888poker Modifies BLAST Poker Game Structure

  • BLAST Poker is 888’s version of the jackpot sit-and-go
  • Number of players reduced from four to three
  • 1,000x multiplier eliminated, 3x and 25x added
  • Expected value of prize pool multiplier now lower
poker chips and dice on and around computer keyboard
888poker reduced the number of players in BLAST Poker games from four to three, and made tweaks to the prize multipliers. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Changes to jackpot sit-and-go structure and payouts

888poker recently revamped its BLAST Poker offering, the online poker room’s version of the popular jackpot sit-and-go format. The changes involve both the structure of the game itself and the payout tables.

888 introduced BLAST Poker in 2016 in response to competitors like PokerStars and Winamax, who already had jackpot sit-and-gos for some time. The games are quick and appeal to recreational players who might not have the time to participate in extended poker sessions.

From four- to three-handed

The change 888 players will notice immediately is that BLAST games are now three-handed, matching the standard around the industry. BLAST was unique among jackpot sit-and-gos in that they were four-handed from launch.

The reason for the adjustment, according to an 888poker rep on Two Plus Two, was for the “games to start faster”.

BLAST was unique among jackpot sit-and-gos in that they were four-handed from launch

The other distinctive feature of BLAST Poker remains intact. After a few minutes – the duration varies based on the prize pool multiplier – players are automatically put all-in.

Prize pool multipliers adjusted

The other modification to the BLAST Poker game is less apparent but significant nonetheless. 888 modified the prize pool multipliers, increasing the number of different multipliers from six to seven.

Up until this point, the possible prize pool multipliers were 2x, 5x, 10x, 100x, 1,000x, and 10,000x. With the new structure, the 1,000x has been removed, and both a 3x and 25x multiplier have been added.

The result of this is that the prizes are now skewed downward. Using the $5 BLAST games as an example, the chances of hitting the top prize multiplier is now just 1 in 1,000,000, rather than 10 in 1,000,000. That is still close to impossible, but the probability is now just one tenth of what it was. The 100x multiplier is down from 400 in 1,000,000 to 75 in 1,000,000 and, of course, the 1,000x is gone.

Much of the 10x and 5x probability has been shifted down to the 3x, and some has gone to the 2x.

Average multiplier decreased

The expected value of the prize pool multiplier in a $5 BLAST Poker game is now 2.742x, a steep drop from the 3.656x it was before.

It is a similar situation at higher buy-in levels. The $30 BLAST games, for instance, now have an expected multiplier of 2.797x versus 3.733x previously.

it is now actually in line with 888’s competitors

The reduction in the average prize pool multiplier looks bad at first read, but it is now actually in line with 888’s competitors. For example, looking at the $5 Spin & Go at PokerStars, the expected multiplier is 2.790x. At the $25 and $50 buy-ins (there is no $30), the expected value is 2.820x.

The decrease is likely directly related to the drop in players from four to three. The games will go faster, so the prize pool distribution needs to be adjusted accordingly.

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