How to Beat Micro Limit Turbo SNGs

Turbo sngs are a different beast to tame compared to the non-turbos. You need a different strategy to beat them. Strategies that focus more on preflop ranges, fast-rising blinds and diminishing stacks. I won’t say it’s harder than non-turbo games, but they definitely have their own unique challenges. They’re swingier, too.

These are situations that you’ll face in all turbo sit and go tournaments. However, each level will be different, and will require you to adjust these strategies to adapt and ultimately win. That’s because each level has a different ratio of losing to winning players. In other words, whether or not your opponents know what they’re doing will impact the effectiveness of your strategies for that particular level.

One level in particular, the micro stakes, I found to be especially difficult to beat. It’s not only because I sucked at the time that I played. It played a role, sure. But I think a lot of it had to do with how those (bad) players played, and that I couldn’t figure out how to adjust. I found it easy to outthink myself, and to put myself 2-3 levels above these players, when in reality all you need to be is up 1 level to win.

Have you felt that way? Are you experiencing that now? I understand where you’re at; it’s frustrating not to beat these levels when you’ve spent all this time and effort studying.

So what I want to do now is show you the different adjustments that you need to make to beat the micro level sngs. More importantly, I want to explain why these adjustments are necessary. That way you can figure out how to make adjustments on your own, so that you ultimately crush these games, build a bankroll and move up as quickly as you can.

5 Adjustments You Need to Make to Beat the Micro Turbo SNGs

1. Recognize That a Fish’s All In Range is Tighter Than Yours or Mine

One situation that took me awhile to adjust to was when an opponent was short and shoved all in.

In higher stakes games, players realize they need to take risks and shove with a wider range of hands. Otherwise they can lose their fold equity. So you know they’re shoving hands like JT, K4s or A2.

However, I found that in the micro stakes players don’t get this. They sit and wait until they have an ace or two broadways. You’re not going to see them shove 97s very often.

So we have to connect the dots here. When a fishy player shoves, you won’t be able to isolate them very often with hands like KQ, no matter how much you want to or think it makes sense. You got to stick to aces and pairs, because they’re the only hands that are going to stand a chance, much less be ahead of their all in range. I know what you’re thinking, but trust me, KQ is always behind A3 no matter how many times you run it.

2. Avoid Raising Marginal Hands (Too Far) Out of Position

One of the key character traits of any random player in the micros is that they’re passive. They like to call a lot. So you’re going to find yourself in a lot of family pots. And if you’re not careful, you may end up out of position more often than you’d like.

For example, one scenario I used to find myself in was trying to open raise under the gun or under the gun plus 1 with a hand like AJs or AQ. What happened far too often was that I’d get multiple callers behind me.

The problem with this scenario is that with a raise and multiple callers, I can’t feasibly continuation bet the flop. There are too many players, so I’m likely to be called. What’s more is that the pot is so big that it would take a large portion of my stack.

So what I like to do in these spots instead is open limp or over limp. You usually still have the best hand, because AK and AQ re-raise. So if no one re-raises you can still pick up a good pot when you hit, and easily dump the 1 big blind when you miss. And you avoid the awkwardness of playing out of position against multiple players.

3. Abuse the Bubble

Despite the fact that many players at the micros like to call a lot, abusing the bubble is still a good strategy. In other words, if you have a big enough stack compared to everyone else, you should be shoving any two cards whenever you open, not to mention whenever someone open-raises in front of you.

The reason why this strategy still works at the micro levels is because the bad players are thinking in terms of this game only. They’re not thinking long term, ranges, ICM, any math or volume. They’re simply looking at their stack, how close they are to cashing and their own two cards. So unless they have a hand like AJs or better, they’re not going to call your shoves. They want to cash too badly.

That said, you should still pay attention for the players that like to call light. Then just make sure that you adjust your strategy accordingly, either by not shoving such a wide range against them, or by avoiding them altogether.

4. Reshove with Caution

This goes hand in hand with my comment above about isolating players with a wide range. With exception to situations like the bubble, players at these levels just won’t fold as often as they should. Especially if they have an ace or a hand like KQ or KJs.

So in a situation where there are antes, dead money and a player opens, giving you a good price to reshove with your JT or K9s, I suggest reconsidering. Ask yourself; is your opponent really going to fold?

From my experience it’s not nearly as often as the players in the higher levels. They’re capable of folding a weak ace, whereas in the micro levels they think something along the lines of, this guy is pulling a move, if they think at all, and I haz an ace, I callz. Then they call, and you’re in a coin flip situation for your tournament life, or close to it.

It’s great to find these spots where you can increase your stack size with a simple shove. I know from experience. However, this adds a lot of variance in the long run when you’re not whether or not someone will fold to a reshove. If you’re not sure, I’d pass until you are.

5. Pass on Continuation Betting

The last adjustment I recommend you make is to avoid continuation betting. At least c-bet less often.

The reason?

Once again, you have less fold equity at these levels. Players just don’t like to fold. So players will call, essentially float you for one or two streets because they don’t believe you. Or they have or catch a small piece. Regardless, you put a lot of money in a pot that you’re not going to win very often, at least not without committing a lot of your stack.

There are just too many better spots to use your chips. Committing so much in a c-bet leaves you with too few chips to double up for when you pick up aces or isolate someone with a strong hand. So I would only c-bet against players that appear tight or have tight stats. Otherwise I’d just give up my hand. This is especially true in pots with more than one villain in them.