Introduction to Sit&Go tournaments

Sit and Go (also called Sit & Go, S & G or SNG) are an excellent way to approach the MTT (MTT) as they are exactly the same but with less number of participants, so it is easier to get to the awards and learn to defend ourselves in the different phases consisting of a tournament. An S & G is like a normal tournament (MTT), but smaller.


A Sit & Go is, by definition, a one table poker tournament. Unlike his older brothers, the multi-table tournaments (MTT), S & G does not have a fixed schedule, so it starts when all participants sign up, i.e. 10 players in a full ring table.

The online poker rooms, over time, have expanded the S & G concept, and the offer on the number of players has expanded as well. There are now Sit & Go’s like, ex PokerStars 9, 18, 27, 45, 90 and 180 players, so the definition of S&G now refers to the tournament that begins when players have occupied the space available for it.

However, the popularity of single table S&G is enormous and its characteristics make it subject to special treatment. In this section we will talk about this kind of S&G on Texas Holdem No Limit.

The S&G can be played on any form of poker, what happens is that there are some ways in which the S&G or MTT is more appropriate and / or makes more sense.

The S&G is the best way of entering in No Limit Hold'em, and having your bankroll controlled during learning. What you do when you pay a registration is to buy chips.

The registration form is to pay the buy-in plus the rake for the house. It’s usually indicated in the "lobby" as follows: $10 + $1. This means that we will play a $10 tournament registration to be distributed as prize and $ 1 of rake for the casino.

Prizes will be shared as follows: 50% of the proceeds to the winner, 30% of the proceeds to the second place and 20% of the proceeds to the third. In a 10 player S&G with buy-in of $10 + $1 (rake) the prizes are as follows: 1st $50, 2nd $30, 3rd $20, total revenue of $ 100.

Considerations about the prizes and the rake

Notice that the difference between second prize in relation to the first is almost double, so it is very important to play to win whenever possible. You can apply the maximum of to any sport but the third place will always gain a medal and the second place will always loose one. This game mode will motivate you not to settle for the money, but wanting to win. Winning will ALWAYS be your goal.

Recall that the rake is the commission you give the casino for letting us play the game at their facilities live or online. While the rake in cash games is usually between 4 and 5% of the pot, the rake for the S&G usually varies between 10% enrollment from tables of 10$ and 20% of enrollment in tables under 10$ (usually). If our intention is to play S&G with the intention of generating profits should be imperative to leave the table with 20% rake, which is an insurmountable burden for our economy. In other words: You have to get the hell out of the micro-limit of S & G (tables up to 10 $) or find rooms where the rake is 10%.

If our goal is to learn the game is not going to matter because we pay the rake offset by the opportunity to play a NL tournament with a minimum cost, BUT keep in mind not to be in your mood profit (earn little money), but the proper motivation of the game in micro-limits on S&G is LEARN to play NL.

Standard list of tables and rakes (Remember that each casino has its own officers and their own rakes but generally tend to be similar)


Micro-limits (rake 20%) Low Limit (rake 10%) High Limit (rake 10% or less)
$0.50 + $0.10
$1 + $0.20
$2 + $0.40
$6 + $1
$10 +$1
$20 +$2
$90 +$9
$100 + $9
$200 + $15
$300 + $20
$500 + $30



The ROI (return on investment) is a stock market term converted to poker term that tells us our share of profit in tournaments. ROI is the percentage of the money earned in connection with the investment.


ROI = 100 x total profit / buy-in total

  • Example: In a tournament buy-in of $10 +$1 receive a prize of $ 20.
  • ROI = 100 x (20$ -11$) / $11 = 81.81%
  • Example 2: Within a month of play of S&G in tables $10+$1 i won $ 1400 and paid in buy-ins $1100 (100 games).
  • ROI = 100 x (1400$ -1100$) / $1100 = 27.27%
  • Note: The ROI makes sense when we played a significant number of games.
  • Note 2: You should have different ROI's for the different levels you play.
  • Note 3: The ROI is used only in tournaments because it has an fixed buy-in in relation to the prize.
  • Note 4: ROI is not used in fixed.




Table of expected benefits


Microlimits Not loose
Low Limits 25%-50%
High Limits 10%-15%

Hourly rate


Ultimately, we will function like the corner shop, we charge per hour. S&G playing is not very clear, because if I guide myself by the ROI may happen to have a high percentage but earn little per hour and not compensate for me to play them. And then came the Internet ... and multi-table. Any player who wants to get some return for the S&G should play in multi-table mode. “How many tables?” My friend, we have a number for you. Let's distinguish two player profiles:


The intention of this player is not cashing in on the S&G, but is not to loose his limited bankroll while learning to play the game. Tables suitable for this profile are neither more nor less than ONE.
The game is a complicated game where you must consider many factors when making a decision, so paying full attention to one table slowly realizing what all the books say on how to play the hands, and even more importantly, be able to discuss our errors.

