Changing strategies as the big or short stack in Texas Hold’em

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Posted on: May 13, 2020 5:51 pm EDT

Adjusting play as your stack changes is important for survival in poker

The game of poker – especially Texas Hold’em Poker – has a way of allowing many strategies to define the course of the game. That’s why it is not just a game of luck, but of skill as well. Even the size of a chip stack can be used in your favor if the right conditions come together. Using a short or big stack effectively during a tournament has the same purpose in both cases: to put pressure on your opponent by using an aggressive playing strategy.

For instance, the best way to handle a short stack on chips is to shove it all in one hand – but only if the time is right. A short stack will have you in a position where the blinds are increasing, and you end up with a stack of 15 blinds or smaller. Having a short stack could mean being at risk of leaving the tournament; however, if the right hand allows you to bet your full stack and win, you could be right back on the race to conquer the final table.

A totally different scenario is presented in front of you when the chip stack is quite large. A good way to use a huge stack is to refrain from engaging in hands against players who have big chip stacks and focus on those short stacks that can be wiped out easier; therefore, your chip stack will only become bigger. But, as usual, there are always things to consider before using your chips to crush the opponents – most likely the opponents will call a bet when they have a monster hand – therefore, using your stack to scare them away and make them fold to continue collecting more chips but without making unnecessary risks.