The tight aggressive approach is to wait for quality hands (such as those from the list of starting hands) and play them aggressively, hoping to hit flops, then make value bets, or, occasionally (depending on the circumstances of the hand) to bluff at pots when you miss. Tight aggressives want to play tight early and then loosen up their starting hand requirements as players are eliminated and the table gets shorthanded. The advantage of playing this style is that your starting hands requirements are higher than most, so you'll be entering pots as the favourite and they'll need to catch you, not the other way around. The disadvantage of this style is you'll be easy to read because you will have played so few hands that when you are involved in a pot and begin betting, other players will get out of the way and you may not get as much value on your strong hands as a looser player would. And since strong starting hands don't come along frequently enough, by level 4, when the blinds are 50/100 – and if you haven't yet hit a hand - your stack will be down to about 1000 (10xBB) and you'll need to look for an opportunity to double up before the blinds begin taking a serious toll on your stack. Playing this tight has a subtle side benefit however, because anyone who's paid attention will know you're a tight player and will respect your raises, as you've either sat out most hands, or have shown down strong hands, thus making your blind steals and bluffs more successful.

There will be at least a couple tight-aggressive players in every sng no matter what the limit. The higher the limit, the more tight-aggressive players you'll find.

Loose-Aggressive (LAG)

The LAG style is to raise with any two cards from any position at any time. This approach is basically a bluff style, where you win without cards because you'll force others to fold when they miss, and when you hit a hand, someone may not believe you and you'll get action from opponents with marginal hands. The idea is to build a pot preflop and then steal it on the flop or turn no matter what hits. The disadvantage of this style is you'll often be entering pots as the underdog and you'll need to read your opponents carefully because while you may catch a piece of the flop with your trash hand, they may have hit it better. The LAG style is basically one big bluff. They usually accumulate a huge stack early and begin bullying the table with big, preflop raises, or, they bust out early.

There will usually be one or two LAGS at every table. The low limit LAGS don't know how to play the strategy properly and their chip stacks will go up & down like a yo-yo. They try to bully the table when it's inappropriate to do so. They don't know how to lay down 2nd best hands, and will often double up shortstacks unnecessarily because it's cool to call the shortstacks' all-in with J,10. The high limit LAGS, on the other hand, switch back and forth between LAG and tight and know when to bluff at pots and know how to get away from 2nd best hands. Their aggression is selective, while the low limit LAGS' aggression is just aggression for the sake of aggression.

Kill Phil, or "FITI'MALLIN!"

The Kill Phil approach is to use a hyper-aggressive preflop strategy that involves taking premium hands and trying to get all their money in preflop. If they can't get all their money in preflop, they'll often try to get it all-in on the flop if the flop looks safe or if the flop hit their hand. The advantage of using Kill Phil is you'll negate any disadvantage you might have when your opponent has better post-flop skills than you do. There is no defense against Kill Phil except to have a better hand than the player using the Kill Phil strategy. The disadvantage of using Kill Phil is their AK or AQ or JJ will run into AA, KK, and QQ and they'll get all their chips in "bad", and may be drawing dead.

Kill Phil is a great strategy and, while more players should be using it, very, very few do as it takes patience and discipline.

A Balanced Strategy

This strategy uses a combination of the 3 strategies above and whichever this player chooses to use in a particular hand depends on table dynamics, his chip stack, the style his opponents are using at any particular time, their chips stacks, everyone's position relative to the button, table image, and, his personality.

In low limit sng's, there will usually not be any players using this strategy.


Loose-Passive is the favourite strategy for most players, especially at low limits. They play to have fun, they don't know pot odds, they want to play a lot of hands, and, they believe in luck. To them the game is a long series of random chaotic events that have no relationship to math; poker is a game where anything can happen, so why not right now, and why not to them? The loose-passive style is the biggest losing style in poker. The loose-passive player will call and call and call all day. Don't try to bluff them because they can't be bluffed. They'll call with anything.

The loose-passive player will begin by calling the BB with weak starting hands, often suited x cards or small pairs or a ridiculous combination of drawing hands as weak as J7 suited. They'll miss the flop or catch a small piece of it, or have any kind of draw, and they'll call all the way no matter what pot odds are offered. Two face cards is a huge starting hand to the loose-passive player, even better if they're suited. If they call the BB with two face cards and are reraised all-in preflop, they'll likely call, and why?, "because I might get lucky!"

Most of the table in low limit sng's will be made up of loose-passive players. Be prepared to have to outflop several of them early in the sng. You'll need a big hand to showdown against several of them because they could be playing any two random cards. The way to beat the loose-passive players is to make them pay for their mistakes. Accept that occasionally they'll suckout. In the end they'll lose all their money to all the tight players and the LAGS.