Are Lottery Sit & Goes the New Rage in Online Poker?

PokerStars Spin & Go

Online poker’s new lottery-based Sit & Goes are building a serious following, but are they good for the game?

It’s a debate that’s still going on as the games are rolled out on the various sites around the world.

Lottery Sit & Goes are essentially three-player hyper turbo Sit & Goes with a randomly multiplied prizepool.

Sometimes they pay out a standard amount but other times they can pay out 2X, 4X or even up to 1000X the buy-in.

Online regs aren’t thrilled with the gambling element (Lottery Sit & Goes are generally raked higher to make up the random multipliers) but recreational players seem to be taking to them.

Duhamel: It's Completely Different

Jonathan Duhamel
Jonathan Duhamel

2010 WSOP Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel is a fan of the fast-paced variant.

“I think it’s completely different,” he said.

“We’ve never seen that before. I always like to see new concepts because when you play all the time it just turns into the same thing again and again.”

Of course Duhamel is a PokerStars Pro so he has a bit of a vested interest. He admits the games may not be for everyone but it’s worth it if they bring new players into the game.

“Some people might think it’s a bit too much of a gamble but I think recreational players are going to like it a lot,” he said.

“It goes fast, you can play on your phone. It’s a three-handed hyper-turbo. Who doesn’t like that? You can win a big, big amount of money with a small buy-in.”

Rec Players Can Quickly Spin Up a Bankroll

Roy Bhasin
Experienced online pro Roy Bhasin is also a fan of Spin & Goes.

PokerStars just launched its lottery-style Sit & Go (called Spin & Go) while Full Tilt Poker has had Jackpot Sit & Goes for nearly six months. iPoker also has Twister Poker.

Lottery Sit & Goes are particularly appealing to mobile users who are looking for a quick fix with a potentially huge pay off.

Roy Bhasin (a member of PokerStars Online) is surprised how quickly Spin & Goes have been adopted, even by extremely casual players.

“I have a friend who hasn’t played poker for years but he saw the Spin & Goes advertised somewhere and decided to put like $10 on PokerStars,” he said.

“It’s a good sign. He’s having a blast. He’s up to $27 or something. It’s a bit of fun. Maybe it’s profitable for some players as well.”

Critics of lottery Sit & Goes have pointed out there’s a obviously a large amount of variance involved. There are huge payouts that aren’t necessarily rewarded for poker skill.

It’s also hard to calculate the exact rake in the games because it relates to how often the big payouts occur.

Still Unknown if Lottery Sit & Goes Are Sustainable

Because the format is so new, players are still trying to figure out if the games are profitable long term. The early word, however, is that the games are soft.

One of the major benefits of lottery Sit & Goes is that recreational players have a little bit more protection than usual because there’s no table selection in the traditional sense.

It also helps that a few players have hit headline-grabbing random jackpots worth $50,000 or more.

It’s too early to tell if lottery Sit & Goes will have a lasting impact online poker but for the time being at least they provide a new challenge for veteran players while potentially bringing in some new players.

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