I've had a look at this table here as a guide of what to do heads up, and made a rough approximation of how to play various hands based on stack sizes, such that I can remember them and don't have to refer to a table (i.e: at 10BB unsuited push two cards 8+ or one card K+, suited two cards 5+ or one card Q+). I made levels for 20BB, 15BB, 10BB, 7.5BB, 5BB which all follow a pattern of generally pushing one card lower for each step.

However, this only works heads up, or at best when you're the small blind and everyone folds around to you. Is there some guidelines on how to play when there's more than two at the final table? Some quantitative guidelines on what hands to play based on position/pot size would be good, also what hands to call. Guidelines based on Nash equilibrium would be preferred. For example, a summary of the results of this calculator in a form one could remember would be good. I know these aren't always ideal based on opponents play, but as they're less exploitable I feel like they'll be a good starting point.

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    As valid as I think this question is, asking for a "simple" answer here is probably asking for too much...probably. I can't answer this as well as I'd like to, but a copy of Chen & Ankenmans "Mathematics of Poker" book is about as good of a look at the subject as you'll find, if you haven't already got it.
    – Toby Booth
    Nov 25, 2012 at 21:11
  • I did mathematical calculation the other day which may help here. I created a table that represents the probability of getting a better hand, with n hands to go. For instance, if there are 5 hands to go before the big blind, which will put you all in, then if you get a top 17% hand, there is a 50% chance that you will not get better than that before you're blinded all in. This can be extended to say 5BB, which gives you 5*x hands remaining where x = no. of players and so on.
    – Kenshin
    Nov 28, 2012 at 15:28
  • I bet Chris table is misleading. He doesnt consider opponents stacks, prize distribution,bubble factor , our stack relation to villain's stacks and also changing of player position during play. These factors must be took into consideration! Nov 30, 2012 at 14:10

2 Answers 2


Playing push/fold in SNG or Tournaments is sometimes tough part of game with multiple factors deciding your optimal moves. You can certainly make tables for different common situations and use them in your decision process to get general idea.

However, I'm worried that there is no "easy to remember" strategy guideline for PUSH/FOLD phase.

SNG wizzard or ICM trainer can give you some insight about playing in common and also rather tough and rare situations. Also you can use them to take push/fold tests and train yourself up.

I want to note, that winning SNG reg should be able to decide PUSH/FOLD correctly in more then 95-97% when situation settings(number of players, average stack, number of all-ins before your action.) in these tests are random.

Good luck at the table!


Final table or no final table, poker is poker. You shouldn't change your game when you reach the final table of a tournament. Your play is probably good, that's why you came so far.

The only additional factor that I can reasonably see included in your decision process is the payment structure. Difference in payment is usually very big (3rd place gets twice as much as 5th place, 2nd place gets 5 times more as 7th place and so on). There are big jumps, so you probably have to be more cautious than usual.

For example: if a player moves all-in and someone calls, I will fold even if I have something very strong like pocket Kings. Why ? Well, there's a big chance that at least one of them has an Ace and I can't afford to lose if an Ace hits the board. I prefer folding, which would almost always result in going a step higher on the pay ladder.

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