Short Stack Poker Strategy

What is Short Stacked?
First off there are a lot of different definitions when it comes to what constitutes a short stack, or a deep stack. Players that have been in the game for any number of years have an idea of what those concepts mean to them but for the sake of explaining some of the concepts it is always a good idea to have a good working idea of what the short stack and deep stack limits are. For the purpose of this article the short stack limits will be understood to mean anything less than eighty blinds. This is a good place to start as far as understanding what constitutes a short stack.

Good & Bad to Being Short Stacked
There are both pros and cons against using a short stack strategy as opposed to the more generally advantageous deep stack strategy. It is also generally accepted as good technique to never play with a short stack in a tournament situation. To do so leaves you at a severe disadvantage and doesn’t let you capitalize fully on opportunities when they present themselves.

Positives of Shortstacking
With that being said there are certainly times when you will have to play with a short stack, or might even prefer to play with a short stack. When you find yourself in these situations there are certain things that you need to keep in mind to help you come out on top.

One reason veteran Poker players like to play with a short stack is they believe that a short stack is harder to read in certain situations. It doesn’t offer the versatility that a deep stack does, but a player with a short stack should never be counted out of the equation.

Another reason to consider short stack Poker is that while playing with a short stack against a deep stack you force the deep stack player to essentially play short stack Poker right along with you. Their advantage really only is during the pre-flop and the flop. Other than at those times the games will be relatively the same and the same strategies will apply to both players.

Playing Against a Deep Stack
Playing short stack Poker against someone playing deep stack Poker is going to be in your favor if the time comes for you to get out. Playing a short stack gives you more opportunities to get out if the cards just aren’t playing the way that you hoped they would. However, if you were playing poorly with a deep stack against another player with a stronger deep stack you could find yourself in a very unenviable position very quickly. In this regard it is much more beneficial to play with a strong short stack than a weak deep stack.

Take It Down With Short Stacks
Learning to play a short stack against a deep stack takes time and perseverance. It is a skill that should be cultivated because if you play the game long enough you will inevitably find a time to use your new found skill. Not much has been written on these strategies and players are becoming increasingly aware of the dynamics involved in pitting a short stack against a deep stack.