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Short Stack Strategy

No matter how good you are at poker, at various points in your poker career, you will find yourself as a short stack during a game. This could occur for a variety of reasons. You may like to play with a short stack, you may have lost the remainder of your stack or it may just be the whole of your bankroll. But for whatever the reason, you need to employ a solid short stack strategy. Some players make a good living from short stacking poker games, so there is definite profit to be made.

What does the phrase “short stack” mean?

Being the short stack in a poker game usually means you have less then 40 times the big blind. It just refers to how short the amount of chips you have in front of you. Most poker player’s are infuriated by short stackers, as they reduce the amount of profit they can make at a table. This is because you are taking a seat of someone who may buy-in to the table with the full amount.

How to play when short stacking?

Playing with a short stack is a very difficult task to do successfully in poker. You have very few chips in comparison to the other players at the table, so it is much harder to make plays against them. Making a bluff against another player is almost impossible, as they know you will not have enough chips to outplay them in later streets of the hand. This stops them becoming afraid of calling your bet as they know they cannot face another big bet.

You also cannot make as many calls pre-flop as you can with a full stack. You should employ a much tighter range on your opening hands as if you limp to much pre-flop, you will find your stack shrinking at an alarming rate. Also if you lose too much when you finally get dealt that monster hand, you may not even regain your starting chip count after doubling up.

What hands to play?

So after that has been said, what hands are worthy of playing? As you should have guessed by now, when you find yourself with a good hand, the only real option you have is to get all your chips into the middle and hope for the best.

AA
KK
QQ
JJ
AK
AQ

AJ
A10
1010
KQ

KJ
99
88

AX
KX
QJ
J10
Any pocket pair


Red – Hands to be played when you have 40bb
Orange – Hands to be played when you have 30bb
Green – Hands to be played when you have 20bb
Blue – Hands to be played when you have 10bb

A good way to try out your short stacked strategy is to get a no deposit poker bonus and play at the highest level possible. You will most likely end up losing the money but at least you get some practice out of it and you won’t be risking your own cash.

 

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