Sit & Go poker tournaments have become a popular way to enjoy tournament poker. But with so many types of Sit & Go tournaments available on major poker sites, it’s easy to get confused.
That’s why we’re going to see what Sit & Go poker tournaments are all about in this article.
First Thing First
What is a Sit & Go poker tournament? Essentially, it’s a poker tournament that doesn’t feature a fixed starting time. Instead, it starts once a certain number of participants join the game. Players have to “sit” (hence the name) and fill all tournament seats before the action can “go”. Once the tournament begins, no more players can join.
Sit & Go poker tournaments initially had nine to ten players. On the other hand, traditional tournaments have so many participants that they provide multiple tables running simultaneously. Today, even Sit & Go games may offer multiple tables and different flavours and structures.
Sit & Go Tournament Structures
Every poker network features its own versions of Sit & Go poker tournaments. They often provide a wide range of options, but we have to point out that this variety is not available on every site. It will take some time to check them all out.
Since there’s no central authority regulating standards, it’s possible to find the same type of tournaments, albeit with a different name or the other way around.
A regular Sit & Go poker tournament consists of two, six, nine, or ten hands. Its starting stacks have around 75 big blinds, with blind levels ranging from ten to fifteen limits. It takes about sixty to ninety minutes to complete a full-ring regular tournament.
For a long time, this was the most common variant of Sit & Go, but now, the faster varieties are more popular.
Turbo Sit & Go tournaments are the most common type you’ll encounter on gaming sites. They include faster blind levels and usually have shorter starting stacks. Completing a full-ring Turbo takes up to an hour.
Faster tournaments allow players to experience more variance. In practice, it means you’ll be able to earn more money despite having a lower return on investment (ROI). ROI is the standard tournament win rate measure, calculated by dividing the total profit by the total number of buy-ins.
But it’s the hourly rate that matters when you want to build a bankroll.
As the name implies, Hyper-Turbo Sit & Go tournaments are even faster. Blind levels last for two minutes, and stacks are shorter. Variance is much higher than in Turbo Sit & Go tournaments, while the most significant upside is their speed (around twenty minutes to half an hour).
If Hyper-Turbos are not quick enough, choose Super-Turbo Sit & Go tournaments. They come with starting stacks of typically only ten big blinds. Such stacks force everyone to push/fold right from the start.
Deep Stacked Sit & Go poker tournaments come with deep starting stacks of 150 big blinds or more and blind levels of around fifteen minutes. The downside is that they can’t be found frequently, as they don’t bring much profit to poker sites. If you come across them, keep in mind they have a higher rate.
Here, all players are forced to all-in every hand, meaning the game is a complete gamble. In the long, it’s impossible to beat this type of Sit & Go tournament due to the rake. Nevertheless, they can provide players with lots of fun.
All-In or Fold
This structure of Sit & Go tournament requires a bit more skill and allows players to choose whether to fold or go in. Over the long run, the only winner is the rake. However, All-in or Fold draw the attention of casual players looking to gamble, so there’s a way to gain an advantage.
Everyone has to go all-in until the remaining players can fill a final table, which is then played as a Regular Sit & Go. Entry fees are typically low, at least compared to the prize pool.
Also known as Spins, Lottery Sit & Go tournaments represent short-handed hyper-turbo tournaments. Available at numerous poker sites, albeit under different names, they feature a forced all-in after a certain amount of time.
The prize pool is determined at random after all participants have registered. Usually, the prize pool is worth 2x or 3x the buy-in, although it can reach staggering amounts of money.
This Sit & Go tournament structure has a unique twist: a portion of a buy-in becomes a player’s “bounty”, so every time you knock someone out of the game, you can claim the “bounty” in cash.
Knockout Sit & Go tournaments can have a progressive variant, where you receive only half the cash while the rest increases your overall “bounty”. In practice, it means you’ll be able to generate nice winnings by knocking out someone who has already knocked out several other players.
Here you have a flat prize structure, meaning the top half gets the same amount while the bottom doesn’t win anything. The tournament’s goal is to survive, not fight for the first place, and such an approach can impact the strategy.
Sit & Go Types
There are several different types of Sit & Go tournaments:
Single-Table Sit & Go
This is the most common type you’ll encounter. As its name suggests, it comes with a single table, meaning it’s quick to start and complete them. The biggest downside is the size of the prize pool, which is never significant.
All major poker sites offer single-table Sit & Go tournaments.
Multi-Table Sit & Go
Although rarer than the single-table variant, they are still available on major poker sites. They offer bigger prize pools, but completing them takes a lot of time. Players usually have to wait a while before they start.
Satellite Sit & Go
This tournament type comes with tickets instead of prize money. It’s a perfect choice if you’ve always wanted to take part in a big tournament, but your bankroll didn’t match your ambitions.
In 2003, an accountant named Chris Moneymaker claimed a staggering $2.5 million after playing a $39 satellite tournament.
Fast-Fold Sit & Go
Basically, this is a kind of multi-table Sit & Go tournament, where you change the table after each hand. It offers a dynamic playing experience and lots of winning opportunities.
This speeds things up, at least in the early rounds – but makes it harder to get reads on your opponents.