How to play short stack in a tournament ?

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Fida

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Hi !

What are some easy tips to take into consideration when you're running out of chips during a tournament ? Like what hands to play ? How to play them ?
 
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fundiver199

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If you are significantly shorter than the tournament average, you can actually play rather freely, since chips won are almost as valuable as chips lost. So you can play fairly normal ranges and look for spots to rejam, and when your stack get even shorter open jam. Its really all about preflop, so learn push fold ranges ideally from working with a program like ICMizer. Or if that is not an option, then study some of the free push-fold chats, which are available online.

The biggest mistake, people make, are being to conservative with a short stack. They fold, fold, fold and end up blinding away, until they have to go with some fairly random hand, unless they get lucky enough to pick up a monster just in time. So my main tip for being the short stack is to get rid of all fear of dying. You are selected to go out as one of the next already, and the best chance to change that is to accumulate more chips.
 
Jon Poker

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I agree with everything fundiver has said. Most folks are missing rejams on stack sizings of 30bb or less and so they call a raise, see a flop and end up playing too passive post flop and end up folding alot - thus making their short stack shorter. Proper rejams win us alot of pots preflop, and when we do get called we have a chance to double up or move onto to another tournament. Icmizer is a great tool for tournament poker and it is my number 2 recommendation, only behind poker tracker, for anyone looking to get good at MTTs.

Short stack play has alot of raise/folds, alot of rejams, and alot of check/jams post flop when we are defending blinds, or playing OOP and such. On 60bb it's a nightmare to go broke with top pair - but on 25bb, we can't afford to wait forever and it's mathematically fine to go broke with top pair holdings.

For example - we have 22bb and start the hand with K9o in the BB and CO raises to 2.1bb -- we call to defend and the flop comes KT7 - this is a great and easy spot for us to check/jam. We can get called by worse on boards like this and since we would do the same with QJ or our 4 card flush draws -- we are pretty balanced and so opponents will be finding it tougher to range us. When we just call on the flop- then a scare card comes on the turn like any A or a broadway card like a Q or J - those don't help us much and in some circumstances will cause us to lose value or even to fold the best hand. When we are short, we get it all on when we have good equity in a hand. The great thing about having the K in this spot is getting called by the T is great, while shoving with QJ and flush draws may get a Tx hand to potentially fold -- hopefully all this rambling makes sense.

All in all, lots of usable tools and content on short stack play.
 
Leeyonah96

Leeyonah96

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Wait for premium hands or Pair higher than 66. Good to Jam and pray that you will win the pot
 
LFC_yllnwa

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There are several reasons for this. When you get too aggressive, make stupid bets, or don't pay attention to your opponents at the table and keep paying them. The starting and middle stages are great for increasing your pot and being able to be high in prizes. You have to pass this stage very well to be competitive further.

It's silly to talk about a possible strategy in game, when you run out of chips. Only one option is possible in this case, this it's a preflop all-in game. You have no other chance. You have to go through the tournament gradually and prepare yourself in advance, if you go to the tilt you will not earn anything. You have to be active and put pressure on the weak and short players.

If you lose a big hand and there are very few chips, but the prizes are far away, only one chance can save you, it's luck, when you throw everything... Other options will not save you and the number of chips will not allow you to play widely and variously.....
 
sharipov8090

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Only premium hands can save your situation, or Lady luck to help!
 
black and

black and

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I think in this case, it's best to play aggressively, but still not play with junk. Even with a short stack, you still need to be patient.
 
Edgerik

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In this situation it is advisable to play only premium hands and pray to connect on the flop.
 
mariale_1990

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Usually I try to play premium hands, and a little more aggressive, but before I play aggressive I do an analysis of the other players, if they are playing more aggressive or not, and depending on I play aggressive or more in the style of all or nothing
 
filippfilm

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They are exposed with a more optimal hand and preferably one - on-one .
 
Psyanide14

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Depends on a few factors such as how short you are, your stack relative to others at your table, where you are in the tournament, etc. Once you get under 10 bb, in most cases you are looking to open shove, with your range opening the later you are to act. Don’t wait too long because the less bb you have to shove, the better the pot odds are for calling you with marginal hands, especially out of the bb. Any two cards can beat any other two cards, so you will experience mor bad beats if you wait until you’re extremely short.
 
nuttea

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Hi !

What are some easy tips to take into consideration when you're running out of chips during a tournament ? Like what hands to play ? How to play them ?
With small pocket pairs, just shove If you have a low pocket pair between 22 and 77 and you are in late position, then you most likely have the best hand. However, you probably won't want to play it postflop, since there is a very high probability that at least one overcard will come out. Small pocket pairs on the postflop lose their value very much, because if you are ahead, then you are unlikely to collect at least some value from your hands worse (if you do not have a set, of course), if you are behind, then a pocket pair is bad a bluff candidate since you only have 2 outs if you call.Consider a limp strategy Surely one of the first rules that we hacked into our nose when we first started playing poker is that limping is bad. While this is true, it makes sense in short stacks.Of course, limping shouldn't be done against all types of players at all, because you are depriving yourself of fold equity, but in the right situations against overly aggressive opponents, this can be a very effective deterrent.
 
