Introduction to Single Table Sit and Goes

by Mario Alfonsi  |  Published on May 23, 2017  |  Updated on May 23, 2017

Sit and Go poker tournaments are smaller tournament events that aren’t scheduled to occur. They start online when the table’s full. At land based casinos, they work that same way, in card rooms however, they can get out of control, often starting before the table is full, and then allowing more buy-ins as the game progresses. Watch out for that sort of game, there are some definite disadvantages to getting involved there.

Most commonly a Sit n Go Tournament (frequently referred to online as an SNG tournament) will only consist of one poker table full of players. Simply enough, that’s called a single-table sit n go. When there’s only one player remaining at the table, the game’s over and that player is the first place winner.

In most cases, there are 9 or 10 people in the game at the beginning, and the top three players at a Sit n GO event place in the money. However, there are variations to this; some sit n go’s pay the top 4 places, and other single table events are actually winner take all, and in some, which we discuss further below, half of the players simply double-up .

Sit n Go tournaments provide players with a way to enjoy profiting from the game, in tournament style events that aren’t thousands of players deep while still controlling their investments, which can be tougher to do with cash game poker. They are also a great way to meet friends online, and enjoy a leisurely session, with the same group. Sometimes, in lower stakes games, the group enjoys each others company so much that they all agree to resit at the same table together after the game ends.

50/50 Sit n Go Tournaments

About 2 years ago, PokerStars introduced 50/50 events. In these tournaments players each had a shot at a double up. Half of the players that bought into the sit n go event won double their money, and half the players lost their entire stake. If you’re just starting out with a strategy that requires you to be very careful to always cash, these might be a good idea for you.

Sit n Go Satellite Events

Prior to many major tournaments Sit n Go’s are often a cheap way to get a seat. For instance, let’s say you want to play in the World Series of Poker. You’re not thrilled about plopping down $10k, or maybe you just plain cannot pay the $10,000 buy-in to the event.

You could sit down at a $1,000.00 Sit and Go table, that awards one player a seat in the event. If it were possible to pay $3k, for the chance at winning say one of 3 seats into the event, that might be a better bet, it all really boils down to your Sit n Go strategy, and your own confidence in the game.

Step Style Sit n Go’s

Many online poker sites offer sit n go tournaments that are like steps into major events. You have to watch out for these however, they’re not always as good a deal as they seem.

Here’s how steps work on PokerStars for instance:

You buy into the first step for $7.50, or you can actually buy-in on PokerStars for 500 player points. If you win 1st or 2nd place in this event, you get to move onto step 2. If you get 3rd place, you get to try step 1 again. The 4th place winner only gets $1.50.

Players can buy into a Step 2 Sit n Go event for $27.50, so in theory, you’ve played a $7.50 event, and won $27.50.Players that win 1st and 2nd place in this tournament advance to step 3. Players that taking 3rd and 4th place get another shot at Step 2.

At the Step 3 level players can buy a ticket for $82, or use their step 3 ticket. That means those players that started at step 1 now have an $82 ticket for the $7.50 they originally paid. Players placing in 1st and 2nd place again advance. 3rd and 4th place finishers try step 3 again, and 5th place finishers are headed back to step 1. If you bust out of this step in 6th, 7th, 8th.. etc. You lose and can buy-in again or move on.

Step 4 of PokerStars Sit n Go Tournament Events – A Fork in the Road

Making it to step 4 is a milestone at a PokerStars event. Players buying into this step directly will pay $215 for their seat. Step 4 tickets can be used to play Step 4 in the Steps section or it can be used for a seat in a major PokerStars event, like the Sunday Million tournament on Stars, the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up or the PokerStars Sunday Second Chance.

Step 4 is kind of a safety net, once you’ve made it here, there’s fewer chances to bust out of the game entirely. 1st and 2nd place in this event move onto Step 5, 3rd place takes another shot at Step 4. The 4th and 5th place finishers will drop back down into Step 3 and the 6th place finisher will find their selves retrying Step 2.

PokerStars SNG Step Tournaments – Step 5… and so on

You get the idea here, with these steps right? To read more about them, visit PokerStars.
PokerStars isn’t the only poker site that offers these step events either.

Poker Sites offering Step Poker Tournaments

These are basically non scheduled tournaments. Satellite sit and goes also provide poker players with more opportunities and chances which any online poker player will find appealing and want to get in on.

There are a lot of benefits and many advantages that come with the sit and goes. Many online players like the fact that they move so quickly. This is due to the fact that the blinds are raised continuously. Players may have a bit more pressure on them. However, they do appreciate the constant movement this provides and the ability to be involved in a fast and smooth poker game.