11-23 BB

From the Button

When you are on the button with a stack between 11 and 23 big blinds, you should be raising frequently and only raising the absolute minimum. When the shorter stack is below 23 big blinds there is no reason to raise any more than the minimum because you already raising 10% of the effective stack. Raising around 70% of your hands at this point in the tournament is a good place to start, and an approximate hand distribution is shown below.


heads up sng starting hands chart

If your opponent is reraising all-in frequently you may need to tighten up to approximately 50% and call his all-in reraises with around 17% of all hands. The larger the stacks are and the tighter your opponent is, the tighter your range should be for calling his all-in reraises.

By the time the effective stack is down below 23 big blinds you will usually know quite a bit about your opponent. If they are tight then you should continue raising every hand because the blinds are so valuable at this level. Against a very loose and aggressive opponent it is best to tighten up slightly at this level, but you can not let them run over you and the end of the tournament is probably coming soon for one of you.

Against an opponent who is frequently limping this is the time to start raising when they limp in from the button. The money in the pot now is worth stealing and you’ve had enough time to see that they are limping frequently. Raising to three times the big blind with the top 50% of your hands is a good starting strategy against a frequent limper at these levels.

From the Big Blind

When the effective stack is between 10 and 16 big blinds you will be in “3shove” range. This means that if there is a raise from the button, it is not wise for the big blind to make a reraise unless he is going all-in. This stage is important because there are often profitable opportunities to push all-in after your opponent has raised. This is because there are now at least 3 big blinds in the pot and your opponent will often fold to your all-in reraise. If they don’t fold, you are already all-in and even the worst hand still has a reasonable chance to win the pot once all the cards are dealt.

These 3shove or “resteal” opportunities are most common when the smaller stack is between 11 and 16 big blinds. You must have enough chips to make your opponent fold, but a small enough stack that the money in the pot is worth fighting over. If you were to shove all-in with 60 big blinds to steal a pot that is only 3 big blinds you would often be successful but in the long run you would lose because you would be risking too much to win such a small pot compared to your stack.

3shove ranges are dependent on how often your opponent raises from the button and also how often he can fold when you push all-in. These ranges are for typical opponents who will raise a wide range from the button and call all-in with a medium range.

resteal chart for heads up sit and go poker tournaments

These ranges may seem awfully wide, as the push/fold ranges on the 0-10 big blinds page, but just like those ranges, we know these are correct and experts are unable to beat them.



  1. #1 by Paul on July 24, 2013 - 7:31 am

    Thank you, that site helped me much. I use your charts in shortstack situations and it improved my game.

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