One of the newest online poker innovations has been the Double or Nothing Sit & Go poker tournament. Basically 10 players take a seat in a tournament, and the final 5 players receive double their money back –so there is no difference between finishing 1st or 5th in a Double or Nothing tournament.
Players love these tournaments for a number of reasons, mostly because they are even quicker than a typical SG tournament –since they end when only 5 players remain—and because it removes the most difficult strategic time of a S&G, the end game, when there are only 2 or 3 players remaining in the tournament.
Since there are only a few online poker rooms with Double or Nothing Sit and Gos it’s important that you play at a site with a large player pool, filled with many terrible players, and this is the criteria we have used to compile our list of the best poker rooms for double or nothing sit and go poker tournaments.
Best Poker Rooms for Double Or Nothing SNGs for Players
|1||888 Poker||$600||www.888poker.comRead Review|
|2||Bet365 Poker||$5 Free||www.bet365.comRead Review|
What Is A DON SNG?
Double or nothing, or DON SNGs, are a variation of sit and go tournaments where half of the entrants double their initial buy in, less the fees of course, and the other half of the field makes nothing. The size of these tournaments are set to either 10, 8, or 6 players, and they end when the field is down to exactly half the amount of players that the tournament started out with.
As you will see, DON SNGs are a fairly sophisticated form of poker, one that appears to be deceptively simple, but involves some very different strategies than other forms of poker. So what we need to do is to first learn how to tone down our play, which isn’t really that difficult to do at least at an acceptable level, and then look to play against players who are taking too many risks with their stack.
So all we have to do really is to watch people bust out, one at a time, and not bust out ourselves. That’s really the goal here, and the only goal, to not bust out before the field gets cut down to half. This sounds very easy, and if you’re playing at the right sites, where people do not care enough about busting out, it can be at least almost as easy as it sounds.
This is not to say that there isn’t much strategy to these, and in fact, it’s quite the opposite, but the beauty of DON SNGs is that they are fairly easy to become good at, and at the same time, it can be an intricate game as you further develop your understanding, providing you even more opportunities to get a leg up on your opponents.
Are DONs Profitable?
The idea with all tournaments is to beat your opponents often enough to make a profit after the fees are accounted for. To sit and go tournament players, this is called positive return on investment, or ROI.
Whether or not you will have a positive ROI in DON tournaments depends on two things, which are your skill as a DON player, and the skill of your competitors. Generally we look at average skill level when looking to our opponents, but DON SNGs are a little different. It’s the bottom half of the players that we need to look at.
So what we want to look at here is how bad half of the field or more are, and we really don’t care as much how good the best half is, like we would at other SNGs. In fact, if the top half is more skilled, that’s even better for us, as we want them to beat out the weaker players. The quicker they can be busted out, the better.
As is generally the case with single table SNGs, we want to see players try to run people over, and the more loose and aggressive players are, the more we like it. This is because it’s generally a mistake to play that way, as the chip values differ considerably versus a cash game, and in fact, they differ the most of any variation of tournament.
So in other words, the value of additional chips that you are looking to win are less than in cash poker, so it pays to play more conservatively. While building your stack does add to your chances of finishing in the money, those extra chips mean a lot less and sometimes mean very little.
Since you aren’t looking to have the most chips here, and are only looking to finish in the top 50%, this tends to complicate things and has players making more mistakes than they would normally make in a sit and go. This is of course to our advantage if we understand the game better than our opponents.
So in order to be profitable, a key element is going to be to play in DON SNGs where our opponents are on the fishy side and haven’t made the proper strategic adjustments, which once again will have us playing quite a bit more conservatively than normal as our standard strategy.
Depending on our chip count, where the blinds are at, how many people are left, how people are playing, and so on, we’ll need to adjust our strategy to best adapt to the changing conditions. So as you can see, this is a fairly complex variation of poker, although the more complex things are, the more mistakes people will tend to make, and the more profitable things can become for us.
Rake In A DON
The reason that it is difficult to make money in a tough SNG at a tough site is that it’s not enough to just be above average in skill. You could be the best player at every DON SNG you ever play in, but if the differences in skill are very small, your advantage may not be big enough to account for the effect of the rake, in this case, the tournament fees that you pay.
For example, if you play 100 tournaments, and there is no rake or fees, and you win 50 of them, you break even. However, there is a standard fee in SNG DONs of 10%. So if you are playing $10 SNGs, during these 100 tournaments you’ve spent $100 in fees. So you really need to win 55 and lose 45 to break even now. Anything you win over the 55 is your profit, and the amount of wins below 55 is your loss.
