Turbo Sit and Go Games vs Non-Turbo Games

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A common question from beginning sit and go players is whether they should play turbo or non-turbo sit and goes. It’s a good question to ask because there are significant differences between the two game types. I’m going to go ahead and cover the differences between the two below.

However, don’t forget we also have an entire strategy section dedicated to Turbo SnG play. You can view all those sections just below here:

  1. Basic Super Turbo SNG Tips
  2. Getting Shutout in Super Turbo’s 
  3. Heads Up Strategy 
  4. Early Game Strategy
  5. Position is Key in Super Turbo SNG’s 
  6. Min-Raising in Super Turbo’s
  7. Specializing in Super Turbo SNG’s
  8. Stay Under the Radar

Game Options

The first difference between turbo and non-turbo sit and goes is that the available games will be different. This will affect all kinds of things from your hourly rate to your strategy to amount of volume you can get in.

What games are available in which variation will vary from one site to the next. For example, on PokerStars you can play 45-man turbo or non-turbo sit n goes, whereas on Full Tilt Poker only non-turbo 45s were available. The same is true for the 18-mans.

There are plenty of other examples too. For instance, the 10-man and 27-man sit n goes on PokerStars are only non-turbo.

You’ll also find that buy-ins are different from turbos to non-turbos. For example, the 180-man non-turbos have a $11 buy-in, whereas the turbo variation goes from $8 to $15.

You will also want to keep in mind what games you like to play and where they’re most popular. The 18-man sit n go’s are a great example of this. On PokerStars you’d have no problem finding an 18-man running. They’re just popular enough to always be going, even at night when Americans are asleep. When I played 20-30 hours per week, they’d be registering non-stop from when I got up in the morning until I went to bed.

That wasn’t the case on FTP though. You would always have to wait for 18s to fire there. In fact, you almost always had to mix other games (45s and 90s) to make up for the lack of volume.

PPI Rakeback

The Difference in Hourly Rates

One of the most important factors to consider when deciding whether to play a turbo or non-turbo game is the hourly rate. This will only be a big deal if you’re playing full-time or if you have time restrictions. You’ll want to go for whatever delivers the highest hourly rate.

In nearly every case the highest hourly rate is going to come from the turbo sit n goes. The reason being is that they finish in half the time of their non-turbo counterparts.

For example, a turbo 180-man sit and go will take about two hours. That’s because the blinds are about 5 minutes long. In a non-turbo 180-man, the blinds are 10 minutes. In a turbo you can get twice as many games in.

Your ROI will likely be higher in a non-turbo sit n go, just because there is more “poker” involved and less push/fold (chance). But there is no way your ROI will be twice as high. In other words, you might earn $4 per game in the $8 180-man turbos for a 50% ROI, but even if you have a 75% ROI in the non-turbo variation and earn $6 per game, you’re still not going to out earn what you can make in the turbos. You’d have to have a 100% ROI just to match it. And that’s not going to happen.

Overall, it just depends on what your goals are. Do you want to make as much money as possible, as fast as possible? Does your livelihood depend on it? Then you’ll want to sacrifice ROI for your hourly rate and play turbos. On the other hand, if hourly doesn’t matter, then choose whichever is the most fun for you.

The Difference in Strategy

Another difference between turbos and non-turbos is the strategy that you use.

In a turbo sit and go your strategy is going to heavily rely on push/fold. That’s because the blinds are so fast that you don’t have enough time to accumulate chips before you become a short stack. So there is less poker played and more luck involved. That means thinner edges (more 60/40s), which also means more swings. This will affect you mentally and financially.

On the other hand, the blinds in a non-turbo are twice as long. You have more time to play actual poker, not to mention you’re dealt more hands which means that you’ll have more opportunities to be dealt something playable. As a result, you shouldn’t find yourself in a situation where you have to shove all in very often. This is clearly different from a turbo where in almost every game that you play you’ll have to shove a couple of hands just to stay alive.

Which Do You Play — Turbo or Non-Turbo?

My choice is the turbos. I like that the games are faster, and although I like to play poker for fun, I do play them to turn a profit, too. So earning as high a hourly as possible is important to me.

That said, if you just play for fun and don’t care too much about hourly rates, then choose whatever is going to be the most fun for you. For a lot of guys my guess would be the non-turbos. You’ll get to play a lot more poker, and you don’t have to worry about constantly being short stacked.