Playing Short Stacked Texas Hold Em Poker

If you have played much Texas Hold em at all, particularly Sit n Go’s or multi-table tournaments, you have had to play from time to time with a short stack. No matter how good a player you are, sometimes you get a bad beat, someone sucks out an unbelievable hand on you and you find yourself with a small fraction of the chip stack you had just one hand ago. One of the keys to becoming good or great at Texas Hold em is learning how to handle it when these situations occur.

What most players will tend to do when they become short stacked is panic. I encounter this every day when playing online and I see it in a lot of live tournaments as well: A player loses a big hand, ends up with only $450 chips left out of an initial stack of $1500, and the next thing they do is push all-in regardless of their cards. This is a quick way to be on the rail.

What you needs to remember, is that not every tournament will go according to plan. Sometimes you will have a big stack and just roll over your opponents. Sometimes you will not get any decent cards to play. Sometimes, heaven forbid, you may just have a lapse and make a poor play and find yourself without many chips. The thing to remember is that the buy in is already paid and it is gone. You are not getting it back if you go out in the next hand or the next 10 hands. Your only chance of making money is to hang in there and come back in the tournament.

Just shoving chips in with hands like A-6 or K-7 because you are short-stacked is not a good strategy. If the blinds are still relatively low, there is not need to get into a hurry. In fact, poker becomes really simple when you are short stacked. You simply wait for a good hand that you can double up with. If you have $500 chips and the blinds are $25-$50, yes you are in trouble, but you don’t have to throw it all in right away. Wait a few rotations of the table to see if you can pick up a decent hand and then push all in with it. 텍사스홀덤

By decent hand, I mean this: pretty much any pocket pair and A-K, A-Q, A-J, in some instances A-T. You might play things like K-Qs or K-J from position if you think there is a chance the blinds will fold. Otherwise, you are folding your hands at this point. The time for playing speculative hands like suited connectors is gone because you cannot afford to have your already small chip stack whittled down even further by anything but the blinds, and even then not many of those. Sure, you may find yourself having to play something like K-5 from the BB eventually, but it is amazing how many times you will pick up a hand that you can work with in these situations.

Does that mean you are going to double up and come back to win the tournament? No, of course not. But, it does mean that you will give yourself a better chance to make a come back and at least finish in the money. Again, that buy in has already been paid. You might as well get the most out of it that you can. Playing short stacked is going to happen to you in your poker career. Learning to deal with it can really help out your bankroll as well as your mind set making you a better tournament poker player in the long run.

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