Key Differences Between 6-Handed (6-max) and Full Ring (9 or 10 handed) Sit N Go Tournaments
6-Handed Sit N Go tournaments are increasingly popular with two places paid – and a structure that weights the prize money towards 1st place, some adjustments are required for those players more used to the full-ring SNG format – the strategy is covered in our separate introduction to 6-max SNG Strategy article. This article compares 6-max and full-ring 1 table tournaments on a number of important criteria including starting hands, position and multi-tabling - to help you make the most profitable decision for your personal needs.
Planet Mark's Rec: You will not find 6-max SNGs any easier to profit from than on the iPoker Network. With decent volume at lower to mid-levels and a very good player loyalty scheme my rec is for Titan Poker - Check out my SNG-specific review for more: iPoker Sit N Goes
6-Max vs Full-Ring SNGs, Starting Hand Selection
With no ‘Early Position’, faster rotation of the blinds and opponents who will be playing lesser values your starting hands requirements can be significantly relaxed when first to enter a pot in 6-handed SNG play. Likewise re-raise hand ranges can be adjusted – depending on the specific opponents.
6-Max vs Full-Ring SNGs, Position Plays
Position in a full ring game will allow you to win more when ahead and lose less when behind in a hand. In 6-max there is a statistically lower chance of your opponent having a ‘monster hand’. Position thus becomes more important than ever, in fact since most flops are taken by unpaired hole-cards you will often take the pot with a position bet the majority of the time.
6-Max vs Full-Ring SNGs, Multi-Tabling
In order to make a profit in this form of poker you need to learn how to multi-table SNGs. Since there are less post-flop decisions in the full-ring game and conversely more in 6-max, the ‘pro grinders’ tend to favor 9 or 10 handed sit n go tournaments. 6-handed players thus have the advantage of less pro opponents – which needs to be balanced with the fact that it becomes more difficult to multi-table these games once you reach 6 to 8 tables.
6-Max vs Full-Ring SNGs, Collusion / Chip Dumping
It is a sad fact of life that, even at the lowest buy-in levels, there will always be attempts to cheat in online poker. This is usually very badly executed by amateurs by dumping stacks of chips onto each other. This is more likely to happen in a 6-handed game, where the proportionally fewer opponents mean that this conveys a larger advantage. Look out for unusual betting patterns, particularly a large raise and then fold to a small re-raise. If you spot something suspicious then e-mail support at your poker site – while this is a rare phenomenon it can happen at any time, so be vigilant!
6-Max vs Full-Ring SNGs, Prize Pool Adjustments
The 65% / 35% prize pool distribution compared to the full ring norm of 50% / 30% / 20% lead to some significant adjustments. The 3 handed bubble not only has a far larger gap between 3rd (0%) and 2nd (35%), but the ‘blind pressure’ that all players face is increased compared to a 4-handed bubble too. If you follow chip-equity models such as ICM you need to make sure that you know how this affects your push / call ranges. If you do not follow ICM then make sure you understand these ranges anyway – a significant number of your opponents (above the lowest buy-in levels) will be using this against you. Find out more in our Introduction To ICM for SNGs article.
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