Sit and Go tournaments provide an alternative style of tournament play, great for new and small-bankroll players. The cost of entry is usually minimal, and the tournament starts when enough players buy entry to make it happen. Along with cash games and tournaments, sit-and-go tournaments are one of the three major styles of play in online poker.
Best Sit and Go Poker Sites for US Players
There are several online poker sites specifically for Sit and Go events in the US. Each provide a slightly different experience but they all follow the same premise. We suggest doing your research to find the best poker site for you before you settle on a site to play at. The best part about sit and go tournaments is that they're a pretty short time commitment and usually low-stakes. That means even if you find you don't like a particular site's style, you can easily find another without having wasted a lot of time or money.
What is a Sit and Go Tournament?
Sit and Go tournaments are a type of online poker tournament with a preset number of players. Bigger tournaments with a set starting time and huge field are a huge commitment of time and energy, so Sit and Go events were invented for online players with a busy schedule. While SNGs vary in size, prizes, and buy-in sizes, all of them start as soon as the event fills up.
Sit and Go Tournament Structure
Originally, SNGs were 9 player tournaments with blind levels that increased every 10 minutes. Over the years, Sit and Go's have evolved. For instance, 6 Max Turbo events and Hyper Turbo events are now among the most popular SNGs online. 2-man Sit'n Go events now exist, so players get the feel of heads-up play they would get at the end of a big freezeout event.
As a general rule, prizes are handed out to the top three players in a 9-handed tournament and the top two players in a 6-handed event. The share of the prize pool varies according to poker sites and events, but a 50/30/20 split of the prize pool is common in 9-player SNG events. Our Sit and Go strategy advice will focus mostly on the traditional SNG tournaments, since they require more skill and strategy and therefore are better for skilled card players.
Why You Should Play Sit and Go Events
Newcomers might wonder why players prefer Sit and Go tournaments to scheduled tournaments. Here are the main three reasons.
What are Turbo and Hyper Turbo Events?
Turbo events are just what the name implies -- designed to be happen faster than standard Sit and Go events. The blind structure increases faster than normal. This forces the action by forcing players to take bigger risks and make quicker decisions.
Hyper turbo events are SNGs where the blinds change even faster. Blind levels change as a fast as every 3 minutes in some hyper turbo events. Once again, these games are designed for fast-and-furious play. While many players prefer turbo and hyper turbo events, shorter events takes some of the skill away from the game. With fewer hands, luck plays a bigger factor than otherwise.
Sit and Go Poker Strategy
Because the timeline of Sit & Go tournaments is much shorter than regular tournament play, players have to adjust their strategies accordingly. The whole thing can be done and dusted in an hour or so, so it pays to have a clear plan in mind before you get things underway. In many Sit & Go’s play out like a micro version of a regular multi-table tournament but there are some important distinctions.
When devising your Sit & Go tactics, it’s worth remembering that the main focus is playing a smart game. That means being tight for the most part — tighter than you would be in a more open format — but also being prepared to get aggressive as the tournament progresses. Broadly, you should think about varying strategy as you move through tournament phases — from the early game, the mid-game and the endgame.
It’s also worth mentioning that Sit & Go tournaments have a lot of different names. They are sometimes referred to as single-table tournaments or sit-n-go tournaments or just STTs or SnGs.
Early Game SNG Strategy
Tight is right when it comes to the early stages of a Sit & Go. If you’re playing a regular nine-handed Sit & Go with a decent amount of chips then you’ve really got to batten down the hatches and only come out to play if you’ve got a veritable monster starting hand.
Mid-Game Sit and Go Strategy
The mid-game is one of the most important stages of a Sit & Go — it helps decide how gets paid and who doesn’t — and it can go on for quite some time. At this point, there have been a couple eliminations and players are starting to get serious.
The money bubble is on the horizon during this point of the Sit & Go and it will also help dictate how people are going to play. The big stack will generally try to exert some pressure on the smaller stacks who can’t afford to play marginal hands.
SNG Strategy in The Endgame
Once you’ve made it into the money — generally the last 2-3 players — you’ll notice that play loosens up even more.
Heads-Up Strategy in Sit and Go Events
Heads-up poker is different than any other kind of poker and you’ll be making a decision every single hand. It’s worth learning heads-up poker strategy, there are plenty of resources dedicated to the subject, but the best advice is that you’ve got to loosen way up.
What Is a Good ROI for Sit and Go Events?
Those new to the terminology should understand ROI is "return on investment", a borrowed term from investing. In poker terms, ROI takes into account the SNG buy-in and entry fee. If you pay $10 + $1 to enter a sit and go tournament and you make an average of $1.10 on each SNG you enter, then your ROI would be 10%. If you made $2.20, then your ROI would be 20%.
Not every high-stakes player is skillful. That being said, many poker players take the advice to start at small blind limits and avoid increasing their limits until they consistently win. These players only move to a higher buy-in when their bankroll grows. That means there's a solid percentage of players at higher blind levels who are experienced and skillful. For that reason, average ROI for those games will be smaller.
|BET LEVEL||ATTAINABLE ROI|
|Less Than $6||20% ROI|
|$6 / $11||15% ROI|
Sit and Go Poker Tips
Players who've never gotten far in Sit and Go tournaments need advice on their late-game strategy. While it might not seem so at first glance, these Sit and Go tips all fit together. While you want to become more aggressive in the late stage of the event, have a purpose to your aggression.
Sit'n Go Strategy FAQ
Can you make money playing sit and gos?
Yes, but players who want to win real money consistently should avoid turbo events and hyper-turbo events. These shorten the game, which introduces more luck into the equation. Playing standard SNG events required calculated aggression, but it still gives you the time to get a book on your opponents. The best Sit and Go players get a quick read on their opponents, then use that information to make aggressive plays in the right spots.
What is SNG Turbo in poker?
An SNG turbo event is one where the blind levels increase at a faster pace than usual. This drives betting and shortens the tournament. Turbo events and hyper turbo events are loads of fun, but most skillful SNG players avoid them because the luck factor is huge.