Top Online Poker Sites for Sit and Go Tournaments
Poker SNGs are a great poker format to play. Like tournaments, they give you a lot of bang for your buck, but with less variance. You can find plenty of SNGs running around the clock if you join the right online poker site.
That last part is important. Your experience all depends on whether you join the right site.
The good news is that joining the right site is easy to do. We’ve already done the legwork for you by researching, reviewing, and vetting the best poker sites for SNGs on the internet.
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Choose one of these top online poker rooms and within minutes, you could be playing your favorite SNG variant.
These sites were not chosen at random. The listings were not bought and paid for, nor did we receive any bribes.
Members of our team either played sit and go tournaments or continue to play them now. They reviewed different sites and have determined that these are the best online poker sites for sit and go tourneys.
You’ll find tons of great games, variants, and stakes to choose from. There’s something for everyone in this list of sites.
In the next section, we’ll explain why these poker rooms made the cut and the standards we hold every real money poker site we recommend to.
Then, we’ll talk about why you should play SNGs if you’re not already sold on them. Finally, we’ll wrap up this short guide with a few tips for how to cash in SNGs more often.
Because who doesn’t want to win more often?
How to Choose the Best SNG Poker Site
It’s not easy finding the best SNG poker site. There are many variables to consider, one of which is unique to poker.
The most important variable you’ll want to consider is traffic. For example, how many players does the poker room have? To figure this out, look through the lobby and see what games and variants players are registering for.
It’s also a good idea to click the “running games” filter (most poker sites have one) to get an idea of how many SNGs run overall. We recommend doing this during peak hours to get the most accurate info.
This should work if you enjoy playing any kind of SNG. However, if you prefer to play a specific game or type, then you’ll need to see how much traffic there is for those games.
If there aren’t many games running during peak hours, then it makes no sense to join that site. You’ll hardly get to play any SNGs and your money will just sit in your account.
That’s why traffic is usually the number one thing we consider when reviewing and rating real money poker sites. It doesn’t matter if it’s for SNGs, tournaments, or cash games.
Traffic isn’t the only thing that matters, though. There are other variables that you need to consider before you give a poker site your business.
- Do they have a gaming license? Are they regulated by a trustworthy gaming commission?
- Are there banking options that you can use? Are the banking limits and fees reasonable?
- Does their software have the features and options you want?
- Can you use a poker HUD, equity calculator, and other software or tools?
- Do they allow multi-tabling? How many tables can you play at once?
- What kinds of promotions do they offer poker players? Are their terms fair?
- What types of SNGs can you play? What stakes can you play for?
We can go on and on, but we think you get the point. There are a lot of variables to look for and compare in order to find the best poker sites for SNGs (or any other poker format).
The most difficult part for us is recommending poker sites that have widespread appeal. Since we have no idea what you’re looking for in a SNG poker site, the best we can do is recommend sites that have lots of features and options.
Of course, if you have any questions about the sites we recommend, you can read our poker room reviews to learn more about each one.
How Our Recommendations Are Different
Okay, so we explained a little bit about what we look for when selecting which SNG poker sites to recommend to our readers. But how do you know that you can trust our suggestions?
The honest answer?
You can’t. Not really. Not until you take a chance, join one of our recommended online poker sites, and see for yourself that it’s everything we say it is.
Other than that, the best we can do is share with you what our standards are. Or, in other words, what we’re willing to do and not willing to do when it comes to our reviews and ratings.
- We don’t accept money for preferential treatment. Our reviews are written from our perspective and do not include fluff or omit important details.
- No one can buy a higher spot in our recommendations table. Every site must earn their place, for better or for worse.
- Our reviews include both the good and the bad that we find. That way, you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into when you join.
- Our reviews are updated regularly to ensure that you have all the current information you need to decide where to play. We use this information to update our recommendations as needed.
Few information websites can say the same thing. Take a look and see for yourself. Most websites either have outdated information or the top spots in their ratings tables are bought and paid for.
We think that’s dishonest, especially since most of these sites don’t disclose that fact. And it doesn’t get our readers any closer to finding the best poker site for them.
