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If don't want to just play no limit Texas hold ‘em poker for fun and you want to take your game to the next level, you need to understand how stack sizes affect the game. Suppose everyone has about 40 big blinds in your stack. This game is going to be fast and loose. Stealing blinds at that point is a significant improvement to your stack. You're not going to have time to wait around for big hands after the flop – you just want to get the top pair with a good kicker and get your chips in the middle.
In these games, hands like KQ and AT are not too bad – they're good pair building hands. When the stacks are a lot deeper, say, 200 big blinds, you want hands that can make very strong hands. Small pocket pairs become more valuable as you can make a well-hidden three of a kind. An ace with another card of the same suit also goes up in value, because with deep stacks you have the potential to win a huge pot against a smaller flush. When you learn how stack sizes change the game, you'll dominate poker tables all over the map!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|