Developing the correct Sit N Go strategy is a crucial part of learning how to win Sit N Go tournaments.  Adapting to an ever diminishing number of players across a tournament or our own table is critical if we want to reach the cash, and employing the wrong Sit N Go strategy at the wrong time can be terminal to our chances. At the end of this article I’ll refer you to some of the best online strategy resources and publications specifically designed to ensure you’re crushing your Sit N Go Tables. For now, let’s get started on the essentials to a winning strategy.

The Sit N Go (also known as SNG or Sit and Go) provides aspiring tournament players the chance to test their strategies across all stages of a tournament without necessarily having to slog through enormous fields of players where the prospects of final table experience can be slim.  Whilst multi-table tournaments can still provide the challenge of numbers, single table Sit N Go’s provide what can otherwise be a rare opportunity to play out a tournament against a limited number of opponents.  They are fun, often exciting, and usually short in duration relative to normal tournament events.

Added to this is the relative convenience of single table Sit n Go tournaments, which commence as soon as sufficient players are seated (usually 9 or 10).  Sit N Go tournaments also assist in bankroll management, as our initial buy in is all we stand to loose.

There are two critical elements to a winning Sit N Go strategy:

  1. Understanding the effect which players busting has on the structure
  2. Make the cash, then play to win.

Busted Players
In a mutli-table tournament, when a player busts they are immediately replaced by another player still in the tournament, thus ensuring that table numbers remain full or close to full throughout the entire tournament save the final table.  However, in a single table Sit N Go, a busted player leaves a vacant seat.  Whilst this brings us one step closer to the money, it also has a significant effect on the remaining players which we need to be aware of when learning how to win Sit N Go tournaments.  The reduction in players to a shorter handed table has the effect of artificially raising the ante’s relative to their size before the player busted.

Let’s use an example.  There are 6 players, and the blinds are 300/600.  We’re paying 900 to see a rotation of six hands, which equates to 150 a hand.  If a player gets knocked out, we are paying 900 to see five hands, or 180 per hand.  This is the case even though the blinds remain unaltered.  This artificial increase in the cost of each hand forces us to play more aggressively and gamble more, or risk loosing all fold equity or worse, simply being blinded out.

Blind levels relative to our stack size will always be relevant to our Sit N Go strategy and will play a major role in our hand selection.  The experts generally advocate a tight aggressive approach in the early stages, before becoming looser in the late stages, being prepared to steal when the blind levels start to squeeze.  This brings us to the second factor of a winning Sit N Go strategy.

Making The Money & Playing To Win
To appreciate this factor it’s worthwhile remembering that most Sit N Go tournaments have a payout structure as follows:

First – 50%
Second – 30%
Third – 20%

This has some important implications.  Some players advocate simply playing for the win each and every time on the basis that one win will be only slightly less than three third place finishes.  Whilst that’s right, it ignores the mathematical benefit in having placed in the money as distinct from not having placed at all.

Once we are down to three players, it is an absolute certainty that each player will be getting at least 20% of the prize pot.  Second place will receive 30%, being 10% more than third, and similarly first will take 50%, being 20% more than second.  To that degree, the difference between each place is not as significant as it might first sound when considering whether to ‘play for the outright win’ or whether to ease into the money and then play for the win.

To that degree, locking up a guaranteed return and then playing for the win can be a more profitable Sit N Go strategy to adopt.  That’s how to win Sit N Go single tables.

I said earlier we’d look at some of the best poker Sit N Go guides around.

For a stand alone step by step guide Project Sit N Go is a long standing and popular option which recently went through some updates.

Lee Nelson’s duo of ‘Kill Phil‘ and ‘Kill Everyone‘ are stellar reading for pre and post flop play respectively, with special attention to optimizing play in single table and MTT’s. As always, Sklansky rates a mention, in particular for his ‘Tournament Poker For Advanced Players‘.

You can find out more info on each below, and should definitely check out our poker training site reviews for immediate access to online coaching.


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