Want to experience the excitement (and heartbreak) of poker tournaments without the huge time commitment?
Then you should try some Spin & Gos (generally known as Jackpot Sit & Gos).
This relatively new game type has a lot in common, both good and bad, with multi-table tournaments:
- Opportunity for big wins
- Relatively easy competition
- High Variance
- Relatively small average stack size
- Big bankroll requirements…
…but tournaments take hours, or even days, to complete. Spin & Gos, on the other hand, take a fraction of the time to finish.
(Heck, I’m surprised when a Spin & Go lasts more than 5 minutes.)
In this article, I will explain 3 important concepts for Tournament & Cash-Game players to consider when trying their hand at Jackpot Sit & Gos.
Spin & Go Tip #1: Play More Hands!
You probably already knew this considering you’re an Upswing Poker reader, but as a quick refresher…
…as the number of players at the table decreases, we will need to increase our preflop aggression by expanding our betting/raising range to include both more value bets and bluffs.
Switching from cash-games or tournaments to Spin & Gos requires a substantial change to your preflop strategy.
So how wide of a range should we be playing? Well, as with most things in poker, that’s going to depend on a number of factors including the buy-in level, opponent tendencies and your own comfort level/experience with the game-format.
Generally speaking, the lower the buy-in, the more hands you should be playing and the more aggressively you should be playing them.
This is because lower buy-ins draw less serious players who will usually not have experience dealing with short stack-dynamics and expanded hand ranges.
To generalize a little more, most of your low-stake opponents will:
- Over-fold to aggression (both preflop and postflop)
- Under-bluff in nearly every situation, particularly on the river)…
- …and will generally be unequipped to deal with an aggressive game plan.
That said, aggression alone won’t always be enough as a poorly formulated aggressive strategy can be even more destructive than an overly conservative approach, particularly as you move up and face tougher competition.
So, before you start blasting off your stack in every pot, make sure you’ve solidified your fundamentals and have crafted a balanced Spin & Go preflop strategy.
(And if you need help with the specifics, click HERE or on the image below to check out the recommended preflop Spin & Go ranges.)
Spin & Go Tip #2: Study Balance & Apply As Needed
It will usually be optimal to take non-balanced, exploitative lines against inexperienced opponents, but it is important to, at the very least, consider ways to protect our ranges.
Beginning to develop cohesive, well-balanced Spin & Go postflop ranges from the very beginning of your career will make moving up in limits immeasurably quicker, easier, and less expensive.
The simplest way to achieve this is by utilizing the 4-category system outlined in The Postflop Engine.
The system is a bit too intricate to outline here in full, but the important idea to keep in mind for today is that our Category 1 (or C1) hands are our value-hands that are looking to get money into the pot, and our Category 3 (C3) hands are our draws/semi-bluffs that we will, for the most part, look to play aggressively as well.
As you learn how to play Spin and Go SNGs, mirroring the way you play your C1 hands with your C3 hands is one quick & easy way to ensure you are at least somewhat balanced when betting.
(As you gain experience and refine your game, you will be able to construct more balanced and complex betting ranges.)
Imagine getting to the river (as the preflop and postflop aggressor) on this board:
If we triple-barrel all of our C1 hands (strong top pair+), we can balance that range by also firing away with a similar number of straight and flush draws.
By doing this, we make it exceptionally difficult for our opponents to exploit us.
Spin & Go Tip #3: Adjust. Adjust. Adjust!
This is not a Spin & Go-specific idea, but developing adjustments for common player types and quickly applying them is going to be paramount to your success at the tables. One approach I recommend to my students is to use 3-handed play as an opportunity to acquire as much information for heads-up play as possible.
Which of your opponents is playing a more aggressive preflop strategy? Consider limping some buttons when you reach heads up play.
Does one of your opponents have a VPIP of zero after 10 hands? Raise any two cards against their big blind when you reach heads up play.
There are effectively infinite number of possible adjustments you can make, and the quicker you make them, the better (assuming they are correct).
Of course, due to the Spin & Go hyperturbo structure, you will not always have the luxury of finding out this type of information in time…
…but, if you haven’t played many hyperturbo games before, you might be surprised just how much information you can pick up if you’re paying close attention. Stay sharp out there and seek out every piece of info-based ammunition you can.
Get a leg up on the vast majority of your Spin & Go competitors by doing these 3 things:
- Expand your preflop ranges to account for the short-handed play.
- Develop a comprehensive preflop hand-selection strategy.
- Balance your ranges while learning the optimal way to deviate from that balance.
To learn more about SpinandGoStrategy’s complete preflop hand-ranges package, click on the image below.
Yaniv Son, known online by the poker moniker Sentin7, is a professional player and author with over a decade of poker experience who owns and operates the poker strategy site spinandgostrategy.com