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Cash Games vs. Sit N Go’s
A Cash Game, also known as a Ring Game, is a non-tournament poker game where players buy-in and cash out as they please. The value of the chip is the same as cash. For example, if I sit down with $10 at a cash game. I have $10 in chips.
You can sit down at a Cash Game with as much money as you want - within the limits. At a $0.10/0.25 blinds game the minimum amount is $10 and the maximum amount is $50.00. Other players can sit down with a different amount of chips. You can re-buy chips in between hands up to the maximum.
How many players are in a Cash Game?
At Absolute Poker, all the cash games are 6 or 9 player tables. Other casinos have different amounts - usually up to 10 players. As long as there are 2 active players, there is no set amount of people needed to keep the game going. As mentioned above, you can sit down and get up as you please at any time.
What is a Sit N Go?
A Sit N Go or SNG, is an online poker tournament. The name "Sit N Go" comes from the fact that these games are fast with a clear beginning and end. A Sit N Go has a pre-determined number of players. Once the spots are filled, the game starts. Everyone in a Sit N Go must buy-in for the same amount of money and starts with the same number of chips. The blinds gradually go up in "levels" or "stages" until one player is left standing. The payouts are determined before the game and are displayed when you buy-in.
How many players are in a Sit N Go?
A Single Table Tournament or STT is usually 9 or 10 players. In a game like this, the top 3 finishers would place "in the money". However, Sit N Go's can have as many as 50 players (which would be 5 tables of 10) or as few as 2 (heads up). A Sit N Go with more than 10 players is played on more than one table and is known as a Multi-Table Tournaments or MTT.
Generally, the more players in the SNG, the more places are paid and the higher the prize money. Of course, with more players the tournaments are longer and there are more players to beat out.
I will use Absolute Poker as an example. Let's say you want to play a $10+1 Sit N Go. You buy-in for $10 and pay a $1 entry fee to the casino. The entry fee is usually anywhere from 5-20% of the buy-in at most casinos. In this case it’s 10%.
Each of the 9 players would start with the same number of chips - let's say 2000. The blinds would start low, usually 10/25. As the game progresses, the blinds will keep increasing to force action.
The buy-ins on a game like this would total $90. That money would get split between the top three finishers. First place would be $45, second place would get $27, and third place would get $18.
How long does a Sit N Go last?
A 9-player Sit N Go will usually last between 30-60 minutes. Some casinos have "turbo" Sit N Go's where the blinds go up faster. Turbo games finish more quickly. A 2-player Sit N Go, which is really just a "heads-up" match, will often last a few minutes before ending.
No limit Texas Hold’em Sit N Go's are generally faster than limit Sit N Go's because of the ability to move "all-in" gets things moving.
How do Sit N Go’s and Cash Games Differ?
The easiest way to understand the distinction is to understand that Sit N Go's are simply tournaments where players get eliminated. Once you are out, you’re out. In a Cash Game, you can re-buy as much as you want, sit down with as much as you want, and leave whenever you want.
Here are some of the key differences:
• You can buy-in or leave anytime during a Cash Game, whereas you must enter the beginning of a Sit N Go to play.
• Sit N Go's have a clear start (when everyone is ready) and end (when only one player is left). Ring games are ongoing.
• The blinds go up during Sit N Go's, so in the later stages you're forced to loosen your starting hand selection and take risks. In Ring Games, the blinds stay the same.
• There are a set amount of winners and losers in a Sit N Go. For example, in a 9 player SNG, 3 players will win and 6 will lose. In Cash Games, there is no set amount of winners or losers. You’ve won if you cash out with more than you bought in with.
Which do I prefer?
Actually, I really love playing both, but I play Cash Games more often because of the freedom of being able to leave whenever I want to. Also, it’s usually a quicker way to clear a bonus. But, from time to time I do play SNG’s and MTT’s when I know I’m able to sit down for longer periods of time.
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