The Ultimative Guide to Spin and Gos in 2018
Spin & go Master Class (For Real Pros)
With the introduction of Pokerstars Spin and Gos in 2014, the Jackpot Poker format became slowly one of the most popular poker games online, and professional poker players rushed in the format as if there was gold to find.
One thing that gives (mostly bad players) excitement playing spin and gos is the rush you feel when the wheel starts spinning, and you have the chance to multiply your buy-in by up to 10.000x.
While this is the feature that made the game so beloved you most often hit a 2x multiplier and that is not too exciting, especially if you play dozens of them on a daily.
How spin and gos work - probabilities
Spin and gos are three-handed hyper turbo sit and gos on Pokerstars where only the first gets paid.
You get 500 chips (25bb starting stack) for whatever buy-in you choose to play with the blind level rising every 3 minutes. As soon as three players found their alliance at a Spin and Go table, a wheel appears, starts spinning and randomly decides which multiplier to put on your buy-in to decide the price-pool.
The price for the winner of a Spin and Go is randomly chosen, and your buy-in can be multiplied by anything from 2x to 12.000x.
If you are lucky enough to hit a big enough multiplier (240x +), 20% of the prize pool will be split equally between the second and third place.
The probabilities below tell you how likely it is to get specific multipliers in a $15 Spin and Go.
So, as drawn from the table above you, any one in a million wins 10.000x his buy-in in a spin and go, and to get a multiplier of 25x, you would have to play 1000 spin & Gos to hit one statistically.
Don't underestimate the Variance!
Everyone in the poker world approved the new jackpot style poker games, but the professionals.
You must know that even if you are one of the best players in the pool, you can have long-lasting and devastating downswings thanks to the random prize pool.
It could take years to run as expected by the probability of hitting specific multipliers.
You might hit 2x price-pools way too often, long-term. Spin & go’s involve more luck than regular poker games, and that’s why recreational players like it and pros hate it.
Spin & gos are fast, too fast given the relatively high rake taken on them (5-8%). That high rake takes most of the edge a player could have, and to run on EV; you got to hit a significant multiplier which many will never.
Jackpot Poker games are low-edge games due to the blinds rising hyper-fast, meaning there is not much money to be won pre-rake back.
Theoretically, there is good money to be made, but given that the variance is so huge, it might take years to even out a bad run, and hence spin and gos aren’t the best choice to consistently make money.
There is, in my humble opinion, only one way to bridge those long-lasting breakeven stretches, and that’s with the right rake back deal which Pokerstars won’t give you.
If you play at a poker site that gives you competitive rake back rates, your downswings won’t bother as much, as you always will at least make some money, assuming you are decent.
Spin and Go Strategy | The Masterclass
If you are playing spin and goes and wonder why you haven’t made any money even though you been playing well, you can often blame it on variance, although you might have overestimated your skills and you are actually not having an advantage over your opponents. The better your strategy, the less downswings you will have.
In the long run, spin and go’s are incredibly profitable due to many factors, and you should stay persistent and not give up if you are struggling. Read this page to repossess confidence and update your spin and go strategy.
In poker tournaments or sit and goes you might adjust your range depending on the payout structure and fold AK at the bubble for example. In spin and go’s however, you play for chips as it is a winner-takes-all format so you should take every profitable spot regardless of the multiplier.
Play well early in the game, and you will profit!
The first stage of spin and go’s plays a significant roll on whether you are profitable or not. Your strategy must be fundamentally solid in all areas given that you are bound to play so many hands due to its three-handed game play. The more hands you play post-flop, the more mistakes you could do.
You will play much more hands three-handed in spin and go’s than two-handed simply because you always start by playing three-handed but are not guaranteed to play heads up.
You should focus on improving your strategy in the most common spots first, and then slowly work towards mastering spots that come less frequently and are generally more complex.
What is more important, good pre-flop or post-flop play?
Both in combination make the winning formula, but post-flop you have a much higher chance to make mistakes.
Having the right pre-flop ranges helps to avoid trouble spots post-flop, and I’d say preflop is the fundament of a good spin and go strategy.
What is a fundament without a sweet building on top of it though? Yeah, you going to need to learn how to play post flop. How do you that?
I will give you a couple links that you should follow if you want to modify your spin and go strategy.
How to Play from the Button
You generally want to only open-raise and never limp from the button. 99% of professional poker players apply this tactic for several reasons and you should do it too.
A typical open-raising-range from the button with 25 big blinds should be between 35-50% in a spin and go.
Depending on your skill you should be on the tighter side if you aren’t comfortable post-flop, and on the broader side if you think you can manage to play a wide range post-flop.
Opening more hands surely works well on lower stakes as your opponents can easily be outplayed and won’t back play you as much as on higher stakes but it also can get you into tricky spots that might lead you to do mistakes.
Spin and Go Charts, Ranges and Considerations
If you first think about how your range is constructed, your opponent’s range will become a secondary element to base your decision on.
If you consider your range when making plays you are automatically in the other players head as he thinks about your range too.
I am going to work out pre-flop charts with the tool PioSolver , which is pretty much a program that helps you solve poker games. I will take screenshot of the simulations i have run, take a copy or come study the charts here!
In the images you will see that parts of the ranges are highlighted in grey, brown, green, red and blue.
