An Introduction to SNGs

Sit and gos have long been one of the most popular forms of
the game. Online poker is what allowed them to reach a new
level. In brick and mortar casinos, starting a sit and go meant
waiting around for enough people to be ready to play. This would
invariably cause sizable waits between registration time and
when an event would actually start. Needless to say, this
inconvenience made sit and gos quite difficult to run on a
steady basis.

There are many different types of sit and gos that players
can participate in. The primary forms of the game include the
standardfull ring and 6-max variations. As is the case with cash
games, heads up games are also made available at just about
every poker site. The strategy that’s involved will vary
greatly from game to game.

Likewise, the ability to profit will
become exceedingly difficult as you move up in limits. Some of
the most well-known names of the initial poker boom were
products of the sit and go world, so it should come as no
surprise that poker enthusiasts from around the world quickly
switched over to this arena. Of course, as the fields grew
tougher and tougher, the easy money in sngs eventually dwindled
down. With that said, there’s still money to be made playing
sit and gos if you know what you are doing.

Full Ring vs. 6-Max vs. Heads Up

There are three different primary formations in which sit and
gos will almost always be formatted, and they are full ring,
6-max, and heads up. The full ring games will take substantially
longer than the other two set ups, which is one of the reasons
why 6-max play has gained such a following. The single slowest
form of sit and go poker would be a full ring, normal speed
table. This discounts deep stack and multi-table events, using
the normal formats as reference.

The payout tables are one of the most obvious differences
between these three different sit and go variations. Full ring
games will usually pay the top three finishers, 6-max games will
pay the top two, and heads up only pays the winner. The
breakdown will vary from site to site, but usually the third
place finisher in a full ring game will get a bit over their
initial buy in back. The second place finisher will make over
two times their buy in, and the winner will be rewarded with the
remaining prize pool. Again, the exact payout structure is
subject to the particular site that you are playing on. There
are even some rooms that will allow players to chop their
payouts in sit and gos, but this is typically reserved for multi-table tournament play.

The skill level is usually going to be the second thing that
players notice about these different types of sit and gos. The
less players that are involved, the tougher the game will tend
to be. Heads up sit and gos have long been home to some of the
stiffest competition in all of online poker. The players in
these games seldom have extended losing streaks and are truly
talented and quite skilled at what they do. If you are playing
recreationally more than anything else, full ring or even 6-max
games would be your best bet. Plus, you can always work your way
towards the heads up tables as you gain experience.

Ultra Turbo vs. Turbo vs. Normal

The speed of the sit n go that you are playing will determine
how long any given event is likely to last. A normal speed full
ring sit and go could easily take an hour or more, whereas ultra
turbo events could be done in 15 minutes or even less. As you
may have realized, the faster paced games are going to involve
less poker “instinctual” skill and more mathematical skills. The
reason for this is that the quick pace of the events will force
players to make decisions that often times come down to either
folding or shoving.

When you are playing poker this way, it
should be understood that you are going to have a lot of
variance. If your primary intent is to have the most fun
possible while getting the most bang for your buck, anything but
turbo sit and gos will be in your best interest. Not only are
you likely to become frustrated when you bust in just a few
minutes, but you won’t truly get to play the game to the point
where you really need to think.

The only trouble with placing an emphasis on regular speed
sit and gos is that you aren’t going to have a whole lot of
games to choose from. For the most part, online poker has gone
the way of faster paced everything. Be it cash games with less
time to act or sit and gos, you just aren’t going to be playing
for hours on end without a lot of action. Turbo sit and gos have
essentially replaced normal speed sit and gos over the past few
years. It’s worth noting, however, that turbo tournaments don’t necessarily go extremely fast. In fact, there are plenty of
turbo events that could last a half hour or even longer.

The real speed comes into play once you are in ultra turbo
and other variations of turbo play. These types of tournaments
can easily be finished in 15 minutes or less. There are even
sngs that are run at hyper turbo. These games can run from start
to finish in 5 minutes or less. To make these events even
faster, they are often played with short stacks. The very fast
sit and go tournaments are most ideal for the player who likes
to experience frequent “rushes.” They will undoubtedly cure an
itch for gambling much more effectively than just about any
other form of poker. Of course, you are also going to be annoyed
by the fact that you are forced to go all in seemingly just as
the sng began.

In the end, sit and gos offer many different options to
players. You can play in games with a lot of players or just one
opponent, you can play for an hour or ten minutes. Part of the
beauty in this form of the game is the amount of choices that
you’ll have. If nothing else, sit and go poker is a great way
to learn skills of the game that will carry over well into cash
games and especially tournaments. Remember that sit and go poker
is arguably the most common way for poker players to be
introduced to the game, and that many of today’s best players
were once total amateurs playing sit and gos for five bucks.