The Pros and Cons of Playing Online SNG

Learn all about the proc and cons of playing SNG

Sit & Go (SNG) tournaments have always been popular and continue to be so today. Thousands of SNG are played online every day at sites such as Ignition and Bovada – for more, check out our Bovada poker review and our Ignition poker review. There are plenty of pros to playing sit and go, but, conversely, there are also some negative. We’re highlighting both in this article.

SNG Pros

SNG Are a Great Introduction to Tournament Poker

Every poker player dreams of being the last man standing in a major tournament. Players flock to MTTs because they give them the chance to win a massive sum for a small buy-in. This is obviously great, but large field MTTs can and do take up to 12-15 hours to complete online. Very few non-professional players have that amount of spare time to play poker.

SNGs take far less time from start to finish. Even non-turbo structured games take less than an hour to crown their champion.

Each sit and go has a definite early stage, middle, a bubble and end game. There’s a heads-up section and you have to learn about Independent Chip Modelling (ICM) implications. Basically, SNG are like an MTT but one that is at the final table.

Sit & Gos Have Less Variance Compared to Multi-Table Tournaments

Poker is a game based on math so there is naturally variance involved. Playing SNG means you don’t need a bankroll as large as one required to play MTTs. This is because the feld sizes are far smaller and more players reach the money.

A typical MTT pays out 15% of the field, although some do pay more. Compare this to a typical nine-handed sit and go where the top three are paid, that’s 33.33%. Payouts for SNG are much smaller but you’ll reach the money far more often than in a tournament.

SNG Are Easy To Multitable

This format is excellent if you want to play a lot of volume. SNG are quite formulaic when you approach them in an optimal style, an approach that makes playing multiple tables a breeze. This leads to potentially higher loyalty rewards because you earn plenty of points.

Many players choose to play SNG to release their welcome bonus. Being able to play hundreds of tournaments a week see your bonuses released in record time. Likewise, cashback rewards etc stack up pretty quickly for SNG players.

The Cons of Playing SNG

They Can Become Quite Boring

It’s not all rainbows and sunshine for sit and go players because there are plenty of cons to consider. The first is that they can become boring and do so quickly.

We just mentioned that the optimal approach for SNG is quite formulaic. While that lends itself to high volume, there’s little room for creativity. Bluffing in sit and gos is almost non-existent because chip conservation is more important than accumulation.

Also, playing hundreds, sometimes thousands or the same game against the same players grows old quickly.

SNG Attract Some Elite Players

Lower stakes Sit n Gos tend to be populated with lesser skilled players who are easy to exploit. Move up stakes, however, and some real sharks swim in the SNG waters.

Mid-to-high stakes SNG grinders tend to play this format exclusively and have mastered them. They know exactly which hands are mathematically profitable to move all-in or call a shove. They make next to no errors when they’re playing, and are extremely tough to beat.

The lack of creativity mentioned earlier means you’re relying on Lady Luck helping you out against better opponents in these games. That’s hardly ideal and you tend to make your money from rakeback in these games.

You Need to Continually Study

It’s important to continually improve in all format of poker, but SNG especially. You need to become an expert in push-fold charts and ICM to be a successful SNG player. The games are won and lost on extremely small edges so missing a shove is disastrous long-term.

Give Sit & Gos a swerve if you’re not prepared to put in long hours away from the tables.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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