Blue and grey = Fold
Red = Open-Raise
Brown = All-in
Green = Limp
Just click through the slider to get ranges for heads-up play three-handed out-of-position with 25-12Big Blinds.
As playing out of position, which you are in the small blind (three-handed), can be very challenging with short stacks we adjust our oop-strategy by playing the push-or-fold strategy already with 10-12 big blinds to avoid getting into trouble post-flop. To find optimal shoving ranges you optimally use ICMizer.
How to Play in the big blind vs the button
In the big blind you want to CALL A LOT as you are getting the right price to do so and adittionaly close the betting round. You will play out of position in the BB vs the BU, and that can be especially difficult for amateurs. If you play wide ranges out of position, make sure not to be overly aggressive post-flop. It can be tempting to bluff way to much as you often don’t hit your hand and feel the need to fight for the chips.
Tight is right, that saying is still valid in 2018, especially now that the player pool has gotten relatively aggressive.
You can exploit your opponent not only by bluffing or bluff-catching a lot, but also by folding a lot, when he is too tight.
Below i will give you some preflop charts for when you are in the big blind and the button open-raises.
We assume that the button min-raises the button. If he raises to more than two big blinds you should adjust your ranges (become tighter). Various stacksizes are included in the slide-show, so click through them all to learn a top pre-flop spin & go strategy
Allthough these ranges are very balanced, you should make adjustments in accordance to the player-pool. Just 3bet all your premium pair’s(JJ+) non-allin as people on lower stakes tend to call crazy hands which you are far ahead of.
How to Play in the big blind vs the Small Blind
We assume that the small blind raises to more than two big blinds. If he min-raises you should call significantly more hands. Study the spin & go charts below to improve your winrate in the big blind vs small blind.
Playing a game theoretical optimal spin and go strategy
If you could manage to play GTO, there would be no other player that could beat you, long-term.
If two players play GTO (which isn’t possible because poker is way too complicated), the only one winning would be the one that charges rake, the poker site in that example.
However, most spin & go players don’t care about GTO (SNG players in general don’t) and underestimating that strategical element completely.
They are a little bit old-fashioned it seems, because every player at the high stakes cash games is making use of programmes (Piosolver) that help finding GTO strategies.
If the best spin & go player gave $25/50 at Pokerstars a shot, he would get destroyed, and the table he just joined would get filled immediately with 20 players in the waiting list, because who cares about GTO, right?
The real beasts do, and you should too.
This GTO button open-raising range (in the below image) looks like a reasonable range, assuming we play for 25bb on the button, not much to discuss here.
But, in the image below, you can see how you are supposed to play vs a 3-bet from the big blind…
This range certainly doesn’t resemble yours in any way, and that is because you don’t look at poker from a GTO perspective. Have you ever just called 66-AA there? Maybe you done so with aces or kings, with the sole purpose of trapping your opponent into donating into your nut-hand. But there is more to it…
I think we both agree when i say that most people solely 3-bet the nuts in the big blind, something like JJ+ and AQs, and basically never bluff, unless you face a maniac (in which case you should deviate from a GTO strategy).
So, what sense would it make to 4-bet hands like 22-TT, or AJs type of hands, which i bet most of you do?
It wouldn’t make sense as you would simply isolate yourself against better hands, and that is exactly what Pio-solver is taking into consideration, and suggests ranges based on that fact.
Let’s have a look below at our 11bb “heads-up” small Blind range from our GTO preflop charts
Admit it, you have never even thought about playing a similar range to this, did you? You better should as every other strategy can be exploited.
Play this range when you have 11bb in a spin and go heads up in the sb for a while and you will notice how superior and comfortable you will feel in this spot.
Watch a Spin & Go Strategy video, played on pokerstars
To keep things tidy, i wont talk much about how to play heads-up here, and instead upload a video of me playing some spin & gos at Pokerstars where you can see a lot of heads-up action.
The reason I do this is because I’d have to give you 100s of different ranges for heads-up hypers that would be difficult to remember.
Take a break, and enjoy a live-play spin and go strategy video from one of our coaches.
Bankroll management (BRM)
Spin and go’s are, compared to other poker-formats variance-heavy. To play Spins comfortable, we advise having 200 buy-ins. You could take some shots with a 100x bankroll-management, but when you do this, you should be ready to move down in stakes as soon as you have only 100x buy-ins left for the limit below.
You can play around with Pokerdope to simulate the variance for jackpot sit and go’s (Spin n Gos).
Wrap-up | how to become an expert, fast and efficient
One of the best ways to get good at poker, not only spin & goes, is to invest time and money in poker-tools.
Below i’ll give you three essential poker tools you need when you want to beat spin and gos.
1. Pio solver, for example, is a great poker tool to hone your post-flop skills as it’s forming your ranges to an optimum which are then ideally in balance and consequently unbeatable. This tool has changed the way professionals play poker: 90% of all high stakes players make use of Pio Solver.
2. ICMizer is the best tool when it comes to working out pre-flop ranges for Sit & Gos. Whether you want to know what hands to re-shove or open-shove, this tool will give you the answers.
3. Hand2note, is a great poker tracker software. It’s the newest on the market and the most advanced tracking software you can find. On their page you will also find HUDs specifically designed for Spin & Gos.
These are all, however, quite complicated programs for the poker novice-. However, in our poker-video section, you can see how the professional poker players make use of various programs, including Piosolver, ICMizer and Hand2note.
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