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ArrowWhat do Stack Sizes mean?
Just the same as live ring games, stack sizes can sometimes tell you something about your opponents. In general the better the player the larger the stack, and the weaker the player the smaller the stack. There are several reasons for this:
  • The better players generally win, so they need to have a large bankroll.
  • The weaker players generally lose so it is natural for them to have small bankrolls.
  • Many weak players who play small limits will sometimes jump up a limit to try their luck, and usually do not have a big enough bankroll for the limit they are playing.

Of course these are all just generalizations. Good players will have bad runs, just the same as poor players will have good runs. But you can get a quick idea of new opponents by looking at their stack size when you first sit down at the table. This is especially true at the higher limits, which require more bankroll to play. Of course, after a few minutes of playing an opponent your impression may well change, but at least you have something to go by when you first sit down.

There are generally two different styles for players with small stacks. The first type is someone who plays a lot of hands, which is why his stack is so low. The other type of player is one who just moved up from a lower limit game. This player probably is playing very tight since he is scared of losing a lot of money. With either type of player, you can use this information to your advantage. Play aggressively against the scared player and don't try to bluff the loose player.

There is one exception to this rule, and that is when their stack becomes so low that they will go broke with a few more bets. In this case both types of players will generally tighten up a lot waiting for that big hand. Now you can be aggressive both pre-flop and flop. Be inclined to try and steal their blinds. On the flop, try to be the aggressor and then back off if your opponent either bets first or raises. Since he is playing survival poker, it is doubtful that he is bluffing. An aggressive style of play against the small stacks will usually reap good rewards, and the risk is small since you can back off if your opponent shows any signs of strength. 



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