Long term online poker success with winning strategies – register for free!

The best strategies With the correct strategy, poker becomes an easy game. Our authors show you how to succeed, one step at a time.

The smartest thinkers Learn from and with internationally successful poker pros, in our live coaching sessions and in the forum.

Free poker money PokerStrategy.com is free of charge. Additionally there is free poker money waiting for you.

You are already a PokerStrategy.com member? Log in here!

StrategySit & Go

SAGE - Sit And Go Endgame System


In this article

  • HU situations with very high blinds
  • The Power Index
  • When to push or call all-ins

SAGE (Sit And Go Endgame System) is a system which was developed for the situations with two players and very high blinds, and is therefore mostly used in SNG-tournaments.

Many players are not able to adjust to the situation where the blinds are very large in proportion to the size of the stacks, which really reduces the advantage of a player which he might have had when playing under normal circumstances. By using SAGE, you can boost your own advantage against these players by around 5% to 40%.

The system itself is very simple and easy to learn. This article sets guidelines as to when you can use SAGE, and how you proceed when you are using this system.

What is SAGE?

The SAGE-system is based on a so-called equilibrium-strategy. Such a strategy pictures a strategic balance (equilibrium) in which the player cannot deviate from his procedure to one side without reducing his own chance of winning.

Studies have shown, that the usage of an equilibrium-strategy nearly makes a heads-up-game with small stacks a cointoss, because first and foremost it is avoided that players with great experience outplay you.

SAGE was created by an analysis of all 169 starting hands and their strength in a heads-up. It only differs fractionally from the actual mathematical optimum, which in comparison to SAGE cannot be calculated during a game.

SAGE offers the approaching optimal strategy when you should move all-in from the small blind or respectively call an all-in from the big blind, everything in a neat and small table.

That's not the entire article...

With a free membership at PokerStrategy.com, you'll get free poker money to play poker with and therefore the chance to gain access to hundreds of strategy articles such as these - and of course poker videos, live coaching sessions and strategy forums. Register now for free and start playing to enable all our offers.

Register now

Comments (18)

#1 mouse89, 06 Oct 08 15:05


#2 royko79, 31 Dec 08 14:59

I'll try this from now on. I suck at Hu's situations.

#3 AmosnosI, 17 Feb 09 12:07

The table only goes up to R=7, but SAGE is supposed to be used with a shortstack of R=10 or less. So what happens with R=8,9 and 10?

#4 AmosnosI, 07 Mar 09 14:24

Still no answer to my question...

#5 Koshburger, 31 Mar 09 02:06

good question ^

#6 therockerman, 25 Apr 09 13:36

i would just apply the rules for R=7 to R=8-10. thats how i would interpret it?

#7 DartRobbery, 19 Jun 09 21:18

or follow trend and extrapolate

#8 tudorman, 31 Jul 09 09:20

You can use the push-fold charts for R>7. Not SAGE. You can try to make a new chart yourselves for 7<R<12 and calculate the values from the push-fold charts.;)

#9 lolofon, 05 Aug 09 19:11

Now i dont know which table is correct... This table says to play loosely on BB, and for example this http://www.cardplayer.com/cardplayer-magazines/65582-19-2/articles/15250-are-you-sage-getting-an-edge-in-heads-up-no-limit-hold-39-em is looser on SB... Am i missing something?

#10 Hahaownedlolz, 02 Dec 09 22:06

couldn't you just use ICM for this?

ICM learns you the same thing.. doesn't it?

#11 kodjakas, 09 Feb 10 12:59

R All-In SB Call from Big Blind
1 17 always
2 21 17,0
3 22 24,0
4 23 26,0
5 24 28,0
6 25 29,0
7 26 30,0
8 27 33,9
9 28 36,2
10 29 38,6

#12 Koshburger, 10 Feb 10 02:26


#13 Philfox1985, 30 Dec 10 13:48

The ICM and SAGE seem to disagree slightly on the additional 'value added' by connectors and/or suited cards.

Should this be allowed for in SAGE calculations?

#14 SPADES1, 03 Feb 11 23:12

I agree with the last remark, in fact in SAGE 'counting method' 2 points are added in case of suited cards whilst no points for connectors (0 or 1 gap). It's a pity i don't know in detail the algorithm of sage.

#15 Salivanth, 15 Mar 11 06:22

Usually, the Nash equilibrium is a better situation for HU endgames nowadays. You can find the charts at: http://www.holdemresources.net/hr/sngs/hune.html

Though the chart has "20+" for many hands, you generally want to start using Nash at around 9-12 BB's. Also, don't use the caller chart unless you're sure your opponent is using Nash as well. Use the pushing chart though, it's great.

#16 jeangab123, 06 Apr 11 02:18

As a mathematics undergraduate, im kind of curious about what motivated this model. Any reference?

#17 toske1, 13 Mar 15 18:26


#18 sano262, 21 Dec 15 19:17

thanks @kodjakas for a try thou I'm not sure how did you get to those results as the last 3 does not seem to relate to the same pattern of this article's chart