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StrategySit & Go

Spin & Go beginner strategy

Welcome to our new beginner strategy for Spin & Gos. At the biggest poker rooms, these tournaments are also known as: Twister Poker (iPoker), Spin & Gos (Poker Stars) and Jackpot Sit & Gos (Full Tilt). Our strategy is suited to all of these variants.

Poker is the most popular card game in the world. Millions of people around the globe play poker each month. Some are playing face to face in card rooms or casinos; others prefer the comfort of their home and play from their computer. What they have in common is the enthusiasm for the game.

This beginner strategy will offer a simple but still promising first step into the world of online poker. That's possible because Spin & Gos tend to attract a lot of gamblers who don't pay much attention to a correct strategy, and instead just hope to get lucky and win a big jackpot. With the help of our strategy you can gain an edge on these players, consequently winning more often on average as mathematics will be on your side.

Spin & Gos are quite well suited to getting started with poker because they are much easier to learn compared with other variants of the game. The reason is the small ratio of your chip stack compared to the big blind. For example, when you have 600 chips and the big blind is 60 chips, you only have 10 big blinds left in your stack. For situations like that a correct strategy can be simply taken from a predefined chart. In contrast to Spin & Gos, you often have more than 100 big blinds in cash games, making the game much more complex, to the extent that a correct strategy can't be presented only with a few hand charts.

 

The prize pool of a Spin & Go is selected at random

Three players buy-in with $1 at the start of each Spin & Go. Afterwards, the prize money (jackpot) is randomly chosen. It will be allocated according to the following probabilities:

Prize pool ($1 buy-in for each player)Probability
$12,000 1 out of 100,000 tournaments (0.001%)
$240 5 out of 100,000 tournaments (0.005%)
$120 10 out of 100,000 tournaments (0.01%)
$25 100 out of 100,000 tournaments (0.1%)
$10 500 out of 100,000 tournaments (0.5%)
$6 7,500 out of 100,000 tournaments (7.5%)
$4 18,365 out of 100,000 tournaments (18.37%)
$2 73,519 out of 100,000 tournaments (73.52%)

This structure also results in profit for the poker room (rake). 93 cents of each dollar are paid back to the players through the different jackpot amounts.

After the jackpot has been chosen, the three participants compete for it against each other. Once a player has been able to win all the chips in play, they are declared the winner and receive the jackpot.

Attention: This beginner strategy is only suited for Spin & Gos with a buy-in for $1.

 

Four steps to the optimal decision

Now, let's delve into the actual strategy! In order to make a correct decision at the poker table, you have to precisely analyse the situation you're in and gather all the important factors. With the help of this information, you can then find the correct play in the respective hand chart.

 

Step 1: Determining your position at the table

Your position at the table determines whether you're attacking or defending a blind. Of course, this affects your strategy as well; therefore the first step to an optimal decision is determining your position.

• You are on the Button (BU) when you have the white dealer button.

Small Blind (SB) is the name of the position left of the Button and the player in it has to pay the current small blind.

Big Blind (BB) is the name of the position left to of Small Blind and the player in it has to pay the current big blind.

Once one player has been eliminated, the dealer button and small blind are assigned to the same player, who is still named the dealer.

Attention: To ensure a fair game, the positions of the players change regularly. In clockwise direction, the dealer button moves to the next player with the start of each new hand.

 

Step 2: Determining the "effective stack size"

The more big blinds you and your opponents have left, the better your hand has to be in order to join a round. The less big blinds you and your opponents have left, the more aggressively you can attack and defend the blinds. The "effective stack size" represents how many chips you would risk at most when going all-in.

In order to determine the effective stack size, two steps are necessary. First, you check which players could actually still join the hand. Once a player has folded his hand, he is irrelevant regarding the current effective stack size.

The next step is comparing your stack size with your opponents' and checking how many big blinds you could win at most during that particular hand. If your stack is bigger than your opponents', the second biggest stack represents the effective stack size. If your stack is smaller than your opponents', it is your stack that specifies the current effective stack size. Blinds that have already been paid are added back to the respective stacks when determining the effective stack size.

If a player has a stack of 500 chips and paid the big blind of 100 chips, then the size of his total stack is rated as 6 big blinds.

Exercises:
Let's have a look at four sample hands to provide you with a better understanding for effective stack sizes. For each hand, simply determine the effective stack size and then compare your result with the correct solution by clicking on "Show".

1. You're in the Small Blind. What's the effective stack size?
Solution Close Show
The effective stack size is 6 big blinds.
The Button has folded his hand and is not relevant anymore. Your chip stack is bigger than your opponent’s. In total, you’re risking 600 chips. The big blind is 100 in addition to the 500 chips in his stack.
2. You're in the Small Blind. What's the effective stack size?
Solution Close Show
The effective stack size is 5.5 big blinds.
All players could still join the hand and the Button has a bigger stack than you. Therefore, you can lose at most 550 chips in this hand (500 chips in the stack + 50 chips in the small blind).
3. You're in the Big Blind. What's the effective stack size?
Solution Close Show
The effective stack size is 6 big blinds.
The Button has folded his hand and the Small Blind has a bigger stack than you. You can win at most 6 big blinds in this hand. 5 big blinds are left in your stack and you’ve paid the big blind of 60 chips, which is added to the effective stack size.
4. You're on the Button. What's the effective stack size?
Solution Close Show
The effective stack size is 15 big blinds.
You have the biggest stack and you can loose at most 15 big blinds in this hand since the player in the Big Blind has 560 chips left and had to pay the big blind of 40 chips.

