Sit and Go Poker Bankroll Management

Sit n go’s (SNGs) are a format of poker tournaments that are very widespread at online poker sites today. A big part of their popularity is due to the fact that poker players don’t need to sit around for very long waiting for a game to start. More than that, since there are typically fewer players than what you’ll find in multi table tournaments, it doesn’t take as long for players to finish them.

If you want to play SNGs with the goal of making money, then it’s very crucial that you adopt smart bankroll management, otherwise you will make the same mistake that practically every novice poker player makes, and will end up losing the money that was dedicated to playing SNGs.

Regardless of how good you think you are at playing SNGs, the importance of proper bankroll management in sit and go tournaments can not be ignored. By playing these games with bankroll considerations in mind, you can better manage the variance that comes with playing SNGs at a serious level.

For those who don’t already know, variance in SNGs as well as in poker in general basically refers to the volatility and swings of playing the game. The level of variance is influenced by the edge over the players you are playing against and the format of SNGs.

For example, the turbo SNGs are designed to take a lot quicker to finish and so have a much faster blind structure. Because of this, turbo SNGs have lots of variance. Less poker is being played in the later stages of the tournament when the blinds relative to the stacks get really big, so it becomes mostly a crapshoot. This is more ideal for casual players but not good at all for the better SNG players.

As a result, in higher variance games like turbo and hyper turbo SNGs, you will need to accommodate for the fast blind increases by playing these games with a bigger bankroll or don’t play them at all. Alternatively, you can stick to playing lower variance games such as no limit hold’em cash games.

One of the questions that gets asked pretty much constantly by new sit & go players is just how big of a bankroll do you need if you are primarily playing this format of tourneys?

That’s a good question, and one every player should be asking themselves before jumping straight into sit and go poker tournaments online. Considering the vast majority of SNG players want to play regular SNGs, I think it makes more sense focusing on bankroll considerations for them.

When playing sit and go’s, you’ll want to have at least 40-50 buy ins, which if you’ve read the cash game poker bankroll management article, you would know is a bigger bankroll than is required for playing cash games. But with a bankroll this large, it will allow you to properly withstand the swings that come with playing this high variance game.

For example, let’s say you were playing $5 SNGs at your favorite poker site, this would mean that you would need $200 at the very least in order to consider playing this game if not a little more.

Unfortunately, most amateur SNG players lack the discipline that is needed in order to practice smart bankroll management, and it’s only a matter of time before these players lose it all playing in games they were not properly bankrolled for. When it comes to playing SNGs the worst thing you can do is to play outside of your bankroll or use some of your bankroll to pay for things outside of playing poker.

Unless you have a business approach to playing SNGs, you’ll never make any money playing them. Whatever money you have allocated for playing SNGs needs to be used primarily to fund all of your SNG buy ins and nothing else. It seems like such simple advice but you would be amazed how many poker players ignore it.

Of course, this is not to suggest that you can’t play SNGs on online poker sites just for a bit of fun, but I highly doubt you have read until this far in the article if you weren’t planning to take SNGs fairly seriously to try and make a side income or even go full time.

Finally, once you become a winning SNG player at a certain level, you should have been able to build a big enough bankroll to hopefully move up and play higher stakes where there is more money to be made. Just never lose sight of the importance of focusing on SNG bankroll management, it’s what got you to the point of being able to take shots at bigger games.