Explanation of Sit and Go
Unlike in cash games, players are not free to cash out or rebuy at any time. Sit and go entrants continue playing until they run out of chips. Prizes are awarded based on the position a player finishes the event. While the last man standing wins the entire sit and go, prizes are often awarded to players who outlast the rest of field: 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place etc.
Sit and goes come in a variety of different styles with different rules and structures. Here is a short list of common structures -
Heads Up, 9-man, 180-man etc etc – Describes the number of entrants required before the sit and go begins.
Hyper, Turbo, Hyper-Turbo, regular, Deep – The exact meaning depends on the poker room, but these are references to the tournament structure. Turbo tournaments typically involve starting with relatively shallow stacks along with fast increases in the blind levels. Deep tournaments are the opposite; deep starting stacks and relatively slow increases in blind levels.
Double or Nothing – Half of the registrants double their buy-in amount while the other half walk away with nothing.
Satellite – A tournament where winners compete for entries into a bigger tournament. In events where more than one ticket is up for grabs, most (if not all) of the winners receive the same prize (i.e. a ticket).
Winner Takes All – The first place finisher takes down the entire prize pool. Second place gets nothing.
Like cash games, sit and goes can be 9-handed, 6-handed or heads-up (and any other amount of players per table).
Example of Sit and Go used in a sentence -> The classic sit and go format runs with 10 players and awards prizes to the top 3 finishers.
How to Use Sit and Go as Part of Your Poker Strategy
Strategy approach to tournaments (i.e. sit and goes) are notably different than strategy approach to cash games.
For a start, not all chips are equal in sit and goes. A technique known as ICM (independent chip model) needs to be employed in order to correctly assign chips a monetary value. Depending on the exact sit and go situation it may even be correct to fold pocket Aces (in Hold’em) preflop as a result of ICM considerations. See the glossary entry under ICM and Bubble for more information on this topic.
Sit and go players spend a larger amount of time playing with shallow stacks than cash game players do. Cash game players routinely rebuy to keep their stack at 100bb while sit and go players will frequently find themselves playing at stack depths of 20bb or lower. Understanding the maths behind short-stack scenarios is hence extremely important for sit and go players.