Playing Poker with a Short Stack
Even if you are the greatest poker player to have ever walked the earth, there are times when you will find yourself short stacked, which basically means that you are playing a game with a severe shortage of chips at your disposal. This is obviously not an ideal position to be in, but if you do find yourself in it, don’t panic – there are a few tactics that you should keep in mind which will potentially help you out of your hole and set you back on course to become the chip leader!
There are a few reasons why a player can end up short stacked. The first one is the most obvious – they have bought into a game with the minimum amount of money required and have found that everyone else is playing with much larger amounts.
Surprisingly, there are some people who actually enjoy the thrill of going in short stacked and building up, so don’t be surprised if those who enter a game short stacked are actually very good players. The other reason for being short stacked is that you are in a tournament and have suffered a number of bad beats, therefore meaning that your stack has been obliterated and you are hanging on for dear life.
Obviously having less chips in your possession means that you are severely limited as to the different moves that you make. This means that the most popular move for a short stacked player to make is to go all in, therefore meaning that they can double their money without having to go through endless betting rounds.
The urgency with which you go all in obviously depends how short stacked you are, but generally you should wait until you have a reasonably decent pair of hole cards and try to go in before the flop, therefore scaring away those with mediocre hands. Also, it is worth going all in with a slightly worse hand if everyone has checked around to you and you are sitting to the right of the button.
The other tactic used is stealing the blinds, which basically means that you try to scare everyone off before the flop, therefore meaning that the blinds are given to you. This will at least keep you going until you are able to double up and is an important way of keeping your presence at the table noticeable.
By visiting pokerstars, you will get the chance to see how short stacked players operate. By going to one of the higher cost tables and simply being a spectator, you will learn a lot from those who know exactly what they are doing.