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  • Changing Your Playing Style Based on Chip Stack Size

When playing in a poker tournament, whether it’s a live tournament or an online tournament, there are quite a few different things to take into account when you consider your playing style. One of these of course, is how you should play your chip stack. You’ll find that throughout poker tournaments that your stack size will vary quite a bit, so what this means is that you should constantly be changing your playing style. We are going to take a look at a few of the different ways that you should be changing your strategy, and also the ways to help you get the most out of your chip stack size, regardless of how many, or how few chips you are holding. Right off the bat, it’s important to point out though that if you end up getting a bit short stacked, that’s never a time to panic, so always stay confident!

Deep Stack Play

Now deep stack play can vary quite a bit, and a lot will depend on where you are at in the tournament. If you are early on in the tournament then you should just play standard and not get too crazy. On the other side of things though, if you are nearing the money, you should loosen up your play a bit to put pressure on the shorter stacks. It’s always important though to remember that you don’t want to be in a spot where you are risking YOUR stack that close to the money. The best spot that you can be in is that you are the deepest stack at your table with quite a few short stacks around you. Just be aggressive with a deep stack, as this is the best way to be able to build up your stack, three-betting and continuation betting is definitely a good idea in many spots.

Short Stack Play

This is where it’s a big tougher, because when you are a short stack you have to pick your spots carefully. Most of the time, you’ll find that you have to sit back and just wait to get a big hand, or to be able to push it all in when you are in position with a semi-short stack sitting near you. The most important thing to watch is how many big blinds you have remaining. If you start to get under 15 big blinds then you shouldn’t be doing any regular raising, and you should instead just be moving all in. The problem is, if you pick up a hand like K/Q and make a small raise, your opponent is likely to make a move over the top and put the pressure back on you (if they are the deep stack), and this will just leave you with a tough decision for all of your chips.

If you find yourself as one of the middle stacks, then you can just continue to play your game, and continue to build your stack hopefully as you work your way towards the money! Players all have different types of playing styles, but it’s important to be sure that you constantly change your style though, in order to throw off opponents at your table, so that they don’t get reads on your play.

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