A Look at the Major Lottery SNG Sites
Lottery SNGs are the new craze in online poker. The format of poker are based on 3-max hyper-turbo tournaments, which start as soon as all three players register. What makes these different to regular Sit & Gos is that rather than basing the payout on the total amount paid by the players, the prize is a random multiple of your buy-in. On all the sites the most frequent prize is one player winning double the buy-in for the tournament, although the top prizes can result in every player being rewarded with up to 3000x the buy-in for the winner.
These games are really soft, bringing in many recreational players with their speed and promise of huge rewards. Their hyper-turbo structure, resulting in games typically less than 10 minutes in length, also makes them a convenient choice for tournament players using mobile devices while the lack of table selection also discourages the professional players.
Currently there are 6 main poker rooms offering these games and here you can find out all about the Lottery SNGs currently on offer at 888, Full Tilt, the iPoker Network and PokerStars - with an honorable mention for the games at America's Cardroom and Party Poker too. This article takes you through all of them looking at what prizes they offer, how they compare in terms of rake and the positives and negatives you will find playing there.
Blast Poker at 888
Many sites have similar Lottery Sit N Go variations - though 888 has managed to do something completely different with their 'Blast Poker' games. You can win up to 10,000x your buy-in with these games, which range from 10c to $30 (making the top prize a huge $300,000!). The big difference is that they are timed, after 6 minutes (or 8 minutes for the bigger prizes), everyone is all-in for the remainder of the game. This keeps up the pressure, and makes the games a lot of fun! Blast lottery sit n goes are 4 handed.
If you are new to 888 Poker, you can still get their $88 free to try the real money games. This comes in $8 increments, and no credit card info or deposit is needed. If you like what you find (and the 888 games are famously soft, so I am sure that you will!), then you can still claim the 100% welcome bonus at any time. Check out the excellent Blast Poker Lottery Sit N Goes at www.888poker.com for yourself now!
Lottery Sit and Goes - Full Tilt
Update: Full Tilt and PokerStars have now merged together their player pools - which means you get the new and expanded games line-up via either of their clients. This means you'll now play PokerStars Spin N Go format instead of the old FTP jackpot games.
Full Tilt have been running their Jackpot SNGs since for a few years now and they have proven to be a great success. The games are available from $1 up to $50 and the top prize you can win is 1500x the buy-in.
Everyone in the game starts with a 300 chip starting stack and blinds go up every 3 minutes, which is the same as PokerStars, although there is an extra 25/50 level. While this does allow for slightly more play the difference is minor as, especially if you are three handed, most decisions are normally push or fold at this stage anyway.
Most of Full Tilt's Jackpot SNGs are raked at the same rate, around 5% although the highest buy-ins of $50 have a rake equivalent of 4%, the lowest of these type of games. With 3 top prizes per 100,000 games at each level you are more likely here to hit the top prize here which pays out 1500x the buy-in to the winner. It also pays a 30x and 20x the buy in to 2nd and 3rd places in the top 3 prize brackets, which helps reduce variance significantly for those who play lots of these.
Overall, with good payouts and low rake Full Tilt offer a competitive package for those looking to play Jackpot SNGs and definitely offer the best value for those who just enjoy the odd game. While other benefits can be gained from the sites VIP program, regular players will find the PokerStars package does have a slight edge.
Check out the lottery Sit n Goes, knockout tournaments and awesome 'FTOPs' events over at www.fulltilt.com now.
Lottery Sit & Gos - Titan Poker (iPoker Network)
Not to be confused with the full ring and 6-max lottery SNGs, the 3-max Twister SNGs on Titan are available up from €1 to €10 and award up to 1000x the buy-in for the top prize.
Here you start off with 500 chips, as opposed to the 300 chip starting stacks found on Full Tilt and PokerStars. While this seems like it should allow for more play, the blinds go up every two minutes rather than three and there is an ante which is included from the second level. All of this make these games as quick, if not quicker than those found elsewhere and are normally over well within 8 minutes.
The payouts and rake on iPoker are a lot tighter than the other sites. For a start your entry is listed as buy-in+rake+jackpot fee, so where as a $/€10 game costs $10 on Full Tilt with minimum payout of $20, on Titan it will cost you €12.46 with a minimum payout of €20. You are also twice as likely just to get the minimum prize here and the large prizes, worth 1000x you buy-in, only pay one spot. All this means you are paying the equivalent of 7.13% in rake over a decent sample of games.
It is not all doom and gloom on Titan however as the iPoker Network has some of the fishest games on the internet. A lot of the network's sites are prominent names in online gambling, such as William Hill and Ladbrokes, which results in a constant flow of new players crossing over from their sportsbooks and casinos. This keeps the games super-soft, and even a moderately skilled poker player can find a much improved win rate here.
High Tech Gambling readers can get and extra $20 cash at Titan Poker, on top of the already generous 200% matched welcome bonus. Use bonus code PBCLUB when you register, I will ensure that the $20 is paid into your player account within 48 hours (usually much sooner). See the excellent (and original) lottery sit n goes at www.titanpoker.com now!
Lottery Sit & Gos - PokerStars Spin & Go's
It was the launch of Spin & Gos on PokerStars that really exploded interest in these games. The Spin & Go format was first introduced on their Spanish room before being brought to the international platform in October 2014. These games run at stakes from $1 through to $30 and can pay out up to 3000x the buy-in, meaning you can potentially win $90,000.
These start with 300 chips, the same as Full Tilt and have blinds increase every 3 minutes with no antes. Unlike Full Tilt there is no 25/50 level, which in theory makes the games slightly quicker although once you reach this stage the majority of decisions are push/fold anyway, so it has little impact and the games typically last around 7-8 minutes.
The chances of winning more than a double buy-in are slightly better on PokerStars than Full Tilt and a lot better than Titan and with their 3000x payout for the winner of the top prize it is also the most generous version. Variance is significantly reduced in the top 3 prize levels as all three players are rewarded with 3rd and 2nd place finishers getting 200x and 300x their buy-in respectively. Once all the numbers have been added together Stars players can expect to pay 7% rake for the lowest buy-ins down to 5% rake for the highest.
While this rake is slightly higher than Full Tilt, PokerStars players benefit from the generous VIP program offered by the site. This means that regular players on the site will get a better deal here long-term than playing these games elsewhere.
Other Lottery Sit N Goes
2 more sites get honorable mentions. First Party Poker have their Sit N Go Hero games. These are 4 handed, with random prize pools and also include a bounty element - you win cash for the players you knock out of the game.
For US players, America's Cardroom has the more standard 3 handed winner take all games. What I like about this site is that these have been used for awarding live tournament trips (for example the World Series) as well as for cash.
Lottery Sit & Gos - Summing it Up / Mark's Pick
All the sites have some significant pros and cons, though for me, Blast Poker from 888 is the best of them all. The prizes are big (if you get lucky you could be playing for 10,000x your buy-in) and the timer element adds a sense of urgency to the game which results in come crazy play at the tables. If you can adapt your poker strategy, you'll make a nice profit in these games! Check out www.888poker.com and see the softest lottery SNGs around for yourself!