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Double or Nothing Poker Strategy

In double or nothing tournaments half of the entrants double their original buy-in and the other half lose it. As you can see the payout structure is much different than most tournaments because so many people cash and there is no difference in amount between the first place finisher and the last place casher. This very different payout structure brings with it a very different strategy that you should implement when you are playing in double or nothing tournaments.

In the first few levels of the tournament you should play very tight. At this stage you want the players who don’t understand the structure to battle it out and bust out of the tournament. You should only play premium hands at this stage and should bet them aggressively. Do not waste any chips at this stage because you will need them later on.

In the middle stage of the tournament you should be trying to maintain your stack. This means you can start stealing some blinds in good situations, such as with strong hands or from good positions. Once the blinds get high you shouldn’t call raises. You should usually fold to raises, but if you have a strong hand you should reraise.

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In the late stages of the tournament you will be trying to prevent yourself from going out on the bubble. If you were able to double up earlier in the tournament with a strong hand you should play extremely tight now and wait it out until you cash. If you are a short stack you have to try to survive by stealing blinds. The best players to steal blinds from are the ones with medium stacks. These players have enough chips that they feel they can wait out the bubble, but few enough chips that if you double through them they would be crippled. Just remember that first place is the same as last place after the bubble, so if you think you can make the money without risking any chips, do so.

In general coin flips in double or nothing tournaments do not have a good expected value. This is mainly true during the early stages of the tournament. You can only win double your buy-in in double or nothing tournaments. This means that a coin flip would be perfectly even expected value if you were guaranteed to cash if you won the coin flip. Unfortunately this is not the case and even if you get lucky and win the race you may still not cash in the tournament. Therefore avoid coin flips at all costs and only get all your chips in when you are fairly sure you are ahead.

The profits from double or nothing tournaments come from the players who don’t understand the structure. These players will play it like a normal tournament and will happily take coin flips and make loose plays early. After these players have been eliminated it just comes down to who can best adjust their game and make the right decisions to survive to the cash.

Other Sit and Go Poker Strategy:


Super Turbo Sit and Go Strategy

How Not to Win a Sit and Go Tournament

Winning the Heads Up Stage of a Sit and Go Tournament

180 Man Sit and Go Tournament Strategy

Stealing the Blinds in a Sit and Go Tournament

45 Man Sit and Go Tournament Strategy

Sit and Go Bankroll Management