SPRO (semi-pro)
Here the player is a bandit of the mountains and not by playing by "hobby" drawing some hands with colleagues. This player is here for the money. Although we are the best in the world is not going to be profitable to play only at one table, unless the buy-in is stratospheric because the hourly earnings do not compensate, but yes, we will have an viable ROI. For this type of profile it is imperative to optimize time and resources and would inevitably have to play more than one table. Question: - "How many?" - Answer: My name is Paul and that's your problem (see Pulp Fiction) hehehe...

A great system is not to start and match the tables in the same stages of the tournament. Example: I open a table, I wait for the elimination of half of the players and /or blinds are to 100$ -150$, then open another table. The first phase of S&G is tight so we hardly play and we pay attention to the first table that is entering the decisive phase. By the time the game ends at the first table, the second table is entering the decisive phase and i can pay attention to it. So, i open another table. This is the system we recommend to start playing multiple S&G.
There are many systems out there as people will read or will listen to two hundred thousand different ways to do it, have open tables while drinking coffee, reading newspapers and watching TV. Finally, we advise you to do ours and find your limits.

Factors to consider

1. - The capacity of our screen
Nowadays the poker rooms offer various set ups for your tables depending on what type of screen you have , if its small you can use stacked and have all the tables in one stack, allowing you to play a hand at the time but in a bigger table format.
Then you have tiled, where all the tables are resized to the available space on the screen allowing you to see all the tables at the same time, this format is very good if you have a good and big screen.

2. - Our level of play
It seems obvious that the more tables you have open, more decisions have to be made, so, it’s easier to make a mistake. We must have a knowledge of the game enough to deal with situations that we are going to submitted to, and we must decide in seconds. The more games we play and the more experience we have will make these decisions easier.

3. - Our capacity for rapid analysis
Not all are equal, or rather, everyone is equal because everyone is different. Each person in this blessed world has qualities more developed than others and among them is the perception. When you play at many tables you should be able to perceive, analyze and make a decision in seconds. Our ability to perform this process we will limit the number of tables that can open.

In conclusion, we must adjust the number of open tables to our knowledge of NL, in our analysis and our ability to monitor them.

 Bankroll advise


Table of advisable bankroll


Microlimits 20 buy-in
Low Limits 30-50 buy-in
High Limits >50 buy-in



The minimum recommended bankroll to play S & G is 20 times the registration fee, so to say, the buy-in.
Example: The minimum table i have found is $ 0.50 +0.10 $, so I need $ 12 to start playing at that table.
The bankroll is thought to play a medium-high level, so if you start playing and you have no idea, for sure you'll need something more. My recommendation is that destinies $12 to play $0.50 +0.10$ (or proper bankroll on the table you find cheaper) and play until you lose it once again at this point to enter $12 and come back to play, this time they will last a little longer… ;-)


Learning to play NL is more expensive than to learn to play Fixed, but if we do it properly, it won’t be costly.

The question then arises: When to raise the limits? The answer is, when we have knowledge and bankroll enough to move up. Personally, I say that I have rather little knowledge so I find my way through the second observation, the bankroll. You have to climb when you have 20 times the buy-in from the next level.
Ex: I have $12 to play at $0.50 +010$, when you have $24 ($01.02 x $20, since the higher buy-in is $1 +$0.20) go up.

When lower level? For when we have 20 times the buy-in from the table immediately below. Ex: I have $ 24 to play for $1 + $0.20, when my bankroll passes the limit of $12 i lower the level.

If you do not want to go up and down you need a higher bankroll, so to say, enough to support a downswing. In micro-limits (up to $10 +$1) suggest twice, 40 times the buy-in. Problem: As we are paying a huge rake we are going to do very difficult to win 40 times the buy-in from the top table. I advise waiting to play Low Limit (from $10 + $1) to seriously consider playing with a double bankroll advised to avoid being up and down.


We must avoid at all costs to take in account lost profits in a common bankroll. The only excuse is to enter $ 50 in a casino and keep trying there, BUT, as we decide what it is we'll play you have to create a separate bankroll for each mode of the game.
If we count all things in common we do not know if we lose or gain in each mode. We can not keep tabs on our progress in the game because we do not know what we have gained / lost and how long.

By Juan Carreno



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