Poker players who are serious about the game can put their skills to the test in an online poker or live casino poker tournament. These tournaments are available in different formats, each with its own rules that will affect your poker tournament strategy.
Two of the most popular tournament formats are multi-table and sit-and-go poker tournaments, but which of these is considered the better format? Learn more about each of these types of poker tournaments so you can decide which one is right for you.
What Is Multi-Table Tournament Poker?
If you’ve ever watched a poker tournament with dozens or hundreds of people taking part, it’s likely you were spectating a multi-table tournament (MTT). These tournaments can be played with any poker variant, but the most popular tournaments are Texas hold’em events.
These tournaments consist of a large number of players who are spread across multiple tables. Each of these tables can have up to 10 people competing for a chance to be “in the money” (these are the players who remain in the tournament who’ll win prizes) and to get to the final table (these players will walk away with the largest winnings, depending on their final placements).
The winner of each MTT table will move on to the next round with their poker chips until there is only one table with players left. This is known as the final table. The winner of the final table is declared when one player has all the poker chips that are in play.
These tournaments are very popular due to their large prizes, with players of all skill levels joining with the hopes of making it to the final table. Many players also aspire to be the next Chris Moneymaker, a player who secured his spot at the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event by playing in an online satellite tournament and then went on to win it all.
These events can take place using a number of different subformats. These include:
- Bounty: Bounty games see players receiving cash prizes for knocking out players as the tournament progresses.
- Shootouts: When the final player of each table progresses to the next round.
- Rebuy: When a player loses all their chips but buys back in. This can only take place up until a certain point in the tournament.
The Pros and Cons of MTT Poker
Here are the pros of this tournament format:
- Relatively low buy-in compared to the potential prizes.
- Wide range of skills due to the potential prizes and popularity of the format.
- Exciting gameplay due to the range of skills and increasing stakes as time passes.
These are the cons that you should keep in mind:
- Long playtime, with events often lasting for more than half a day.
- Only a few players will win any money.
- Variance could drastically affect your final placement.
What Is Sit-and-Go Poker?
Sit-and-go (SNG) poker tournaments offer players an alternative to the intense hours-long play of MTT. The name of this format refers to the fact that players sit at a table and the action kicks off as soon as the table is full. The game takes place at a single table, with players being eliminated as they run out of chips. Prizes are then awarded based on where players finished, with usually the top three players receiving winnings. The first-place winner takes home the largest share of the total prize pool.
As with MTTs, these poker tournaments can be played using any poker variant, but the tournaments themselves have different subformats depending on the event. The different subformats that these events can use include the following.
- Deep Stacks: When players have a large amount of chips to play with.
- Turbo: When players have a small number of chips to play with and blinds get larger as the tournament goes on.
- Winner Takes All: Only the first-place player receives a prize.
The Pros and Cons of SNG Poker
Here are the advantages of competing in an SNG poker tournament:
- They are quick, meaning you have more flexibility.
- Offers a good balance between cash games and MTTs.
- It has less variance when compared to MTTs.
However, there are also downsides to this format, such as:
- Smaller prize pools.
- Less variance in player skill.
- Games can get quite repetitive.
Choose Your Preferred Poker Format
Now that you understand the pros and cons of each poker tournament format, it’s up to you to decide what works for you. When in doubt, give both a try and see for yourself, and then do your homework on how to improve.
Put Your Poker Skills to the Test at BetMGM
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