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Home / Courses / Single Table Tourneys /

Early and Middle Phase

An Introduction

Sit & Go tournaments are one of the most popular ways to play poker. Here's why...

Single table tournaments (STTs) have become exceptionally popular in the era of online poker.

They are the most common type of Sit & Go tournament - the name given to a type of game that has no fixed start time, but instead begins the very moment a certain number of players have sat down at the table.

STTs are Sit & Go tournaments that take place, as the name suggests, around a single table. As soon as all the seats are filled, the tournament begins.

In a nine-handed STT, the winner takes 50 per cent of the total prize pool, the second placed player 30 per cent and third placed 20 per cent. Players start with 1,500 chips and the blinds rise every 10 minutes.

Advantages of single table tournaments

There are numerous characteristics of the STT, all of which have contributed to its popularity: 

  • They are available every hour of every day
  • There is typically a very short waiting time
  • Players don't have to commit to a long session, unlike multi-table tournaments (MTTs)
  • There is more chance to win a return on your investment. The prize structure means that a third of players get paid, compared with the top 10 per cent typically paid in MTTs
  • They are very good training for other no limit Texas Hold'em games
  • The fixed buy-in allows players to know exactly how much they are investing from their bankroll
The articles in this section are based on the book Let's Play Poker by Lee Nelson. They are designed for PokerSchoolOnline members who have already passed the Poker Basics Quiz.

The main goal is to give you an easy-to-use strategy for playing STTs at low limits (up to $11 buy-in) without years of experience under your belt.

Hand categories for pre-flop play

The starting hands are grouped in different categories, and there is advice for every possible situation taking into account stack sizes, position and the actions of other players. The articles detail different phases of play, from the opening rounds through the middle stages and then the bubble period, where the next player eliminated leaves with nothing. Finally, the articles detail the best way to play three-handed and heads-up.

The advice in these articles refers to "categories" of starting hands, ranging from the very strong Category 1 hands to the weaker Category 8 hands. Unless specifically stated, hands that do not fall into any of these categories should not be played. They should be folded pre-flop.

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The Early Phase

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