One of the most popular games played on the Sky Poker site are the Bounty hunter games. These are available either as daily or weekly Tournaments and also as Sit & Go games. Several of the site’s premium weekly tournaments are played in this format, namely; The Bounty Hunter (Monday’s, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, £10,000 guaranteed prize pool) and Sky Sports Bounty Hunter (Thursdays 8pm, £12,000 Guaranteed – televised). If your aim is to play in the bigger tournaments on Sky Poker, then it is a form of the game that you need to be familiar with.

What makes Bounty Hunter Games different to other forms of the game?

Although the actual game of hold’em that you play in Bounty Hunter games is no different in terms of rules of the game and hand rankings etc, the big difference and what is one of the appealing features of these games, is how your contribution to the pot, your buy in, is used.

In a typical Sit & Go game, or in a tournament, your money is placed into a central pot (with a small rake paid to Sky Poker) and this money is centrally kept and players eliminate each other betting with chips. The final few players in the tournament then divide the money in the pot between themselves with the players finishing latest in the tournament earning the most cash.

In Bounty Hunter games, how the cash is arranged is very different and to explain this, we will use an example of playing a £11 Bounty Hunter game for ease of calculation.

If you enter a £11 Bounty Hunter, you pay £1 to Sky Poker as the rake and the £10 is your buy in fee. Of that fee, £7.50 is committed to the central pot, which as in other tournament is awarded to the players who reach the latter stages of the tournament. The remaining £2.50 is then placed on your ‘head’ as your bounty and every other player in the tournament also has the same ‘bounty’ placed on their head when the game starts.

As the tournament progresses, players can win cash immediately by knocking out another player and thus winning their bounty. For example, if two players go all in on the first hand and player one wins, he retains his £2.50 bounty, but also wins the £2.50 bounty from player two (who is also eliminated from the competition).

What happens when one player eliminates another player is that 75% of the bounty they earn is cashed immediately, whereas the remaining 25% of the bounty is added to the bounty of the victorious player.

So, for example, if player one, who has a bounty of £15, knocks out player two who has a bounty of £10 on his head, player one would cash £7.50 immediately and their own bounty would increase by £2.50, from £15 to £17.50.

As the tournament progresses, the players that remain in the tournament tend to be the ones that earn the most money by knocking out other players. Unfortunately for the player they have knocked a few players out, then you are also the most attractive players to try and eliminate as they have the largest bounties on their heads. Knocking out a player with a large bounty can earn the victorious player a decent win bonus through cashing out their 75% bounty without even reaching the final stages of the tournament.

What types of Bounty Hunter Games are played?

The fact that players can win money without qualifying for the latter stages of the tournament gives Bounty Hunter games a lot of appeal and as such, they are used commonly on Sky Poker for tournaments. There are also daily Bounty Hunter events, including free roll events, which are satellites into the big money events, allowing players to compete for the large sums of cash in televised events without having to pay the much larger buy in fee to claim a place in the final stages of the tournament directly.

Each day there are usually several Bounty Hunter games organised, usually for the early evening peak period when most players will be playing with guaranteed prize pools ranging from £50 to £100 or more for special events.

Is there a specific strategy to adopt for Bounty Hunter games?

From our experience on the site, we’ve found that the strategy we employ in these games doesn’t really differ a great deal compared to other tournaments we have entered, but we have found that it does tend to exaggerate the tendencies of other players in terms of whether they are more aggressive, or passive at the table.

What we mean  by this is that we have found that Sky Poker players who aggressively pursue other players bounties tend to be more willing to gamble on ‘taking out’ another player than they are in other games. Similarly, if you are at a table with players who play more cautiously, then they will tend to be a little more cautious with their chips than usual.

As always, getting a good start is crucial here and improving your chip stack early by picking up as many cheap pots as you can, especially against tight players, is always worthwhile. Keep an eye out too for the super-aggressive players who seem to play every hand and will go all in at the drop of a hat. These players can be picked off if you have the pocket cards and in doing so boost your bank account and the bounty on your head.

As the tournament progresses and the bounties increase, play does tend to get tighter and we’ve found that forcing it does not tend to be too lucrative. Stay in control, play the hands you feel you have a chance of winning and wait for the right opportunity to present itself, if your chip stack allows it.

Bounty Hunter games are very popular on the site and its easy to see why with immediate rewards available and bigger prizes the longer you stay in the tournament. Have a few trial runs using your Sky Poker points in the free roll events before playing for cash or entering satellites and that experience will prove invaluable to you as you transition to real-money games.