So, that’s why we do things the way we do them.
You can find a poker site on your own. However, we encourage you to take a chance on our recommendations. Choose a site from the table above and make a small deposit.
Chance are, you’ll see and experience a great poker site filled to the brim with promotions, features, and reasonable terms. That’s why we’ve ranked them as the top real money poker sites for SNG players.
Four Benefits to Playing SNGs
Perhaps you’re new to this online poker thing. Maybe you heard that sit and go (SNG) tournaments are a great game to play but no one bothered to explain why.
We want to change that. SNGs are a great poker format to play, especially for beginners. The following are a few of our favorite reasons why.
1You Know Exactly What You Can Win or Lose
SNGs are a fixed format. When you register to play, you know exactly how many people there will be, how many places are paid, and how much each place pays.
There is some peace of mind that comes with knowing all this. If you deposit $20 and join a $1 tournament, you know that, no matter what, the max you can lose is $1.
In contrast, if you play cash games, there’s no telling how much you’ll win or lose in a session. Maybe you play for hours and don’t even win 10% of your buy-in. Or maybe you play for 10 minutes and lose two buy-ins.
This uncertainty is why some players choose SNGs (and tournaments) over cash games.
2SNGs Start Once Enough People Join
This is a benefit over larger tournaments. A large tournament might be scheduled to start a few days, weeks, or even months from now.
SNGs, on the other hand, will start immediately once every seat has been filled. For example, a nine-man SNG will start once nine players have registered. A 180-man will start once 180 players have registered.
This is great because you’ll know exactly how many players you have to fight through to cash or win the game. You know what you’re getting yourself into.
Another reason this is a benefit is because you know that the game will run. It’s just a matter of how long it’ll take for all the seats to fill.
Finally, this means that you can play SNGs at any time of day, whereas with scheduled tournaments, you have to wait until their scheduled time.
3SNG Skills Translate Well to MTTs
There are many skills that you need to learn before you can consistently beat SNGs. Here are a couple of examples of the skills you need.
- Understanding of ICM (push/fold)
- How to play the early levels
- How to change your strategy for antes
- How to build a stack
- How to play (abuse or survive) the bubble
- How to play a full table, short-handed, and heads-up
- How to read hands
And so on.
The bad news is that this will take a fair amount of time and effort on your part.
The great news is that all these skills are also necessary to do well in tournaments. So, once you learn these skills and start crushing SNGs, you can then transition to MTTs and expect to do reasonably well.
4Experience Less Variance With SNGs
One of the biggest complaints people have about playing tournaments is that you’ll experience a lot of variance. You can go months without cashing, let alone winning. And you can go even longer than that.
While you’ll still experience variance playing SNGs, it won’t be nearly as bad as playing tournaments with thousands of players in them.
Think about it this way. The smaller the SNG, the more consistent you can be in making it into the money. Good SNG players can expect to cashout 40% to 50% of the time for STTs and up to half of that for the 2-5 MTT SNGs.
So, while you will experience some variance playing SNGs, it won’t be nearly as bad compared to playing MTTs.
Quick Tips for Cashing out More Often
SNGs are a great poker format to play. However, one of the risks to playing is not winning any money. In fact, you probably won’t cash in the majority of the SNGs you play.
That’s okay, though, because with a solid strategy, the times you do cash should more than make up for the times you lose. Unfortunately, most players don’t have a solid strategy, thus, they hardly ever win a tournament, let alone make it into the money.
We want to help you fix that. The following are a few tips that, if you follow them, should help you to cash more often in the SNGs you play.
1Tighten up in the Early Levels
There’s a saying in the MTT community that you can’t win an MTT during the first couple of levels, but you can lose it during the first couple of levels.
The same idea applies to SNGs. Many players make the mistake of playing lots of hands. It makes sense, right? After all, you start most normal SNGs with 100 big blinds or more. So, why not play a lot of hands and try to double up?
Well, there are a couple of problems with this approach. For one thing, with every hand you play, you risk your tournament life. This is especially true if you tend to overplay your weaker top pairs or worse hands.
