I make my way to chip leader by playing strategically my hands and folding so-so hands.

Now that I'm the chip leader, should I revise my strategy and go see more flops? Will it be advantageous to see more flops ?

  • If your tactics work, why change it when chip leader? Only bully when you're in a hand is the safest play. So only enter when needed. May 21, 2014 at 10:04

2 Answers 2


Many people have an impression that because the chip leader at a table has the majority of the chips, they should be "bullying" the table. This isn't the best way to look at the situation. What a large stack gives you is more utility. The utility to outplay your opponents by having the full arsenal of poker moves at your disposal. If you were short stacked, you wouldn't have very many options. You'd likely have to either be going all-in or folding. So, yes, you should try to play more hands than you would be playing if you were short stacked so as to see more flops, thereby maximizing your skill advantage.

It's important to keep in mind effective stack size as well. You can have 25% of the chips in play in a huge multi-table tournament, but strategy wise that's entirely irrelevant if everyone else at your table each has 2% of the chips in play. The effective stack size in that case is 2% of the chips in play. The other 23% of chips you have in your stack doesn't mean much. This results in a situation where you basically have to play like you have a 2% sized stack. If they're all short-stacked, so are you.

Also keep in mind that as you gain more tournament chips, each tournament chip is worth less and less to you. The reason for this is explained by one simple concept. In a cash game, chips have a 1:1 value. But in a tournament, there's diminishing return since you can never win the entire prize pool. If you take first place in a tournament, you've won 100% of the chips but, usually, you'll only get 15-30% of the prize pool.


If you cover everyone at the table but no one covers you, then you have a ton of fold equity preflop. Most people will be folding almost everything whenever you open the pot. So you should open raise very often. As big stack you can often steal the blinds from any position. A few orbits of collecting the blinds in a tournament and your stack will be huge.

The flip side is when someone jams over your raise. Depending on stacks you should usually fold because they will have a premium hand. But if they're small enough that you're getting 2:1 to call AND losing wouldn't hurt you too bad, then you should call with anything.

Also, if someone has already opened the pot then don't raise unless it's for value. This steal-the-blinds strategy only applies when you are opening the pot, when you still have fold equity. Once someone has already entered the pot, you don't have the same fold equity.

Following this big stack strategy can make you a huge stack really fast, and that is often enough to get you to the final table.

However, if by 'see more flops', you mean call wider preflop, the answer is no. Calling preflop doesn't make sense unless you're trapping, no matter your stack size. That's just giving away your fold equity. Simply call or raise for value as you normally would.

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