just making a min raise in the early stages of a super turbo rather than pushing all-in.

The main advantage is that if an opponent would have folded to a push they will likely fold to a min raise or possibly call.  If an opponent pushes over top of the min raise, then they likely would have called the all-in, but in this case you can get away from the hand and still have a chance to rebuild your stack.

Big Stack Minimum Raises

Another time minimum raises are advantageous in super turbo sit and go’s is when there are four or five players left and you are one of two big stacks.  You want to avoid confrontation with the other big stack, while still applying pressure on the small stacks.  In this situation you do not want to push all-in with a moderate hand to apply pressure and then have the other big stack call you with a monster putting you out on the bubble.

Minimum raises will apply pressure to the small stacks and encourage the big stack to fold.  Then, the small stacks will either push over the top for a little more, which you will gladly call or fold to the min raise because they can’t afford to see a flop with their limited chips.  If the other big blind pushes over the top you can fold with enough chips to maintain your solid position in the tournament.

Short Stack Minimum Raises

If you are short stacked, you can also use the minimum raise to confuse your opponents and make them think you have a monster.  For example, if you have been pushing with the short stack for a while and you have 200 chips with the blinds at 30/60 a minimum raise to 120 may encourage your opponents to fold, more than a full push to 200 would.  By changing your play you can induce a fold from your opponents even when you have a short stack.

As you can see from this article, there are plenty of situations in super turbo sit and go’s where making a minimum raise may be your best play.  Even though you will almost always have less than 10 times the big blind in chips you should make sure to include the minimum raise in your super turbo sit and go play book.