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Size Matters (Stack Size, That Is)

by Steve Zolotow |  Published: Feb 08, 2012


Stack size is not an absolute number. It is always a ratio. For example, both Dan Harrington’s M, in his no-limit tournament books, and Lee Nelson’s Kill Everyone’s CPR compare stack size to the Cost Per Round – the total cost of antes and blinds each round. Cash games are seldom played with an ante, so most cash game players think in terms of the number of big blinds in a stack. Ten BBs would be a tiny stack, while 300 BBs would be a very deep stack. Players normally buy-in for 40 to 100 BBs. This amount will, of course, increase or decrease when they play hands or add some more chips to their stack. It is important to note that all of these measures relate to stack size before any action has occurred. Other than with very short stacks, which should go all-in or fold, these numbers may ...

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