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Basic Spin & Go Strategy

As with all poker variants, there are many ways to approach Spin & Go games. However, if you are new to the game there are some key principles that will give you a good solid base to make you competitive quickly. Here are some of the key things you should do to prepare for Spin & Go success.

Preparing to Play

As with live poker tournaments, you want to make sure that your bankroll has plenty of buy-ins to absorb downswings. It is best if your bankroll is 150-200 times your buy-in. So, if you are playing $1 games, have $150 to $200 to play with. Although a Spin & Go is pretty easy to understand, make sure you understand the basic rules. In general, this is all you need to know:

  • Three players
  • 25 Big Blinds to start
  • Three minute levels
  • Winner takes all

Start slow: don't go crazy and decide to multi-table eight at once. It may be tempting given the fast play and quick decisions, but until you get your strategy solid, stick to a single table.

Game Focus

When players spin and get a large multiplier, they obviously become very focused. However, if they spin a 2x, some multi-tabling players will just give up right away and move on hoping to get into a larger game. However, small wins can add up and keep your bankroll viable for a while. Be sure you play those 2x spins just as seriously as a 1000x spin.

In-Game Strategy

Play and Read Fast: In this abbreviated NLH game, you must do everything faster, particularly building your stack and getting a read on the other players. Note who is playing a lot of hands and who is tight and folds to aggression. You are going to need to figure out those basic player behaviors in the first couple of levels.

Top Pair is Golden: Given the need for aggression and risk taking, if you flop top pair, it's almost never a fold, no matter what the kicker. Unless you are playing against someone very tight who you know only bets or calls very strong hands, you are going to all the way with top pair the majority of the time.

Play Draws Aggressively: You want to play your flush and straight draws very aggressively. If you are open-ended or have a flush draw, particularly if you have any other outs such as overcards, you want to go ahead and bet big on the flop. Ideally, you want to build a big stack early. This is the best way to win these games, so there is almost no downside. If opponents fold – fine, you win a few chips. If someone calls you and you can build a bigger pot, that's even better, since you may either make your draw or take the pot away on the turn. If your opponent shoves, do a quick calculation of pot odds versus equity, but many times that's a call as well.

Open Raise any Above Average Starting Hand: Three-handed, the button always starts play pre-flop, so you are going to want to raise from the button around the top 50% of hands. If you are the small blind, and the button folds, the same rule holds. You'll do this until someone adjusts to your aggression and pushes back repeatedly.

Raise 2xTo 2.5x: Given that the stacks are short (25 BB generally), raises larger than 2.5x can be counterproductive. A small raise can take down the pot cheaply, and will keep SPRs big enough on the flop to allow for a little post-flop play (if you feel you have an edge on your opponents, you want larger SPRs). If you raise 3x-4x BB pre-flop, and then c-bet 2/3 pot on the flop, you are already dangerously close to being pot-committed even at the starting 10/20 level. Early on, keep raises between 2x to 2.5x.

Defend that Big Blind Wide: Given how the button should be playing, you need to recognize that more hands should be defended in the big blind than in a traditional NLH game. K8♣ in a full table, long-structure tournament may look pretty marginal to a raise, but in a Spin-n-Go it's likely a call to a min-raise from the button.

Study Push-Fold Charts for 3-handed and Heads Up Play: While you are aggressive but cautious with raise sizes early, obviously with shallow stacks and short levels, you get into shove or fold mode quickly. Review push-fold charts for heads-up and three-person play. Your advisor in our Spin-N-Go training simulator will help you, of course, and will show you their complete shove/fold range. You'll adjust based on how tight or loose the other players are, but this will give you a base to make sure you are shoving enough. Remember that most other players are overfolding in the late stages of Spin-n-Gos.