Poker is my favorite hobby, only matched by my love for video games. I have ten+ years of poker experience to share in my poker game guides!
About Spin and Win in Zynga Poker
Spin and Win is a new way to play tournaments in Zynga Poker. I am going to go over a strategy you can use to win these games more often.
I am going to assume you are familiar with how sit and go tournaments work.
How Is Spin and Win Different Than Sit and Go Games?
- There only three people instead of five or nine.
- Only first place is paid prize chips.
- The prize pool is random in each game.
- The game progresses faster.
How to Play the Early Game
Be Cautious at the Start
You want to be very cautious at the start of Spin and Win games. Unless you get the best hand on the board, don’t go all-in with both players in the hand.
If you do happen to get a great hand, you should be all-in by almost all rivers. Often, you will double up and have a great start to the mid and end game.
Observe and Learn How People Are Playing
You will learn a lot about the other players by watching them.
Often, players will play any two cards and check back a lot postflop. But every once in a while, you get an idea of how they play.
The following list has some things you want to note about the other players. Learn and use this information to decide how to play the mid game.
Some Things You Can Notice About the Other Players
- Calls every hand preflop
- Raise a lot preflop
- Goes all-in over and over preflop
- Makes weak bets with weak hands
- Makes strong bets with weak hands
- Goes all-in with nothing. Maniac, bluffer, nonsense hands
What to Do If a Player Is Being a Maniac
If a player is being a nut and going all-in every hand, fold until you get a good hand and call.
What is a good hand? If they are going all-in with any two cards, I would call with almost any pair and anything stronger than about QJ+.
Deciding When to Go All-in Is Hard
Deciding when to go all-in is pretty complicated in sit and go games.
My advice is if it seems right and you think your hand is better, it probably is.
If you are wrong, that is fine. You have to take a risk eventually to win. Especially if the other player has doubled up.
Notice If People Are Playing a Lot of Weak Hands
If you observe players making a lot of weak bets and showdown weak hands, call more often. Consider even raising if you see this enough.
Some people get overconfident in spin and goes and forget about the survival format.
You can punish this by scaring them away from weak hands sometimes. But be careful not to overdo this yourself.
What to Do If Nobody Is Doing Anything at All
If both players seem to be extra tight and not doing much of anything, then consider semi-bluffing.
When players miss hands postflop, they often will give up and want to move on to the next hand. People rarely will fake weaknesses.
So consider betting on the flop with weaker pairs or with straight and flush draws. If people call, you can give up if somebody raises or hand remains weak.
You do not want to semi-bluff too often, or observant players may catch on and start to adjust their game.
But a well-timed semi-bluff works great when you spot a good chance to do it.
Plus, keep in mind, your hand will improve to a good hand eventually. Against the right opponent, a semi-bluff may turn into you winning their chip stack.
How to Play the Mid Game
Often You Will Be Heads up by Now
Often by now, one of the players will be gone.
You should have an idea of how the remaining player plays by now. You were paying attention, right?! How to proceed depends on what this player did.
But Not Always
If you are playing with very tight people the game mid game, this can be quite an annoying situation.
Often the end game will become a game of going all-in or folding. You may have to wait until the blinds get high and take your chances.
This outcome is not ideal, but sometimes games end this way.
How to Play the End Game
What Is the End Game?
What is the end game in a Spin and Win? To me, the end game is the point when one player has less than ten big blinds on the table.
At this point, these players, if playing optimally, will understand they need to go all-in or fold. Not much post-flop action should take place.
In reality, most of the time, passive players will limp down to their last blind. Don’t be these players. I am going to explain what you need to do late game to win more often.
Know How Many Big Blinds You Have
First, know how many big blinds you have on the table. In Texas Hold ‘em, there is a small and big blind. The big blind is the minimum call you need to play a hand.
You divide your current stack by the big blind to find out how many big blinds you currently have? Not a fan of math? Pull out a calculator and check that way.
The Biggest Mistake People Make End Game
One of the huge mistakes beginners make is they don’t make decisions in sit and goes before their stack gets too low.
You can only win chips up to your stack size. You could make a Royal Flush on the flop, but you still will be small stacked if that is how you started the hand.
It would have been better to take a risk earlier and potentially win more chips.
Remember, you need to finish in first place to win. Finishing in second place gets you nothing when playing Spin and Win games.
Sometimes you will take chances on hands and lose.
It is better to get knocked out with a hand that has a chance of winning than to wait until you have no chance at all.
This is how sit and go games work.
Of course, be careful. I am not saying you can sweep mistakes under the rug with this logic.
This only applies if you are sure the play was the right thing. This takes a lot of time playing poker to get an idea of.
With Less Than 10 Blinds Be Ready to Go All-In
By the time you get down to less than ten big blinds either go all-in preflop or fold. Take no other actions.
At this point, I will go all-in with any pair, ace, king, and some queen hands. Don’t overthink how strong the hand is at this point. Click all-in and watch the results.
Now if somebody raised or went all-in before you be careful. You want to be the person to go all when nobody else had.
With Five Blinds or Less Go All-in with Most Cards
If you get down to five blinds, go all-in with almost any two cards. If the hand looks good, click all-in because, at this point, you need to win at all costs.
You might be able to see one or two more big blinds, but don’t wait too long.
If the blinds go up, before you go all-in your stack will be nothing. While it sucks, at this point, your fate is up to chance.
Winning as a Small Stack Is Hard
If you have a tiny stack, it is always a huge uphill battle. You will need to win many times, while the other player only needs to get lucky and win once.
It is possible to make a comeback small stacked. But often you will lose these games.
How to Play as the Big Stack
So what if we are the big stack end game? You want to play cautiously. You want to wait for strong hands and try to knock the other player out.
If the other player limps often consider raising preflop often. Unless they counter by always going all-in, you will slowly chip away their blinds.
Either way, remember we are in the position to wait for things to happen. It is the small stacked player that needs to make things happen.
Now at the same time, if you are too cautious, you might end up becoming the small stacked player yourself.
As you play more games, you will get an idea of what to do. It took me a long time to get better at poker, and I still am learning new concepts and strategies.
© 2020 Eric Farmer