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How To Play Sit & Go Poker Tournaments

Home » Tournaments » How To Play Sit & Go Poker Tournaments

How To Play Sit & Go Poker Tournaments

A poker player checks their hole cards — an ace and king of diamonds.

Are you new to the world of online poker? Then you’ve probably dabbled in both video poker and live poker online. You’ll have come to find that there are many different types of online poker tournaments from which to choose, each with its own set of rules, buy-in requirements, advantages and disadvantages. While knockout tournaments are arguably the most profitable – especially for experienced players – it’s safe to say that Sit and Go tournaments remain the most popular overall.

Read on to discover what Sit and Go poker tournaments entail, how to play, whether they’re a match for your unique playing style and which strategies can go a long way toward helping you win.

What Are Sit & Go Poker Tournaments?

Sit and Go poker tournaments (also referred to as SNGs, single table tournaments or STTs) are short tournaments with a limited number of players. Every SNG can be likened to the final table of a multi-table tournament. (Note that there is also such a thing as multi-table Sit and Go tournaments.)

Unlike other types of poker tournaments, Sit and Go tournaments don’t have a predetermined starting time. Each has a set number of players required (usually six or nine in total). The tournament begins once that specific number of players has signed up and bought in.

Generally, SNGs don’t run for longer than an hour and a half; some are even shorter than that. Some players prefer faster-paced gameplay and opt to sign up to take part in special SNGs called high-speed or turbo SNGs, which can be completed in around 20 minutes each. This is a great way to boost your hourly win rate if you can keep up. If not, now’s the time to brush up on your poker skills and perhaps consider hiring a poker coach.

Structures of Sit & Go Tournaments

When you play poker online and decide on an SNG tournament, you’re likely to have the choice between two main types of structure.

Standard Structure

The standard structure is the norm and you can expect the blinds to increase every 10 minutes or so.

Turbo Structure

As you’d expect, the blinds increase at a faster pace during the turbo structure – around every five minutes. This means that the tournament will be faster, but you’ll have fewer hands to play with early in the tournament until the blinds are comparatively larger than the stack size. So what you gain in time, you might lose when it comes to the skills required. Turbo is a little more luck based.

Are SNG Online Poker Tournaments a Good Fit for You?

Two ace playing cards surrounded by poker chips.

So, why play an SNG poker tournament? Most poker players enjoy the SNG tournament format, so these tournaments are worth a try regardless of your playing style, age or gender. They’re sure to be a fantastic fit if you have minimal free time to dedicate to playing online casino games. Gamblers with demanding jobs or young children enjoy the format of SNG tournaments because they don’t have to make any significant time commitments. They can join an SNG tournament at any time that suits their schedule and spend less than two hours playing from start to finish.

SNGs are also ideal for newer players still exploring the world of live poker online after “graduating” from video poker. The buy-in is usually much lower than those for knockout or multi-table tournaments, so there’s much less pressure to win. SNGs are good practice if you want to get serious about the game. They allow you to get more comfortable molding a strategy for yourself while learning about the importance of position, stack size and shifting hand values.

Choosing the Right Poker Tournament

Remember that there are different types of poker tournaments out there and you need to pick the one that is the best fit for you. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing a poker tournament:

  • How many players you want to go up against (field size)
  • Your ideal buy-in amount
  • How difficult you want the game or your opponents to be
  • Your ideal blind structure
  • Your ideal prize and bonus structure
  • The length of the tournament

Strategies for Winning SNG Poker Tournaments

A poker player shows his poker hand on a green felt table with casino chips and dice.

Most SNG tournaments have three stages (the early, middle and late stages,) each requiring a different strategy. For a successful Sit and Go poker strategy, most poker pros recommend playing a tighter game in the early stage and folding the majority of your hands unless they seem extremely promising. Doing this will help prevent early elimination and enable you to take at least two-thirds of your stack into the middle stage.

The middle stage comes into play when approximately four or five players remain. The blinds will be high during this stage, so you’ll need to consider going all-in when a decent opportunity for building a worthy hand presents itself. Doing so could win you the tournament then and there. Of course, it’s essential to take note of the other players’ stack sizes in relation to yours. If everyone is fairly evenly matched, play it cool unless you’re dealt an exceptionally promising hand.

The blinds will be even higher once you’re down to the final three. Remember that most SNGs follow a traditional 50/30/20 payout structure, so it’s worth taking bigger risks to secure a bigger payout if and when you reach the late stage. Been dealt a good hand and found yourself in the position of having the tallest stack? Go all in and force the shorter-stacked players to commit. Short stacked? With little to lose and lots to gain, don’t hesitate to go all-in if you have good cards and less than 10 big blinds.

Play Poker Online at BetMGM

Whether you’re looking to play an online poker tournament with friends or to challenge other high rollers in a Sit and Go tournament, the BetMGM online casino is where you want to be. Explore the best online poker in the form of live dealer poker, classic Texas Hold’em poker, video poker and much more.

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Of course, you can also browse our blog further for more great poker tournament tips and basic poker tournament rules!

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Wondering what an SNG poker tournament is? Discover all you need to know about Sit and Go poker tournaments with BetMGM. Find out more here.