How do stack sizes affect mine and my opponents ranges? It definitely depends on the player but how do I decipher this and conclude their perceived range and also change my range based on my stack size? I'd expect them to get more aggressive as they have to compensate for their disadvantage but contrarily they could go tighter... I am not sure on how to tailor my play based on my opponents stack sizes and relate this to their position.

  • 2
    Your question is a bit broad. Can you add some more details or some examples in order to narrow the scope ? Apr 29, 2015 at 20:15
  • It's like asking:"How big is this ocean?" Everyone knows it's big but no one can say exactly how big.
    – Marcio
    May 5, 2015 at 9:48

1 Answer 1


There are several components to your question, and I will do my best to address each of them.

How should my stack size affect my range?

That is a very complex matter, and I will assume you mean preflop hand range to simplify it. As a general rule, the larger your stack is relative to the big blind, the more speculative hands gain in value. By speculative hands, I mean hands that can make the nuts postlop, such as suited aces and connectors (T9 and such). As stacks get smaller relative to the big blind, preflop hands that already have value on their own, such as an Ace-X hand or a pocket pair, go up in value. Here is a very rough range of stack sizes and hands that have good value for each:

0-15bb Ax, all pocket pairs

15-40bb Broadways, strong pocket pairs

40-80bb Strong broadways, small pocket pairs (to make sets), strong pocket pairs

80bb+ Strong suited broadways, all pocket pairs (for sets or full houses), mid-high suited connectors, suited aces

How do I change my range based on my opponent's stack size?

Simple, the lowest stack is called the effective stack You play the range that is appropriate for the lowest stack of you both. If he has 10bb and you have 200bb, you play a range appropriate for 10bb.

How do I deduce my opponent's range from their stack size?

Hand reading is as much an art as it is a science. Start by assuming a "baseline range" based on the average player where you are playing, and adjust that baseline through observation. You can even start assuming he plays the range written above! Then when you see him shoving 8bb with 96s, you adjust that mental model you have of his range. And adjust your own range to exploit his mistakes.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.