Next, doubling or tripling up doesn’t even guarantee that you’ll cash out. Yet, in attempting to build your stack so aggressively, you put yourself at risk.
Finally, it’s not as crucial to build a massive stack in most SNGs like it is in MTTs. You can do just fine as a short stack. Just shove a couple of times to pick up a couple of pots during the levels where there are antes and you’ll be right back in it.
2Change Gears and Catch People off Guard
One tactic you can try is to simply change gears while everyone else is still doing the same thing. Here’s an example to show you what we mean.
In MTT SNGs, a common spot to change gears is when a few players have busted and the tables are short-handed; this should be before the poker room moves players around and the tables become nine-handed again.
Many players at this point are still in nine-handed or full table mode. They haven’t adjusted their opening or stealing range for fewer players, but you can.
What you’d do here is simply play more hands. You can play more hands because every hand has gone up in value. Since these players are still playing the same way, tighter and/or with weaker hands that we still dominate, the hands you’d open will be purely for value.
Either way, this is a great opportunity to add chips to your stack.
3Get Aggressive With Antes
Another spot that many players miss, especially recreational players, is when antes are introduced.
Antes are a forced bet that everyone pays before the cards are dealt. These are usually a fraction of the blinds, but since everyone has to pay them, it can add up to a lot of money.
For example, during the 200/400 level, there will be only 600 chips in the pot. This is a good chunk of change relative to the average stack size, which will be around 10 to 15 big blinds depending on the SNG.
However, when you add a 50-chip ante from all players, you increase the pot by 450 chips. The pot is now 1,050. If players have 4,000 to 6,000 in their stack, the pot is now worth 15% to 25% of their stack before the cards are dealt.
This is the perfect time to get aggressive. Raise to steal the blinds. Learn how to re-steal from other players who also know to steal the blinds. Shove into other shorter stacks because you will have maximum fold equity (which means they’re more likely to give up and let you have the pot).
Do this a few times and not only will you double or triple up, but you’ll often end up the chip leader. Then, you can start abusing the table, picking up $1,050 (or whatever) every time the table folds.
Get aggressive here and you can build a stack for the bubble and final table. Seriously, follow tip #1 and this tip, and we have no doubt that you’ll win more often.
4Try Min-Raising Once Antes Kick In
Sometimes, winning more often simply boils down to preserving chips instead of trying to collect more of them. One way you can do that is to simply risk less when you raise or re-raise.
There are a couple of reasons why this works.
Let’s say the blinds are 200/400. Many people would open-raise for 1,200 chips. However, if you raise for 800 chips instead, every two raises buys you another attempt to steal.
Another benefit is that you don’t have to win as often for the raise to be profitable in the long run.
For example, if you bet 1,200 to win a 1,050 pot, you’ll need folds 53% of the time to breakeven. However, if you bet 800, you only need folds 43% of the time.
And if you’re called, then your hand needs around 30% equity to breakeven. Chances are, if you’re shoving or raising anything decent, you’ll have more than 30% equity. This means your steal is all-around more profitable.
Ultimately, you’ll risk less to win the same amount. And any chips you save will ultimately keep you alive longer and give you more opportunities to steal the blinds and play poker.
In turn, this should increase your chances of cashing in every SNG you play.
Join the Top Poker Sites for SNGs
If you haven’t played a poker SNG, then you don’t know what you’re missing. They’re a great format for the following reasons.
- They don’t take as long as scheduled MTTs do. They’re more convenient to play.
- You know exactly what you stand to lose and what you can win if you’re the last player standing.
- The strategies you learn playing SNGs can be used in MTTs.
- SNGs are softer. There are more bad players compared to cash games.
We can keep going, but the point is that these games are worth playing if you can join one of the best poker sites for SNGs.
Those sites are listed at the top of this page. We’ve already vetted each one to ensure that they’re reputable, safe, have lots of banking options and promotions, and tons of SNGs to choose from.
What are you waiting for? Choose a site and start playing real money SNGs online now.