Playing the small blind.
Just as in a limit or no limit cash game you should be very selective about when to complete your small blind or even call a raise. You are playing out of position and when you are playing for all your chips this is not a good idea.
One of the biggest holes in any no limit players game is completing the small blind too often. This is a major drain of chips when it's a consistent feature of your game and one that you should strive to eradicate.
There are several inherent problems involved with making up the small blind and here I'll talk you out of doing it.
First of all there is the problem of position. This is the easiest problem to dissect as it's so obvious.
When you play a hand you always strive to play “in position”. This means that everybody else has to act before you make any decisions as to how you play your hand.
The problem with completing your small blind is that you are always going to be out of position in the hand and so it makes it much more difficult to bet into the pot knowing that you can easily be raised off your hand.
You should only complete the small blind if you have something good like a high pair 10,10 or above or AK, AQ where you can be sure if you hit that you have the best hand on the flop. If you insist on completing with hands like 4 6 suited then you are going to bleed chips and get yourself into trouble.
It's the getting into trouble bit that is the most important part.
When you play 4, 6 suited and hit two pairs on the flop it is very difficult to let it go. Even if you hit the six it's very easy to believe that you have the best hand.
Because you are so exposed to overcards the temptation is to stick all your chips in the middle to try and stop anybody else from making a higher pair. Very often it's the case that they already got there.
In a cash game you can get away from the hand very easily. But in an SNG it's just so tempting to try and take the pot down as you get so few chances at doing so.
This is why completing the small blind is such a bad play. All the time in a low limit SNG you will see the small blind continually make a raise over the big blind. The small blind often does not take into account the fact that they are first to act after the flop and this is where they are subsequently made to pay.
If you have a small blind that constantly raises your big blind then the best policy is to fold and wait. Eventually the time will come when they pull the stroke once too often and you crucify them.
The other issue with completing the small blind is related to limping. Completing your small blind when you have junk and there are two or three other players in the pot means that you are going to have to get very lucky to win.
In a cash game it doesn't matter so much as you can easily get away from your junk. However continually completing your small blind will decimate your win rate.The fact that you do occasionally get lucky and crack someone's aces is all well and good in a cash game, but in this SNG environment you are simply setting yourself up to bleed chips that you need for crucial double up's.
The less chips you have, the less chip's you can win in a hand.
What you need to know is that any element of your game that leads to donking off chips needs to be examined, re-visited and ascertained as to why you are playing the way you are.
In an SNG every chip is vital to your existence.
You can't play with reckless abandon or you will bust out of many tournaments and lose your bankroll before you even get started.
You have to play with measured patience and aggression or suffer the consequences of always getting your chips in without the best of it.
If you play tight, fold your blinds to a perceived steal, fold your small blind with minimal holdings and concentrate on playing against the blind level rather than your opponents then you will beat this game.
ABC poker will win this low limit SNG game and that means folding your small blind so that you stop playing out of position.