Stack Percentages

Knowing When To Make Your Move

Critical levels


You really want to make sure that you have at least ten times the big blind if you are right on this cusp then you need to be careful that you dont end up getting pot committed, often it is better to go all in pre-flop and put a serious question to your opponent rather than give them a chance to see a cheap flop.

Poker Strategy Tip

Hot Tip: Size really does matter when it comes to chip stacks. Having the big stack means that you can bully, whereas being on the short stack means you’ve got to start thinking about making a move.

If you end up suddenly only having five times the big blind then you are going to have little choice but to put all of your chips in. Although peoples first thoughts are well if I just sit tight and then lose a few blinds other people might get knocked out and move me up the money. This is true, however what you have to consider is that if you have 500 left in chips when blinds are 50 and 100, you need to make a stand before the blinds come round. If you dont then you will be in trouble as now your stack is 350 after paying the BB and SB.

Even if you do get lucky, pick up a monster and push all in, it is only 250 more to the big blind, and if there is value for them then you may get a few callers all good if you win but they will most likely check it down to knock you out.

Now reconsider the same scenario and imagine that you raise all in 500, its now 400 extra to the big blind, hes either going to have to really like his hand or really want to gamble with a risk of doubling you up back into a comfortable position.

Your Opponents Stack

Theres going to be Small, Medium and Big stacks at the table, and you need to keep an eye on who has what. Some Players will play their chips differently depending on how big their stack is.

You should also change how you play as the chips move around the table. When you have a lot of chips you should be more of a bully at the table and put some serious questions to the short stacks.

Bullying With Your Stack

A Note on bullying the short stacks though You need to take into consideration their actual stack percentage. Remember you are trying to bully; not give away free chips!

For example, if you are bluffing at a pot and they have say 500 left, if you bet too much or too little it could have the wrong effect. Say you bet 100, they will probably call, as they still have 400 left but if you bet 350 then they may well think about having a gamble and going all in! Now its suddenly another 150 to you, not what you wanted.

If you were to bet about 220, then you have now put them to a serious question. They will be crippled if they just call and are wrong, so its big enough to make them possibly fold and live to fight another day, or they raise all in and you can either fold yourself, (youve now only given them 220), or if you have a monster, take them out.

If You Short Stack

If you are becoming the short stack there are two levels which you need to watch for. When you get to only have ten times the amount of the big blind you shouldnt really just call, this is your time to start to make a stand and build chips back up! You either have to fold or make an all in move as once you put a few chips in the pot you can very quickly become pot-committed, which isnt good.

However if you suddenly move all in (which you would have done anyway in the pot, but in stages) then you are at least making your opponent pay to beat you, and if you win then you are doubled up. Nice!

The second critical level is when you only have 5 times the big blind. This is literally a case of all in or all out. Once you get to below this, you simply dont have enough chips to make someone think about folding, and you will most likely get a case of three or so players checking it down to attempt to knock you out! Not pretty!

Just remember though that from small acorns, oak trees grow. Not to mention the old chip and a chair story. Go for it! You came to punt after all!

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