# Two players heads up in poker: what are roughly the odds of winning based on stack sizes?

While one might say, just take the ratios of the stacks so that if one player has twice the chips he should, especially when blinds are very large eliminating much of the skill factor, win the match roughly twice as often.

But in practice, I have seen small stacks come back a surprising amount of times. The sort of informal explanation is, the small stack just has to double up a few times. On the other hand, all the large stack has to do is win once.

This "just has to double up" idea leads me to believe that when looking at, for example, a fair division of the proceeds from a satellite when you are one of the final two players that instead of giving the short stack who has one tenth of the chips ten percent of the prize you would instead give him log base 2 of 10 or about a third of the chips. I can tell u that few people will settle for 10% of the chips preferring to play on but of course this does not mean that this is the mathematically sound decision.

• I think it's fairly impossible to give rough odds as every situation is different. Some people are HU wizards and may even be favourites even if behind in chips going into HU. I think there is many factors that would need to be considered. Skill, structure (Level, clock, etc), BBs, experience, shot clock being used, etc.
– Grinch91
Apr 27, 2022 at 10:26
• ALL I know is that the common wisdom that chip per chip the short stack has a better EV. meaning short stack can expect to get more prize money per chip then the big stack, I do not know why this is so, could not even speculate why.
– Jon
Apr 27, 2022 at 21:35