Beating Lottery Sit N Goes with Random Prize Pools
Jackpot Sit and Go tournaments first appeared on poker sites back in 2014, and have grown in popularity since – with many sites now adding their own versions. These are fast paced tournaments offer the opportunity for some amazing prizes. The random nature of the payouts attracts many recreational players. With super-small stacks and short blind levels, these games are all action from the start and a solid approach and strategy can certainly pay dividends. With prizes at some sites of up to 10,000x your buy-in, these games offer the chance of an instant windfall.
This guide starts by looking at the different pay out structures you might find at these events and how this can affect your strategy. Then the variance levels at these hyper turbo tournaments are discussed. The guide ends with a look at a decent strategy you can employ to make these games profitable.
Jackpot Sit and Go Strategy – Pay Out Structures
The majority of Jackpot Sit and Goes have a winner takes all format. For example, the Spin and Go tournaments at PokerStars are 3 handed and the player left standing takes the complete prize pool. This makes for a straightforward strategy, as you’ll simply aim to take all of your opponent’s chips. However, some games do play differently. For example, the ‘Blast’ sit and goes at 888 Poker are four handed and can offer prizes to two or even three players at times, so you’ll have to adapt your strategy to cater for this. In these games, a good knowledge of poker math can give you an edge in knowing when to shove or fold around the bubble. The jackpot sit and goes at Party Poker also add a bounty into the mix, meaning calls or shoves against the player with the bounty can be more profitable.
Jackpot Sit and Go Strategy – Variance
Dealing with variance in poker can be tricky as it is, but the variance levels are only increased when playing lottery sit and goes. Taking the $1 PokerStars Spin and Go’s as an example, your most likely payout will be $2, meaning that you could in theory win a massive (though unsustainable) 50% of your tournaments and only break even. On the other hand, you could win just one tournament out of fifty and make a huge profit by bagging one of the high tier payouts.
You might now consider that your return is almost random. The good news is, that in the long term, the results will level themselves out. Head to some popular poker forums and you’ll see many examples where solid grinders at these games are able to produce a graph which shows an almost linear long term profit. The increased variance just means that the long term might be a little longer than at other games!
Jackpot Sit and Go – Strategy
In the very early part of these tournaments, you should aim to find a quick read on your opponents. Sometimes this is easy, as many recreational players fall into two camps – too tight or a maniac. These players appear regularly at the smaller stakes Jackpot Sit and Gos and they are very easy to play against.
Play aggressively against the player who has their finger permanently hitting the fold button – you can steal their blinds easily and when they do play back, simply steer clear and fold yourself. The maniac player who is constantly shoving, especially the player who shoves from the start with 25 big blinds pre-flop, is easy to play against. Simply wait for a decent hand and then take them on. If they are playing every hand in this way, any Ace, a decent King, two broadway cards or a mid pair or higher is more than enough to call with.
When you play these games, you should always raise when first in. In general, when you do have around 25 big blinds, your initial raise should be around 2.5x the big blind. The moment the blind levels are high enough that you or your opponent have around 10 big blinds or less, you should then simply push or fold. The only time you can ever limp in these tournaments is if you have identified an aggressive fish at the table and you have a monster such as AA or KK – limp, watch them push and delightfully call. Usually however, you should be raising with these hands.
Jackpot Sit and Go – Heads Up Play
When you reach the heads up stage in a Jackpot sit and go you’ll regularly find that one of the two stacks will be around or below the 10 big blind mark. Therefore push or fold poker is the way to go at this point and you can shove from the small blind with a very wide range. Any ace, any king, most queens, any pair, higher connected cards and most suited connectors can all be played profitably at this point. You should accordingly widen your range for calling a push.