Poker Articles

Poker Psychology, Strategy and Small Stacks


This poker article is geared toward players who, for various reasons, end up with the table’s smallest stack while participating in a tournament. Just like all players do at some point, you have experienced several bad beats, worthless hands of cards or misplayed your hands and felt the wrath of what some people refer to as “poker karma.”

Regardless of the reason, think about the blinds. For the purpose of creating an example, the blinds are currently at 100/200 and you are left with only 800 out of the 1,500 chips with which you started. With just six players remaining and blinds that seem to be quickly making the rounds, you probably feel the situation is bleak.

There are quite a few tournament players who will simply give up and roll over. These people believe that it is pointless to continue fighting their way through this situation and therefore, they will call on anything. Then, they will return their cards and make their way out of the tournament room. To them, it is the end of a disappointing day.

Thankfully, there is a method you can try when your game seems hopeless. Even though this strategy is not 100 percent effective, you can still stand a chance of turning the game around when you use it. In regards the above example, hold out until you have a decent start hand and once you do have one, go all in. The most easy hands to work with are those such as K-K or A-A; however, cards paired with a K, an A, a suited connector or a pocket pair are still worthwhile.

This strategy is based on the assumption that competing players will not put down their chips against the big bet you make. In the event that they actually call, you will still possess live cards for the next go around. But if an opponent shows an A-A, you will simply have to chalk it up to bad luck and move on.

With this strategy, there is the subtlety of timing. You must go along with almost anything when the blinds are coming closer to you. On the other hand, if it is you who is on the button, you still have several more chances to fold with the hopes of a better outcome during the next hand. Many tournament players faced with small stacks have utilized this strategy and come back to win.