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dnadeau1989

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once in the short stack.. the key is patience and discipline... dont feel obligated to play hands you wouldnt normally just to try to win some desperate chip... will usually, eventually backfire.
 
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dlam

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Short stack is less fun in tournament. Deep stack play like regular cash games.
But for me when I under 20 BB. I start discarding cards I normally would play and look for pairs and any two face cards to shove preflop or push if flop looks ideal
I don’t like to wait till 10BB especially if blind move quickly cause I find players will tend to call stacks under 10BB but consider folding if short stack has more chips short/medium size
I also want just one player. Cause multiple way pots, the deeper stacks will like play passively to the river to eliminate the short stacks.
Ideally jam if there a limper in front to isolate.
It’s not fun playing short stack for hours.
But remember making it the end tournaments in 2nd place after seems like 4 hours at 15-30Bb.
Shortstack. I rather play pairs and face cards

I find players overplay Ax and start shoving with Ax with x is a small kicker and usually called from Ace with higher kicker.
Of course AKAQ is premium. AJ is good too but needs good judgement when to shove or release
 
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BetterThanAvgButNotByMuch

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You have to understand tourn structure before you can move on to working on this.

You can look at a hand range/chart or whatever to shove with but it more depends on position, like what the action is in front of you or how many people will call you before you shove with a small medium pair that's at best a coin flip against two over or your dominated with a bigger pair.

And the more callers/raisers before you then the weaker a hand like small/medium pairs become because you'll be facing even more over cards as more folks enter the pot.

And shoving with over cards like what folks mentioned above have issues as well because you don't want to shove with certain hands that are probably dominated when you have someone raise before you because they're raising with a hand that usually has your Kx or Qx dominated but that again goes back to putting someone on a hand.

Like if a someone is calling every hand then more than likely they don't know starting hands and your Kx or Qx might be ahead but if Nitty Nancy raises then that's a different story and you might be dominated. Again it takes more experience to figure that type of stuff out and a hand chart will just try to simplify the situation but that's not how you should try to learn how to play short stacked.

So you also have to pay attention to your opponent's range like what have they been playing or are they playing every hand and going to give you action or not.

But there is going to be a point where the cards you get don't even matter when you get so low and you just have to hope you have 6 outs when you go in and accept your fate, lol. Its that simple but you'll know from experience when there was nothing you could do about things and when you could have gone another time around but that again goes but to tourn structure of watching the blinds and how many left til you cash, etc AND EXPERIENCE.

It takes experience and experiment and you definitely need to be able to put people on a hand or at least try too in order to play short stacked poker.

If you can't do that then just stick to the simplified 10 BB mantra stuff for awhile.
 
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GIB

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What do you consider a short stack?! 20bb or less. 10bb or less. Unless it's a bubble or a final table.To summarize and not go into details (because each hand has its pros and cons for choosing one or another strategy), then there are two simple strategies to raise (push or minraise) or fold. If you play a push or a fold, such a decision is made preflop and then nothing depends on you. If you play minraise then it all depends on what cards fell on the flop. If your hand improved on the flop, then all-in, if not, then fold to the opponent's bet.
 
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No Bologna

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Short stack in tournament

It would be ideal to wait for a great starting hand but you stand the chance of being blinded out. Sometimes you have to play a medium hand to avoid this, especially when there are several players in the hand so you can 3X, 4X or even 5X your chips and have a chance to come back. Beats being blinded out. Cross your fingers!
 
Maximus1980340

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why I have at least 66, for example, at 44, 80% of the set is collected with a small stack, I think also suited cards, for example, 10 9.DV. 89 is also not a bad option:)
 
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viacheslavtezikov

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If a tight player is sitting in front of you and no one has bet in front of you, then you can go all-in with almost any hand, if the stack is already quite small, then you need to find a tight player at the table and bet against him.
 
Lipki3

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Wait for a good hand for all-in and believe in luck
 
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steve01991

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if you have been following the players at your table, you know the ones most likely to fold if you push, attack those players with decent hands
 
takinitSLEAZEE

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Hi !

What are some easy tips to take into consideration when you're running out of chips during a tournament ? Like what hands to play ? How to play them ?
I believe the definition of a short-stack is one that is under 20 BB's, live, and under 12 online. Looking for a double-up is the main goal, here. Snagging some blinds and antes will be a bonus, imo. Getting it in w/the best hands is kind of obvious but there are some not-so-appealing hands that can be played on the button or in the blinds like 98 or J9 or even 65, suited for best results. Racing w/these hands will, usually, put you in a flip situation. Best of luck. :)
 
makisaa

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In that situation you go all in, with hands that you calculate that they might have something good for you. This is a point where the study of the game till that moment, will be very critical.
 
xOneCoolHandx

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Hi !

What are some easy tips to take into consideration when you're running out of chips during a tournament ? Like what hands to play ? How to play them ?


As you get shallower, you want to look to 3 bet jam more often with blocker type hands: Ax, Kx, ect. This is because when you have one of these blocker cards in your hand, that means there are fewer combos that your opponents can have.

You should also be willing to get it in with top pair and combo draws. These are not hands you want to play big pots with when you are deep-stacked (well, I can get into some pretty big pots with combo draws...LOL) but when you are shallow stacked, they give you a good shot to win and you may still have some fold equity when you shove.

Watch this video:
 
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