Lottery SNG’s have emerged as one of online poker’s most popular formats. They have lead to a resurgence of interest in poker among recreational players. People love the chance for huge payouts and quick, exciting games.
Payout Structure and Variance in Lottery SNGs
Lottery SNGs are unique because you don’t know the prize pool you’ll be playing for when you enter. Depending on your luck, a Twister SNG on iPoker might have a prize pool of 2x your buy-in, or a massive prize pool of 1000x your buy-in.
Become familiar with the table below:
Successful Lottery SNG players need to embrace variance. Understand that most of the time you will play for a 2x pool. The odds are stacked against you here. Even the best players in the world might not profit in 3 person SNGs with 2x prize pools.
When you hit the jackpot for a bigger prizepool, focus all of your efforts on cashing in big. But remember, you need to be patient and minimize your losses in the 2x pools.
Always play your best regardless of whether it’s a 2x or a 1000x jackpot. A dollar saved in 100 2x SNGs and a hundred dollars earned in a 1000x jackpot look the same in your bank account.
$EV vs ChipEV in Lottery SNGs
Lottery SNGs are mathematically identical to cash games because they operate in a winner take all format. Ordinary SNGs are difficult for some cash players because they require understanding of how your Chip $EV is different from your $EV.
In Lottery SNGs, there is no bubble. You earn nothing by trying to outlast players for a payout – your job is simply to get every chip in your stack.
That means the techniques covered in our Pot Odds, Bluffing Odds and Implied Odds articles apply exactly to these kind of games. You should brush up on these topics to have the best chance of winning big at lottery SNGs.
Low Stack-Pot Ratios in Lottery SNGs
Since players generally start with 20-30 BB stack sizes you will want to maximize your equity with all hands you play.
Calling down with drawing hands is less profitable because you have less implied odds. It’s simple – if your opponents have less in the stack to pay you off, it’s less profitable to try to hit.
This means you will generally want to play strong pairs and hands that make good top pairs.
Remember to consider not just your stack size, but the effective stack size between you and your opponent. If you’re sitting with 50BB in the SB against a BB with 5BB, you’re still only effectively playing a 5BB game.
Hyper Turbo Format of Lottery SNGs
Remember that Lottery SNGs run on a hyper turbo format. That means blinds will increase quickly, and it won’t be long before you find yourself in situations with 5-10BB effective stacks.
Since Lottery SNGs are 3 handed, you will be in a steal situation (SB or BU) 2/3rds of the time. You will want to maximize your stack by stealing early on (minraises, or 2.5x are the standard) and then shoving when you reach push or fold territory (somewhere around 10BB stacks or less).
Lottery SNGs are an incredibly exciting poker format with huge potential for profits. Recreational players love these games, but to be profitable you will need to embrace variance and build a good understanding of the underlying math.
See our guide for an overview of where you can find the best Lottery SNG games on the internet.