When is this used?
Normal play is used when you are in a tough spot usually. Most of the time you are a short stack and are expecting callers (fold equity is zero basically). If you are the short stack, you should not play overly aggressive against anyone unless you have a decent hand or are forced to because the blinds are about to take you out. You don’t play aggressive because you typically will be called since your stack is so small.
Plays allowed: Check it down, allin
How to play it
You will be playing the cards only. You are looking for good hands to take a stand with and hopefully double up.
Call his allin?
If you are instructed to play normal against someone, you must think in terms of odds. What might he have vs. what I currently have. You must also think in terms of where you are at in the tourney. If the blinds are going to take you out within 1-2 rounds (normally this is the case), you should consider calling an allin with any pair, any AT+. Things that can affect this are if a medium stack is raising all-in and a big stack is acting behind him. You are the small stack. You must know that he has a good hand – he risked the tourney by going all-in when he really didn’t have to. The big stack could have easily called him. Because of this, assume he has AQ,AK or at least a pair. Make your decision based on your hand – call only if you are completely pot commited, you have AQ+, you have a pair.
He’s big blind, you are small blind
If he is in the big blind, you will raise his blind with any pocket pair, any A8+, KJ+. He will probably call with any two cards in most cases. This is good since you have a decent shot at doubling up with these good hands.
He’s big blind, you are late or on the button
You can raise allin with any pair, any AT+ or KJ+ – IF NO ONE ELSE HAS ENTERED THE POT
Also, if the blind is about to take you out on the next turn, raise all-in with J9o+, Q9o+, any king, any ace or any pair. The next hand(when you are in the big blind), you’ll be pot committed and will call with any two cards.