Sit N Go tournaments have expanded in many directions. There are many sizes, ranging from 1-table up to 20 tables. You will also find many variations including faster blinds, different prize payouts and many games. This article covers the most popular multi-table Sit N Go tournaments, giving you insights and strategy tips on how to beat each type.
I have ordered the tips from smallest to largest, starting with the most popular MTT Sit N Go format of all – the 18-player 2-table games. After this the 45-player 5-table Sit N Goes are covered, then the 90-player games. The biggest regular Sit N Goes online are the PokerStars 180-player games, which are covered last.
Many people specialize in these fun games, which have 4 paying places. There are two major differences compared to the 1-table Sit N Goes. You will play short-handed just before the tables break to form a ‘final table’, with 5 players on each table. The blinds are often increasing to the 100 or 150 range by this point – and they will be coming around much faster. Stay active and take advantage of anyone passive who looks like they are waiting for a strong hand.
Your other main adjustment is with the ICM and bubble math calculations. There are 4 people paid in these games, which means your bubble strategy will start with 6 players and then peak when you get to 5. If you are going to play more than a few of these games, you should get hold of an ICM calculator and play with the ranges. This will give you a profitable edge over most of your opponents.
These are the smallest games which follow the 3-phases of Multi-Table Tournaments, with distinct early, middle and late periods. Unlike the smaller Sit N Goes where you stay tight early on, the emphasis is definitely on chip accumulation in the 45-player games. If you do not keep up then you will find some big stacks ready to put you under a lot of pressure during the later stages of these games.
45 player Sit n Goes generally pay 7 places, with the first 2 spots getting significant money compared to the buy-ins. You need to focus your efforts on reaching those top spots, even if this means you have a risk of busting out now and again.
These games have a definite ‘final table’ with 9 players all getting paid. They also follow a more defined stage-by-stage format than the smaller games do. If you are not yet familiar, I recommend you study strategy during the different phases of Multi-Table tournaments before playing many of these. Considerations include taking chips from the bad players early (since they are far harder to get from good players later), taking stack sizes into account when making moves during the mid-game and exploiting your opponent’s fear of busting out close to the bubble.
These games are massively popular, and are kicking off every couple of minutes around the clock. You can buy-in for as little as $1, with lots of mid buy-in games. While they meet the strict definition as Sit N Goes (no fixed starting time, kick off when they are full), these really are like mini-tournaments.
27 players get paid, with the lower paying spots getting just a little more than their buy-in back. The big prizes are all at the final table. Strategy for these games is a definite ‘play to win’ mentality, as one win will make up for many mini-cashes. When you hit the final table you need to take two key things into account: Stack sizes and who else looks like they are playing to win.
Stack sizes make a difference in several ways. If there is a tiny stack at the table, you will often find people trying hard not to bust out before that player does. This gives you plenty of opportunities to steal chips from the ‘comfortable’ stacks. If a big stack is pushing the table around, how you play will depend where this player sits in relation to you. For example an aggressive big stack acting right after you will mean you have to be patent and selective with you starting hands.
Many players will try and sneak up the payouts, and will be very passive at the final table. Make sure you try and work out who these players are and take advantage by raising and re-raising them when possible. Bear in mind that if one of these types suddenly decides to go all-in you have better have a hand to show down against them.