The difference between Cash Game and SNG

Unsicher seinAlthough cash game and sit & go tournaments have the same Texas Hold’em poker rules, they are two very different games. Both types can make fun, be profitable and bring with them several advantages and disadvantages. We would like to make a comparison in this article to help you to take the decision if you are not sure what you want to play.

Playing time and duration: At Cash Game, you can whenever you want get into a game and leave this immediately after one hand if you want to. In Sit & Go tournaments, the tournament starts as soon as the required players are registered and you have to finish the tournament. Depending on the blind structure and number of participants, this may take 20-60 minutes.

Repurchase: In a cash game, you can always buy back into the game if you have lost your stack and continue to play. In tournaments, you are eliminated as soon as you lose your chips. Only at rebuy tournaments, you can make a rebuy, but this option is usually only available on some MTT tournaments and not on SNGs.

Fixed Blinds Vs. variable blinds: At a cash game table, the blinds are always the same. You pick a special table and usually sit at the table with 100 Big Blinds (BB). At SNG tournaments you buy yourself with a certain amount and then receive a certain amount of chips which usually is 50-75 big blinds. As the blinds are increased every few minutes at SNG tournaments, the game also changes with the different chip stacks. In Cash Game everything stays the same.

Fixed number of opponents vs. the variable number of opponents: At Cash Game are usually always 10 or 6 players at one table. In contrast, in a SNG tournament, the number of players is reduced, until at the end only two players left in the heads up determine the winner.

Dollar vs. Chips: In cash games, every chip is real money. In tournaments, you buy yourself with a fixed amount, get a certain amount of chips and then depending on the placement in the tournament a cash prize, or nothing if you do not reach the paid places.

$ EV vs. cEV: For cash games, you only have to take into account the $ EV (dollar expected value). At SNG’s, the value of each additional chip decreases. At the end of the tournament, the first-placed player owns 100% of the chips, but only receives a certain percentage of the prize money. This difference between $ EV and Chip-EV must be taken into account and can be calculated by the Independent Chip Model (ICM).

The pros and cons of mixing cash game and SNG

It is advisable not to mix different Texas Hold’em variants. The reason is simple, poker is a complex game and it takes some diligence to specialize in one type of game and to play it successfully on higher limits. The mixing of different variants only hinders the learning process and you make it for yourself more difficult.

For beginners, it looks a bit different. The point here is first to get an overview of the different poker variations and then choose the one that brings you the most fun. In the long term, you should then commit to one type of game in order to improve and further develop there.

Of course, it is also possible to play both variants profitably, but only a few players can do it and want to do so.

Advantages of mixing different variants

  • More variety and fun
  • You broaden your horizons and improve as a general poker player

Disadvantages of mixing poker variants

  • The learning effect for the individual variant is significantly lower if you play several variants. If the variants are different, you have to pay attention to other things and can build significantly less experience in the same period.
  • Switching between the variants is difficult. What is a good move at SNGs may be a disaster in the cash game.
  • Your opponents do not sleep. Everyone tries to improve their own game to increase their profits. The more time you invest in your own game, the better you become. With different variants, you stand in your way.

The Bankroll Management

For both types of games, solid bankroll management is the basis. However, bankroll management is completely different for SNG and cash game and the swings are also completely different. You would only get confused if you play both types of games and possibly also different limits/buy-ins so that all had no structure at all.

Our recommendation regarding the Bankroll Management Cash Game

Our recommendation for bankroll management for SNG / tournament players

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· Published 20.02.2018 · last updated 26.09.2020

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