What is Deep Stack Strategy? How to Implement It?

Deep Stack Strategy to Play Poker
Deep Stack Strategy to Play Poker

Deep stack strategy requires a unique set of skills than what you would normally implement in a 100-bb or even 150-bb game. The strategy of every deep stack game will allow players to get involved in more pots, make trickier plays post-flop, and generally leave more room for manipulation.

Some players will find that they are best fitted for deeper stacked games, while others will learn that the game just isn’t what they are meant for. Of course, if you want to be a top player, you’ll need to learn how to win in deep-stacked and shorter games.

The changes between deep-stacked and normal games start with the pre-flop action. You’ll need to carefully make each decision because every pot could represent an up or downswing of a handful of buy-ins.

An ample bankroll is The most important thing required for deep stack play. It would be best not to play in a deep-stacked game based on 100-bb game bankroll requirements.

Players often make the mistake of counting realistic bankroll sizes based on the limit of the game instead of the buy-in, but this is most definitely the wrong approach. Once you have your bankroll taken care of, the next step is to consider the various elements of actual gameplay at deep stacked tables.

Pre-Flop Deep Stack Management

Pre-Flop Deep Stack Management
Pre-Flop Deep Stack Management

In deep-stacked games, you get much more liberty in the plays you can effectively make. Where calling big 3 bets with suited connectors would be a bad idea in most games, a deep stack will allow you to put more at risk pre-flop for the potential to win a massive pot post-flop.

The position is essential; no matter what game you are playing, its importance is magnified when playing with several hundred big blinds. A good player should look to play in as many big pots as possible when you have a speculative hand at a deep-stacked.

The more abstract (yet playable) your hand is, the more likely you will win a big pot with it. Hands that are normally huge, like pocket kings or AK, won’t have as much value in deep stack games. The reason for this is that you need a large portion of the money to go in pre-flop to make a lot of money with big starting hands.

As you’ll be playing with hundreds of big blinds, this will be all but impossible, barring a setup for your opponent attempting to make a play. Of course, you still want to play these hands, and you should work even harder to get as much money in pre-flop as possible. At a deep-stacked table, getting a player to pot commit to any hand will be far from easy, so don’t feel like your opponents are as attached to a hand as you might be.

Post-Flop Deep Stack Adjustments

Post-Flop Deep Stack Adjustments
Post-Flop Deep Stack Adjustments

This is virtually unending in deep-stacked games, but some areas of concern are more pertinent than others. For example, draw-type hands will come up an awful lot in these games, especially when you are looking to play more pots pre-flop with speculative hands than you normally would.

As a result, you’ll need to get ready to maneuver through many tricky spots and withdraw, which often means a lot of money is on the line.

Passive play is generally less optimal in a deep-stacked game than in a regular game. This is because you’ll have the ability and the chips required to push your opponents off their hands.

Many players become more apprehensive when they begin to compile a big stack. They don’t want to make a false step and lose a handful of buy-ins.

Read also – Must Read Poker Books to Become a Better Poker Player.

Because of this, the best strategy is to apply pressure constantly. This approach is valuable in just about any NLHE game, but more big blinds mean you’ll have more firing power.

Types of Hands

Types of hands
Types of hands

There are three primary types of hands that you’ll flop: a strong-made hand, a draw, or nothing at all. Since mediocre hands tend to play themselves, they are being discounted in this discussion.

Now, in deep stack play, think about what you want to do when you manage to flop a big hand. It’s impossible to generalize the single best strategy since there are so many variables involved, but there’s one thing that you should be doing every time.

Plan Ahead

Plan ahead
Plan ahead

Planning is critical to your success in deep-stack games. Often, when you are facing an aggressive opponent, you’ll be able to let them bet on you and manage to win their stack. In deep-stacked games, however, you will need to figure out a way to get them to put in more chips since three bets usually won’t mean all their money.

This is a comprehensive strategy, but don’t be overly passive in games where you sit with a big hand and several hundred big blinds. You’ll win some big pots but also sacrifice a lot of money in the process.

Drawing heavy hands

Drawing heavy hands
Drawing heavy hands

Drawing heavy hands is where you’ll encounter a lot of swings in deep stack play. You’ll be forced to make some plays that are quite risky, but this is the only way to do it. You can’t be afraid to put pressure on your opponents. There’s no time you’ll be able to squeeze out more fold equity with drawing hands than when you are playing deep.

Be aggressive, make moves, and don’t be afraid to get your entire stack in the middle. With this in mind, you should always make sure that you aren’t being reckless with your chips because there’s a very thin line between maniacal play and genius play.

When you brick a flop in a deep stack, you’ll still have multiple opportunities to take down the pot. Just as you can make more plays and raises with draws, missed hands will allow for room to steal pots away. The one thing to consider when you try to steal a pot, however, is that you are potentially walking into a big mess should you end up going to the turn.

If you felt you could steal away the pot on the flop, that’s perfectly fine, but for this, you do not have to continue firing away on the turn and river as well.

Be aggressive and very cautious at the same time when you have nothing and are trying to make a play. In shorter stacked games, making plays should involve minimal risk (at least on the flop), but in deeper stacked games, there’s almost always more inherent risk due to how much money is in play.

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Mamta Sharma

Mamta is a spirited writer hailing from Wellington, bringing a youthful zest to the world of digital content. Merging her love for narrative with an eye for detail, Ella crafts stories that resonate and engage the modern reader.