Which Game is Right For You?


This is a contribution from poker pro Matt Marietta.

Matt is an author at You can view his full biography here.

Which Game is Right for You?

New to poker and aren’t quite sure which type of game to start off with?  This is a common question amongst up poker beginners. Your choices are Sit ‘n Go’s, cash games, or multi table tournaments.  All being quite different from each other, it ultimately depends on what type of player you are.


poker proSit ‘n Go’s

Benefits to these games are that you put in a fixed amount of money and time. You simply pay the buy in; after that, there is not any more money at risk. If you are playing poker solely for profit, what’s bad about Sit ‘n Go’s is that they present profit at a much slower rate than that of cash games. You may have to play large volumes of hands before you see any profit at all, unless you’re a rakeback pro. Doing this, you may find that they can become quite tedious, and may get bored with them more easily. They give you far less of an edge and present many situations more out of your control; similar to that of flipping a coin.

It is substantially more difficult to show profit at the lower levels of Sit ‘n Go’s, as the rakeback significantly higher in proportion to the Sit ‘n Go’s in the higher stakes. But it’s not too bad of an idea to start off with them because they present less of a risk. The players are far more inexperienced and the buy-ins are much less.

To measure just how well you’re doing, you should play around about one thousand games. Having done this pretty much eliminates the factor of variance and will give you a fairly rough estimate. You can check on Sharkscope to see your average Return of Income and amount of games played. Once a bit experienced, to find your average earnings per hour, you may use the following formula:

Hourly rate = Return of Income x Sit ‘N Go’s per hour

Say you play $11 Sit ‘n Go’s with an average return of income of 6% and you play 10 games an hour. This would give you an average of $6.60 an hour. Not bad, but I wouldn’t go quitting my day job over it. After you get the gist of this, maybe you could consider going up in stakes, but remember the higher the stakes, the better the players are, so you must make sure you’re absolutely ready.

Multi Table Tournaments

These tournaments are quite similar to Sit ‘n Go’s. The main difference is the large volume of players, require much time; they can last hours and hours.  What’s good about these is that the buy-in is usually quite small in proportion to the winnings. Because of the large amounts of players in each game, they load much slower than Sit’ ‘n Go’s do. It may be a good idea to mix some Sit ‘n Go’s in with a multi table tournament or two to keep yourself more active.

Cash Games

A major advantage to cash games is you can pick which table you want to join. Say you like playing with less players or have become familiar with regular players, this would come in handy. With these games you are given the luxury to bet precisely how much you want to and must stay on the table only as long as you want to. If the table turns sour or a difficult opponent joins, you can just up and leave as you please. You don’t have to worry so much about chip equity as you must with Sit ‘n Go’s.

With cash games, in opposition to Sit ‘n Go’s, you actually see exactly how much money you are putting at stake. (In Sit ‘n Go’s, you simply pay the buy in; after that, it is all pretty much imaginary money from there.)  This can be good and bad at the same time. It may impair your willingness to maximally bet when you should for fear of losing that amount. Though, also it may also prevent you from betting too much when you shouldn’t.  Looking at statistics, you will see that less people actually profit from Sit ‘N Go’s than cash games. When comparing the top earners, you will see that the top Sit ‘N Go earners are making only a fraction of what the top earners of cash games and Multi-Table tournaments are making. If you want to attempt or think you are capable of earning thousands or even millions of dollars, then Sit ‘n Go’s are probably not for you.

A major aspect of cash games is post flop play. You will encounter it much more in cash games than in Sit ‘n Go’s as you are not folding as often. You will probably find these games to be more complex and mentally stimulating and with less robotic plays than Sit ‘n Go’s.

With all these games, you can find yourself a cheap way to play with an opportunity of experience and profit. It couldn’t hurt to try all three and see which suits you best!

Matt Marietta


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