Sitting Out Rules

What is ‘Sitting Out’ and how does it work?

‘Sitting out’ when playing poker games gives you the freedom to take a break as and when you might need one, without forfeiting your chips. It's best to think of a player who is sitting out as simply folding every hand. This is a completely legal tactic, as it is up to any individual player to decide his own best strategy. There is no rule, for obvious reasons, against folding every hand. Therefore, players who choose to sit out are not breaking any rules, and no action will be taken against them.

The option to sit out is available in all our games at the click of a button, and below we’ll discuss how it works in ring games and tournaments.

Sitting Out in Ring Games

When you are playing a ring game, you can always click ‘leave table’ and take your chips out of the game at any time. This is because each hand in a ring game is its own separate event, meaning the game and your opponents’ chip stacks won’t be directly affected if you decide to no longer play. You can also ‘sit out next hand’, which allows you to return to the game when you’re ready. Your chip stack won’t be affected, but you may need to post a big blind upon returning to the game. Sit out too long in a ring game, though, and we will free up your seat for another player.

Sitting Out in Tournaments

Tournaments differ from ring games as for each ‘buy-in’ made by players they receive a starting stack of chips. These chips are not taken from their chip totals or bankrolls, but are instead part of the overall structure of the tournament, and used to measure who’s winning, losing or already out of the game. In general, once a tournament begins, it will only finish when one player has won all the chips.

For the same reason that players cannot just choose to pick up their own chips and leave, we cannot arbitrarily remove the player and their chips from the tournament once it has begun. Every chip in a starting stack of a tournament must be at the final table in order for a game to be fair to every player. This means should you sit out, you will continue to post blinds and pay antes until you return, or run out of chips.

We cannot make changes to the system to discourage this activity. Once a player has paid their entry, they are entitled to play their chips however they wish within the rules of the game.

Is Sitting Out a good Strategy?

Sitting out of ring games will have no direct impact on the way a game plays, or how much you win or lose. But whether you’re playing a real money Sit & Go or tournament, or enjoying Play Money poker, you will find that very few players are sitting out, as it’s rarely the best way to win.

A player who sits out of a tournament actually puts their opponents at a significant advantage, as that player is still forced to pay their blinds and antes, and is never able to build a big stack. On occasion, a player in a one-table Sit & Go might ‘blind off’ into 3rd place, or maybe even 2nd, but players who employ this strategy are usually far worse off than those who play their best game. And if players are actually reaching the payouts and winning chips by sitting out for long periods of time, this is a sign that the play in these events is far too loose, and you should adjust your play accordingly.

We hope this clearly explains why sitting out is neither against the rules nor something we can possibly police.

Ready to start playing? One-table real money Sit & Go’s are available for as little as $1.10, and multi-table Sit & Go’s are available for as little as $0.02! If you prefer Play Money poker, we’ve also got an exciting range of games running right now.

Please Note: there is a limit of three concurrent Play Money Sit & Go events per player. This stops players from registering for an unlimited number of events in an effort to accumulate chips without playing.

Enjoy our games, and thanks for playing with us!