JavaScript must be enabled for Sign In.
Please check your broswer settings.

Home \ Community \ Blogs \

From Ace Rag to Riches

Building a Bankroll from Micro up!
Send PM

How to play a big stack

By: baud2death @ 16:26 (EDT) / 59 / Comment ( 0 )

We all know how to play a short stack... when we are short, SHOVE IT!!


But a big stack takes more work and to be honest, it is the most key part of my play that I have had to re-teach myself to get results.


You should treat a Big Stack with two variables in mind - Time and Power.

Your time is your stack, the larger it is, the more time you have to pick a good spot to play or the best hand to play.

Your power is the strength of your cards

The power of your cards are a matter of perspective depending on the power of your opponents cards. Since we can't see their cards we have to take their bet/tells instead. If they bet weak, their hand is most likely weak but if it is strong then we have to respect their hand could be strong.

If our hand is weak and the opponent looks weak, we might want to try to draw and see how we improve.

If our hand is weak and the opponent looks strong, we NEED to improve and may need to pay to draw for that, its probably not going to go our way

If our hand is strong and the opponent looks weak, we have the upper hand and are going to find a way to get as many chips as we can from our opponent whilst also minimizing the risk of them improving their hand

If our hand is strong and the opponent looks strong, this is going to be a case of who blinks first or can catch the strongest cards from the flop/turn/river.


It is all a matter of perspective and although we should typically treat weak cards as garbage anyways, this is more to highlight that "mmmm ok" hands need to improve and are only worth doing so if our opponent isn't already ahead of us.


So, with the power of our cards in mind - we want to pick our battles

We want opponents that are weaker than us but where we are as strong as we can be.


This is where the time element comes in

If we have to wait 30 hands to catch a good pair of cards, we wait. Others won't and regardless of how well/badly they do, not playing the tight game will get them hurt in the longrun.

So we want to be as strong as we can, we almost want to be waiting for the nuts if we can.


How much time you have depends on how big your stack is

It is a common mistake to loosen up when you have a big stack, you can gamble more with your chips since you have so many.

All it takes is for one opponent to catch a hand just 1 place better than yours to trap you into shipping all of your chips to them and you end up saying "oh, well i had pot odds!!"


If you do this right, people will think you have magic cards because everytime you come into a pot, you will often take it and pretty much anytime you showdown, you have the winning hand.

This will get you respect which helps should you want to steal.


It isnt magic.

Your opponents are gambling their crappy hands get lucky

You are playing a strategy that means when you get involved, you always have the upper hand and are more likely to win



In order to comment, you must login or register.
Take Quiz
New here? Take our Poker Assessment to start your education.
already a member? sign in here
JavaScript must be enabled for Sign In.
Please check your broswer settings.
Learn From basics to advanced strategy
Practice Improve your skills with our trainers
Win! Establish yourself as a winning player
/Featured Promotions/
Progressive Jackpot Progressive Jackpot Playing our new 'Scratch & Match' game is free and very easy. If you match 3 symbols you win a prize!!!! View details
Earn 10 Tournament Tickets Today! Earn 10 Tournament Tickets Today! Invite your friends to join Poker School and you could earn up to 10 tournament tickets as a reward! View details

Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

Copyright (c) All rights reserved, Rational Group, Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 1DZ. You can email us on