Small Stack Poker Strategy

online poker

It is always much more enjoyable to have a huge stack of chips in front of you at the online poker table, there will be times during your career that you will be low on chips and short stacked. In such situations, you will have to adjust your play and utilize an effective short stack strategy. This is due to the lack of wiggle room in making various plays because of your low chip count. 

A short stack in either play online poker tournament or cash games is typically 40 big blinds or less. But, there is a difference between having 40 big blinds and 10 big blinds. Latter would require mind-set or strategy taking into account an even lower number of chips or money to work. Remember, short stack strategy is in relation to number of blinds left to play at current level. And not determined in comparison with the stacks of other players at the table.  

Being short stacked severely limits your manoeuvres at the table. Attempting such ploys as bluffs and blind steals are reduced. And perhaps eliminated as your low chip count hampers the ability to pull off such plays that are used to build chip stacks. 

Large bets made on turn and river cards

No-limit Texas Hold’em is structured so that larger bets are typically made on both the turn and river cards. The pre-flop and post-flop rounds normally set up the action for the later rounds. Having a short stack will often mean that your betting will be completed after the flop. You either won’t have enough chips to keep playing the online poker India hand or will shove all-in if you think your chance of winning is good at that stage. 

The lack of moves available from being short stacked requires you to shorten your range. And to play only the best hands, instead of hands that have the potential of winning. This you normally would play if you were blessed with a larger chip stack. Suited connectors and low pocket pairs are best played with larger stacks that allow for the ability to outplay your opponents. With a small stack, it’s most favourable to be involved in best online poker pots while holding high suited cards that can pair up or better on the flop. However, the various degrees of the sizes of short stacks may allow for some flexibility in selecting starting hands and continuing playing post-flop. In other words, you can make more moves with 40 big blinds than you can with 10.  

Greater range of hands to play with smaller stacks

The smaller your stack, the greater range of hands you are forced to play. You don’t want to wait around for a better hand that may never come and get blinded out in the process. As an example, Ace-rag is not recommended to be played in early position with 40 blinds remaining. However, the same hand with only 10 blinds left is considered highly playable. Remember, the betting on fourth and fifth streets may be non-existent due to your lack of chips. So get your remaining money in the pot if you happen to connect with a high pair on the flop. 

Effective strategy while playing short stacked is dependent upon adjusting your play to the situation at hand. Basically, you want to get your chips in the pot when you believe you have the best chance of winning. If you select the correct times to make your move, two or three double-ups can get you right back into the tournament. Ultimately, that is your goal.  

Happy playing!