# Why buy-in only with 20BB or 100BB?

• Bronze
Joined: 08.01.2010
Why does everyone recommend only SSS (with 20BB buy-in) or BSS (with 100BB buy-in)?

Here is how I played this month.
When I had 50\$ I played NL10 with 2\$ buy-in. Auto re-buy was on, and I was leaving table when I had 3\$ or 4\$, not when I had 2.5\$ (SSS rule).
And it works well for me. I stick to 25BI rule , and I win more money when I buy-in with more money.

• 11 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 01.06.2009
Hi,

20 bb for SSS because that way you can shove preflop after a raise effectively, it isn't too much as in your example when playing with 4\$ on NL10.

If someone makes it \$0.40 or \$0.50 and then you shove \$4, that is a huge overbet, unlikely you get called with worse hands.

max buy-in for BSS because then you can play speculative hands like 78s vs someone with a big stack, you get implied odds, and when you hit you can get more money for it.

Basically 35-70 bb's is very hard to play with at the table, because you have either too much to shove preflop after a raise and too little to make others pay you off really good when you hit and also too little to play speculative hands.
• Bronze
Joined: 08.01.2010
Thank you LudiCoka, that makes perfect sence.
In this PS video's they just say always to buy in with 20BB or 100BB but they don't explain why.

My problem is that on Absolute poker where I am playing now, there is NL2 and next limit is NL10. I didn't wonted to play NL10 SSS until I have 250\$ for BSS, so that's why I was playing with 30BB, 40BB, 50BB buy-in's.
• Bronze
Joined: 18.09.2008
Hey ZexKK

The 20BB is based on mathematical models. The model doesn't work over 25BB. Playing with 30BB is throwing away money!
• Bronze
Joined: 08.01.2010
Well as I said Waiboy, it works for me. I am not trowing money, I am wining 3-4 buy-in's per day.
• Bronze
Joined: 13.12.2009
If you play SSS with 30 bb you can win 4 BI every day for 1 month but you will loose in the long run.
• Bronze
Joined: 08.01.2010
I am not playing SSS, I get of the table only when I win more then 70% of buy-in .
I realized that if I play tight I can play with any buy-in.

Sure, it's more profitable on the long run to stick to SSS or BSS, but as I said on Absolute Poker there is NL2 and next limit is NL10.
There is no NL4 or NL5 to play BSS until I get to 250\$ and be able to play NL10 BSS. And to play NL2 BSS until I get to 250\$, no way.
So, I am being creative on NL10 so I can win more money and get to 250\$ faster, when I get there I'll stick to BSS.
I have good BRM, I am playing tight, I am wining, so on this short run ( goal:250\$) I will continue with of the book buy-in's.
• Coach
Coach
Joined: 03.08.2009
Firstly, playing at any stack size is never "throwing away money". All participants in a hand are limited by the effective stack size. If you choose to play at 40BB, yes you are denying yourself implied odds for speculative hands, but your opponent is also denied them. The important thing to understand is how to adjust your strategy for a given stack size. Playing a 20BB strategy at 50BB /is/ throwing away money, just as playing a full stack strategy at 20BB would be stupid.

An important factor in the understanding of how stack size affects your strategy can be found in the concept of SPR's - stack to pot ratios. This is primarily used to describe the ratio of remaining effective stacksize to the size of the pot on the flop. For example if remaining stacksizes are \$8 and the size of the pot is \$2 on the flop, there is an SPR of 4.

Different types of hands benefit from increased postflop playability with a suitable SPR. For example, TPTK type hands benefit from an SPR of around 4 (less for tighter opponents, more for looser opponents; it's all an estimate). TPTK hands also play well with SPRs of 20 and above, however lose large amounts of their playability with an SPR around 13. You find yourself in a situation where folding is too tight but committing is too loose. Drawing hands, such as pocket pairs, suited connectors etc, benefit from an SPR of above 13, potentially the higher the better giving you more implieds. Overpair type hands are similar to TPTK but often benefit from slightly higher SPRs.

SSS puts you in a situation where on the flop, your SPR is low enough that committing with any type of pair hand (provided you followed good pf strategy) is a no-brainer. Playing speculative hands is out the window though, as you can never achieve an SPR of above 13 (even if you were to limp pf). 100BB is obviously great for implieds, but TPTK can actually get you into trouble. Say you have AK and raise to 3BB from button. SB calls. BB folds. Pot size is 7BB, effective stacks are 97BB. SPR = 97/7 = ~13.9. Oh dear, not a good SPR if you were to hit TPTK. One big problem with SPR of 13 lies in the fact that if you bet in accordance with pot size on flop and turn, your opponent has a nasty river bullet left of around pot size. This can put you in a very tough spot, especially if scare cards hit the river. Even if no scare cards come you are still investing quite a lot of blinds with a 1 pair hand.

This is why 3-betting preflop with TPTK type hands could be a good strategy for 100BB stacks. If you make it 10BB to go and get one caller (the initial raiser) you hit an SPR of 4. This makes for easy postflop commitment decisions (not to mention 3-betting generates additional fold equity). 10% of effective pf stack sizes is a good percentage to remember. For TPTK hand raising to this amount makes it likely you will hit a good SPR; around 4 with one caller. This however is just one example of how you might conceive a strategy depending on stack sizes. Obviously you can't go around open-raising to 10BB every time you have a TPTK hand, it is likely you'd simply generate too much fold equity, so using SPR to dictate preflop strategy requires prudence, it is not always the most important thing to consider. With mid size stacks you may even consider moves such as flat-calling minraises to ensure you have a higher postflop SPR for your drawing hand.

To sum up, it is even possible to reap an advantage playing at unorthodox stack sizes. Regular players may make mistakes at 50BB that they wouldn't at 100, like calling draws without sufficient odds, or comitting too much money with 1 pair hands. Personally however, my motto regarding stack sizes is the deeper the better. In general the deeper the stacks, the more skill required, and in an ideal world, the bigger an edge you can generate over your opponent.

Well, you guys probably fell asleep during this. I had fun though and I hope some of you found it at least semi-interesting.

w34z3l
• Bronze
Joined: 08.01.2010
Here is a 1k hands graph NL10 3\$ buy-in:
• Bronze
Joined: 08.01.2010
That 7\$ lost near the end of the graph is this, I doubled up and already clicked sit out button, but I played one more hand: (I called all in on the turn)
• Bronze
Joined: 01.04.2009
Originally posted by w34z3l
Well, you guys probably fell asleep during this. I had fun though and I hope some of you found it at least semi-interesting.
I read the whole thing. An excellent post and I have long wished they would actually explain this stuff in strategy articles. It seems most people on PokerStrategy never get taught the basics and there are constantly questions like this especially about the SSS strategy.

Good job explaining something I personally got tired of answering long ago.

Originally posted by ZexKK
Here is a 1k hands graph NL10 3\$ buy-in:
You need at least 100k hands before you can determine anything. You could easily be on a massive heater right now. At least post your EV graph so we can get an idea of how off your winnings might be.
• Bronze
Joined: 14.09.2009
@w34z3l fantastic post really interesting read.

I play unorthodox stack size often on rush. Over a rather large number of hands I tried different stack size and saw that I was making the larger profit with smaller stack size. It is probably because I am still a very bad poker player with larger stack and have a bit of an edge at lower SPR. I can see the compelte point even though if you have an edge with a larger stack you can really make bigger profit.