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Switching from the Short Stack Strategy to the Big Stack Strategy
IntroductionIn this article
- You need enough money to make the change
- Larger winnings, greater losses
- Make the change when you have enough money and experience
You learned the basics of the Short Stack Strategy in the beginner Section. You've probably played quite a few hands by now and have asked yourself if you can make the switch to the Big Stack Strategy (BSS). This article will help you answer this question.
Is the BSS for you, and if yes, when you can make the switch? You will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of both strategies, as well as some of the things you need to consider before making the change.
Before getting started, you must have a financial cushion before you can consider switching to the BSS. You're not going to find more action and the big money isn't waiting for you to come and take it. Playing with a big stack is a different type of poker. If you're looking for more action, try your luck at Fixed Limit; you can quickly find yourself in way over your head in No Limit. Switching to the BSS requires a lot of patience and discipline.
How do the two strategies differ?
When you are playing SSS, you always buy in for 20 Big Blinds (BB). When you are following BSS, you always buy in for the maximum amount: usually 100 BBs. You can also take up to $50 to a NL $0.25/$0.50 table (NL50).
One main difference is the number of betting rounds you actively take part in. You rarely have to make a difficult decision on the turn or river when you are playing the SSS, since you are usually all-in (or folded) by then.
You don't go all-in very often with a big stack because you have a lot more money in your stack. This is also why you continue to make decisions on the turn and river. Bet sizes are usually relative to the size of the pot, which means that wagers being made on the last two streets are much larger (and mistakes much more expensive). This is what makes playing BSS so much more difficult than SSS.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
The disadvantage of playing with a big stack is that you can lose a lot more money on a single hand. Mistakes are punished much more heavily than when you play with a short stack.
The Short Stack Strategy's main advantage is that it is easy to use and your mistakes don't set you back too far.
It follows logically that if you can lose a lot on a single hand you can also win a lot with a single hand. When playing Short Stack Strategy you can only win the same small amount, no matter how good your hand is. If your game is up to par, you can maximise your profits significantly by using the Big Stack Strategy.
Advantages and disadvantages
When can you make the switch?
You should read (and understand) all of the Bronze level articles before you switch to the BSS.
You should also be aware that your mistakes will cost you more dearly. The demands on your game are higher and you will also need a financial cushion in your bankroll. This means you will probably have to play a good 10,000+ hands with a short stack before you are ready.
In the end, it's up to you if you want to make the switch at all. You've seen the advantages and disadvantages of both strategies so pick the one that fits you best.
Saying that you will start winning larger pots due to the larger buy-ins and bet sizes is naïve. Don't forget that your losses can increase just as easily. No one wins all the time.
The first step in switching to the BSS is building your bankroll until you have a sufficient financial cushion. You can do this by using the SSS to earn the $50+ starting bonus that PokerStrategy.com offers.
The next step is taking the time to study the learning material on the BSS. Simply sitting down at a table with a full stack and hoping for the best is the best way to squander the financial cushion you worked so hard to stock up.
This article shows you that you don't have to switch to the Big Stack Strategy if you're not comfortable in doing so. You can make it to the higher limits with the SSS if you work hard enough - the same way as you can get there with using the BSS.
If you're thinking of making the change, take the time to build up your bankroll, read all the articles and participate in forum discussions with other members who have already made the change.
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