Sunday, October 03, 2004


Short-Stack Overview (3) - Stack Size

Thanks to everyone who has commented so far, it's a very encouraging response. I am already being taken to task by The Camel and Richard G, quite rightly ! Keep them coming guys but remember that I am pitching this a bit lower than the expert level, and if I miss out the odd titbit it's because I'm trying not to over-complicate. Or because I've forgotten whatever it was :-)

The last of the four main factors is stack size. As Richard points out, the lower your stack, the better proportional return should you steal the blinds, and you also have better odds if you get called. In addition, the shorter your stack, the less time you have to wait for a better situation. What you really want to avoid is the situation where you do not have enough chips to make everyone pass with your all-in raise. This can vary according to your opponents, but my general rule of thumb is that if I'm going to be left with 5 SBs or less after taking the blinds, I'd much rather make my move before those blinds come around. Sometimes 5 is OK, but 4 is definitely too low - now you can only double the big blind and you will get called.

To sum up to date, the lower your stack size, the fewer people to act behind you, and the less action there is in front of you, the lower your hand requirements are for committing to the pot. Later in the week I'm going to use the awesome power of my laptop to turn this into some more concrete guidelines, so don't go away !

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