So if things are tight, you might not even be able to win the 55 out of 100 as a good player. Also, you want to make sure you are making enough profit to make a given variation of poker worth your while, and if you end up winning, say, 58 out of 100, your profit is only $30 for 100 games of poker, and that only works out to 30 cents a tournament. This might be fine while you are learning, but you won’t get rich or grow your bankroll very quickly at this rate.
So once again, it pays to play in the softest DONs you can find at your given stake, and in fact, this is central to your success, more central than even how good a player you are. You can be only a decent DON SNG player at one site and make more money than an excellent player would playing less fishy DON SNGs elsewhere.
Why Should I Play DON Instead Of A Standard SNG?
DONs on average tend to get over quicker than standard SNGs, which can be a real advantage. Standard SNGs require you to be skilled at shorthanded poker, particularly 3 handed and heads up, and at DONs you never get to that point so if you aren’t good at playing against fewer opponents, you don’t have to be.
On the other hand, if you are good at shorthanded, you can possibly make more money at the standard ones. However, there’s plenty of strategy at DONs even if you are to make them worth trying out to at least compare.
The game play and strategy at standard SNGs tends to be a lot more straightforward than at DONs, where players get to the bubble and it becomes a blind stealing contest, which can make them both less interesting and less profitable. DONs aren’t anywhere near this point and there’s still lots of players that play them that don’t really know enough about how to play them properly, so the opportunities at DONs to make money are generally greater.
On the other hand, there are far more standard SNGs that run at every site, so if you like SNGs it pays to look to play and be skilled at both forms, to ensure that there always is a SNG running that you can play in.
Is It Better To Play Turbo Or Standard Speed DON?
As a rule, the slower the speed of a tournament, the more skill plays into things. The quicker the blinds escalate, the more effect a cold steak of cards have. This is because, at the turbo speed, you’ll be in situations where you’re going to have to shove or fold a lot quicker, due to quickly declining stacks relative to the blinds.
So this means more coin flips with turbo DONs, and the more coin flips, the more luck plays into things. So the more edge that you have in terms of skill versus your opponents, the more you may prefer the standard speed.
If your skills are below average, you’ll tend to do better, meaning losing less, at the turbo speed. However, you may want to play standard speed anyway, at least some of the time, to look to improve your game at this speed.
I’m not a big fan of turbo speed myself, although I know that a lot of people like it, and in fact it’s the more popular of the two. My advice would be to try both, and see which one you like more and which one you do better at.
Ongame DONs vs. 888 Poker DONs
One of the things I really like about DONs at 888 Poker is that with a single click you can see all of the DONs that they are running without having to scroll through a huge amount of tournaments. At Ongame, once you’ve selected the sit and go button, you can click on the name of the tournament and see all of the double or nothing tournaments and the double or nothing turbo tournaments together as you scroll down.
888 Poker simply has the best DON SNG tournaments around, and no other poker site can match what they have there. Ongame does offer a good amount of smaller DON tournaments, but there isn’t a whole lot of action above $5 and things really drop off during the off peak hours.
If you are a smaller DON player, by all means take advantage of the welcome bonus from the rooms on the Ongame network, and the competition there in DONs is nice and loose as well. 888’s DONs are superior though, although it need not be a choice between them and you can go for both bonuses if you want.
iPoker vs. Ongame DONs
Poker sites on the iPoker network also offer more action at the DONs than poker rooms on the Ongame Network, and the bonus offer at iPoker rooms is better as well. All of these three poker networks do feature pretty loose action at the DONs, although the completion at iPoker does seem to be a little tighter, but not enough to be concerned about.
Filtering DONs at iPoker can be pretty annoying though, and separating them out is by far the toughest here than the other two sites. IPoker really does need to get with the program here in allowing players to filter out types of tournaments, especially with the number of SNGs that they run. Like Ongame, things do really thin out during off peak hours, although you can more easily get into medium sized buy ins at iPoker during regular hours.
DONs at 888 vs. iPoker DONs
Comparing 888 with iPoker, once again 888 Poker wins out in the DON category, both in terms of softness of competition and DON traffic. This is especially true if you like to play standard speed DONs, as the games on iPoker tend to be mostly the turbo variety, where you see plenty of both speeds at 888.
Still though, iPoker is a pretty big network, and it’s well worth considering checking out the DONs there, and they do have some good selection even at the standard speed. Once again, you have to do some annoying scrolling to find them, but it’s not really that bad.
Whether or not you end up checking out the DONs at iPoker or Ongame, both of which are worth getting paid to try out by the way, you definitely want to check out the DONs at 888, which are in my opinion the best out there. Just click on our links to all of the top DON sites to give them a try and collect your nice bonuses at the same time.