Almost all online poker rooms now offer 45-person sit and go tournaments. The most popular room being PokerStars because the seats fill much quicker than anywhere else and players get bored waiting for sit and go's to fill. Like all other sit and go's you should adopt a specific strategy to ensure you will become a winning player from them because only the top 7 players will cash. Here is an example of the prize structure from a PokerStars $11+$1 45-person sit and go:
Prize pool = $495
1st place = $154
2nd place = $110
3rd place = $77
4th = $55
5th = $44
6th = $33
7th = $22
As you can see above, these tournaments can be extremely profitable if you manage to make it to the top 3 players.
At the beginning of these sit and go's 9 players will be seated at 5 tables. In the early stages you should only play your premium hands, and when you are dealt them make sure you raise to reduce the number of players in the pot? the last thing you want is someone with a poor starting hand out flopping you. A lot of players will be looking to double up as soon as the tournament begins so their range of hands will be wide and unless you have A-A or K-K you should usually fold to avoid a coin-flip situation. If you can see cheap flops with suited connectors do so, although do not get trapped into chasing pots because you will be throwing away valuable chips which will come in handy for the latter stages.
As the tournament progresses and the blinds are raised, your strategy should change. You will need to loosen up and steal blinds from your opponents when you can, however do not make any poor moves because it could end your chances of cashing. By this stage you should have at least doubled-up, and if you are a chip leader then you should keep constant pressure on the medium sized stacks. Unless you have a strong hand you should avoid trying to steal from small stacks because they will be in push-or-fold mode and the last thing you want is to double-up your opponents. If you are a short stack however you need to win more chips before you get blinded out of the tournament.
Like any poker tournament, you should be playing to win. If you make it to the final table your strategy will depend on your stack size. If you are a chip leader you can play tight because you have no reason to risk your chips at this stage, only play strong starting hands and play them aggressively. If you are a medium sized stack your goal will be to attack the short stacks and avoid the larger stacks unless you have a premium hand. And if you are a short stack you will have to be very careful because if you bet you are likely to get called by larger stacks, however if you have position on an average stack you can try to steal their blinds. Medium stacks will be more fearful of risking their chips than large stacks because they won't want to risk their position in the tournament.
You should read our final table and heads-up poker strategy articles to gain more information to help you be a winning sit and go player.