If you are going to steal there are a few issues you need to address:
1) You must observe the 2 players to the immediate left of you. Here is what you need to find out.
a) How often to they limp in
b) how often to they raise
c) how often to they re-raise
d) What type of hands do they play.
e) If you fold a hand, constantly look back at the hand history to see what type of hands the two players on your left show down with. That will give a good idea of what type of hands they play.
f) How often do they get into a pot.
This is extremely important, because this will give you and indication how aggressive they are or if they are passive. Or if they are tight or if they are loose. This is important information, because if you have a tight player and they raise...get out of the way, they have a real hand. If you have a loose player and they raise...they might be bluffing
or playing a weak hand.
2) In a 9 person SnG, with 5-9 players do NOT steal. Play premium hands only and come in raising at least 3xbb or pot sized bet. Do NOT call, it's either raise or fold. The only marginal hand you should play is A-rag (suited), if the entire field limps in, you should too. Flush or flush draw ONLY, else throw it away.
3) With 4 players, it's time to change gears. It's time to terrorize the SB and BB relentlessly. You should have a good idea on how the SB and BB play. If the entire table folds to you and you are on the button put in a 3xbb raise. If someone had opened the pot DO NOT attempt to steal. If you have passive players they will fold. At this point of the game, if you played any hands you went in with a big raise and if you had a show down they saw big cards. you have a big game table image. So everyone is going to afraid of you. Stealing from the button is the most common and most frequent steal move. Here are the cards that I steal with: A-anything, any pocket pairs, any suited connectors, any one gapper cards, KQ to K8, any two face cards. That quite a wide range to steal with, but if you get called, you need something
that will play after the flop.
Let me say this:
Myth: If you keep stealing from the button you become to obvious/predictable and you will be exploited
Answer: Bull crap. At the lower levels people know how to play one style of poker and ONLY one style of poker. Running into a player who knows how to adjust is going to be rare. I have played dozens and dozens if not a few hundred of the $1 and $2 SnG's and the number of players who have adjusted to my constant stealing you can count on one hand with fingers left over.
There are several other steal moves. But for right now, learning to steal from the button is the most common. Learning how to observe is extremely important for this to work. You need to know the person you are stealing from.
Other types of steals: The BB steal, the SB steal, the CO steal and the RE-STEAL (dangerous but worth the risk). If you want me to go into these other types, let me know.
Most of all stealing is about heart. In the beginning I was sweating putting in a 3xbb with Q8, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. These days, stealing is the way I save and accumulate chips. The blinds go up so fast in turbos that you need to take some chances in order to survive and win !!!!
Good luck. Be a thief.