 

Step 3: Determining the situation you're in

The next step is finding out if there's a realistic chance for you to win the blinds without resistance by going all-in. That's always the case when you're opponents are still able to fold. Therefore, you have to check if your opponents have already indicated strength with a call, raise or all-in.

You differentiate between two scenarios:

No one has entered the hand before you
Someone has entered the hand before you with a call, raise or all-in

 

Step 4: Determining whether you should go all-in or fold

When following this beginner’s strategy, you’re playing according to the so-called "push or fold" strategy. That means you’re constantly only choosing between two actions: either you go all-in (which is also known as "pushing") or you simply fold your hand.

In No-Limit Hold'em, your starting hand consists of two cards. The following abbreviations are used when writing down poker hands:

A = Ace, K = King, Q = Queen, J = Jack, T = Ten (10)
"s" stands for "suited" and means that both cards have the same suit.
"o" stands for "off-suit" and means that both cards have different suits.

The following table shows you different types of hands and how they are written down:

Notation of poker hands
Hand Notation Hand combinations
A pair of fives 55
King-Jack suited KJs Js
Ace-King offsuit AKo

You can find out more about this in the article "Introduction to Ranges".

The effective stack size, your position and the previous action determine with which hands you should go all-in.

Important special rule that always applies: Once the effective stack size is less than 3BB, you simply go all-in with any hand!

You're on the Button and first to act

Blue: 

With these hands, you simply move all-in at any effective stack size!

Yellow:
If the effective stack size is less than 12 big blinds, you go all-in with these hands. However, if it is more than 11 big blinds, you have to fold these hands.

Red: 

If the effective stack size is less than 6 big blinds, you go all-in with these hands.

 

You're in the Small Blind and the Button has folded

Blue
With these hands, you simply move all-in at any effective stack size!
Yellow:
If the effective stack size is less than 12 big blinds, you go all-in with these hands. However, if it is more than 11 big blinds, you have to fold these hands.

Red: 

If the effective stack size is less than 6 big blinds, you go all-in with these hands.

 

You're in the Small Blind and the Button has joined the hand

Blue
With these hands, you simply move all-in at any effective stack size!
Yellow:
If the effective stack size is less than 12 big blinds, you go all-in with these hands. However, if it is more than 11 big blinds, you have to fold these hands.

Red: 

If the effective stack size is less than 6 big blinds, you go all-in with these hands.

 

You're in the Big Blind and the Button has joined the hand

Blue: 
With these hands, you simply move all-in at any effective stack size!
Yellow:
If the effective stack size is less than 12 big blinds, you go all-in with these hands. However, if it is more than 11 big blinds, you have to fold these hands.

Red: 

If the effective stack size is less than 6 big blinds, you go all-in with these hands.

 

You're in the Big Blind and the Small Blind has joined the hand

Blue: 
With these hands, you simply move all-in at any effective stack size!
Yellow:
If the effective stack size is less than 12 big blinds, you go all-in with these hands. However, if it is more than 11 big blinds, you have to fold these hands.

Red: 

If the effective stack size is less than 6 big blinds, you go all-in with these hands.

Extra rule: If you're in the Big Blind with a hand that's not good enough for an all-in but you get a freeplay (the Small Blind or Button only call pre-flop so that you can see the flop for free), you go all-in on the flop if you hit top pair Tx or better. Otherwise, you simply check and fold to any bet.

 

Comments (9)

#1 ferrye, 23 Jul 15 16:00

Spin n Goes are trash. The very best MTT players win 0,5% of their tournaments, even a decent player should have like 0,25 winning %. In Spin n Go format you will get a multiplier of 10x with 0,5% chance. Doesn´t make much sense playing this format. This is purely for gamblers, trying to get that 1 million.

#2 Afulibador, 31 Jul 15 04:50

on the "Extra rule", it means when u hit a top pair that is a TEN or better, or hit a top pair that the kicker is a TEN or better?

#3 gormless, 31 Jul 15 11:17

#1 what the hell has a short stack 3 player winner takes all SNG format got to do with ROI of MTTs out of interest?

#4 nsavov, 03 Aug 15 16:04

#3 <br /> He's not talking about ROI but the percentage of which the very best MTT players win a tournament (1st/2nd place). In his words its like 0,2% - 0,5%. The point is that MTTs pay like 200-1000 times the buy-in. And at spins about the same amount of time you will be winning 10 buy-ins. He makes a pretty good point, but... <br /> <br /> At spins you will cash in 36-40%, compared to MTTs in which you cash in like 5-20% dependent on what `style` you play (trying to chip up, or hang around to mincash).<br /> <br /> Imo the 1$ are easily beatable for 150chips/game which is about 30% ROI. When you take away 7% rake its about 20% ROI, but you have to grind tons, have a big roll and nerves of steel to make a consistent profit.

#5 pastures, 23 Oct 15 07:24

Yay Push/Fold!

#6 bubamarasr, 29 Jan 16 16:01

Read it, thank you.

#7 bobo09, 09 Feb 16 20:49

Tried this on 20 games, kindof broke even, with more losses, though i got rivered in 7 games. I'll have to test it some more.<br /> <br /> Thank you for the article!

#8 Nhoxalone, 18 Feb 16 15:52

thanks

#9 hessun, 04 Sep 16 15:23

Here is my first impressions after 10*30-45 minute gameplay sessions: https://youtu.be/BHkRqXyzPoA