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What is the Big Stack Strategy?
IntroductionIn this article you will learn:
- The importance of bankroll management
- The tight-aggressive play style
No-Limit Hold’em is a poker format that challenges your skill, knowledge, and sometimes even your courage to follow your guts and to make the right move. It demands both technical skill and an instinct for the right moment.
This, and the following articles, show you a strategy that will enable you to beat No-Limit Hold'em's so-called full-ring variant (seven to ten players at a table) successfully.
You will learn …
- … that bankroll management is what enables you to make a profit in the long-term
- … what basic strategy you need to beat the lower and middle limits.
Free poker money quiz tip: You'll need our starting hands chart to pass the quiz. Click here to download the chart!
What is Bankroll Management?Always see the money you take to a table with you as an investment, in the same way you would if you were buying shares. As someone who is responsible with their money, you would only buy those shares if they promised a good return and the risk of loss was manageable. It’s the same concept when you use bankroll management in poker.
It shows you what limits to invest in, i.e. how high your stakes should be, to find a good balance between your desire to...
- ... advance as far as possible when you win and collect a lot of money.
- ... not drop too far back when you lose and not lose too much of your poker money.
You want to make a lot of money when you win but not be hit too hard when you lose. This can be done by keeping to the '25-Buy-in-Bankroll Management' rule. It tells you how big your poker account (bankroll) has to be to move up a limit, and when you need to put on the brakes and move down a limit.
Bankroll management for the Big Stack Strategy looks like this:
- You always join a table with a full stack (100 big blinds). 100 big blinds equal one buy-in.
- Once you have 25 buy-ins for the next highest limit, you can move up to that limit.
- If you only have 25 buy-ins for the next lowest limit, you must move down to that limit.
The PokerStrategy.com Bankroll Management
If you join tables of a limit that is too high for your bankroll, you will make yourself an easy target. Higher limit players are just waiting for opponents like you. Without solid bankroll management, it doesn’t matter how well you play, it is simply not possible to make a long-term profit. Even the best players in the world go bust if they don't stick to bankroll management.
The tight-aggressive strategyThe tight-aggressive strategy for No-Limit Hold'em is the most profitable style of playing. It's based on three principles:
Tight means that you don‘t play everything that falls into your hands. There are many cards that look weak and actually are weak. There are also some hands, however, that look strong, but aren't, such as King Jack for example.
After the flop you don’t need to see every showdown simply because you have a pair. Knowing when you are beat or when the price is too high can save you a lot of money.
2. YOU PLAY AGGRESSIVE POKER
There is one simple rule in Texas Hold’em: You don‘t want to be the one to just call, i.e. the one who just goes along with the bets, without betting or raising yourself.
In a poker game your profit is a result of your opponents' mistakes. And when do people make mistakes? When they have to make an important decision under pressure.
3. YOU PLAY POSITION
If your opponents have to act before you in a given betting round, you have position on them. If they have the luxury of getting to act after you, they have position on you.
Whenever an opponent has to act before you, you have the distinct advantage of being able to observe their move, before needing to act yourself. You are therefore in an advantageous position in terms of the information you have, and in this game, information is a valuable commodity. In addition to this it is also possible to make more profitable moves when playing in position.
ConclusionPerhaps not everything in this article was new to you, but it should be helpful to constantly remind yourself how important bankroll management and the use of a tight-aggressive style of play are for your poker career.
As you advance higher and higher through the limits, you will adapt and create your own unique style of play. Yet no matter what kind of intricacies you build into your own style, it will always have its foundation in the basic elements that you learn about in this and the following articles.
In the next article you will find out what it means to play in position, and when and with which cards to enter the game.
To Article: How to play before the flop
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