Related question on how many blinds does a better player need against a bigger stack.

Say an amateur is heads up against a pro with a 4:1 chip advantage. Pro has 40 bb. Blinds are 1 and 2.

Pro is so confident he lets you have 4x his chips for the same buy-in.

Is there a system the amateur should play.

Amateur knows first level poker and is smart enough to have a system.

  • With a good enough system, the amateur is now longer an amateur but a pro :) Interesting question though. My instinct is that just as two pros going against each may implement some GTO strategies, it might benefit the amateur to randomize his play somewhat (both bet size and range), though coming up with the right frequencies and ranges for that could be difficult. Commented May 29, 2018 at 17:45
  • @Dr.DrfbagIII You are free to answer from any perspective you like. I guess I should define amateur as that is a big range.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 18:34

2 Answers 2


Given such a large chip advantage for the amateur, I think the best strategy they could employ would be to minimise mistakes above all else. Especially considering they have 160bbs, they have time to wait for strong hands, while the clock will eventually run out for the pro.

What pros really excel at is punishing and maximising gains from weaker players mistakes.

  • 2
    However the amateur shouldn't play too passive, since the pro could chip up quickly, right? That can be dangerous.
    – Raymond
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 17:24
  • I don't agree with your logic here. Cannot wait for strong hands. HU you have to play over 1/2 the hands or you are going to blind out faster than the pro.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 17:55
  • 1
    I didn't emphatically say to only wait for top 10 hands, I said to minimise mistakes. Point was to show that they do not and should not start playing any 2, because they will make mistakes and be punished. It's heads-up a strong hand could be considered A,x. They're an amateur, a quick way for them to spew chips would to end up on the river with a garbage hand and they haven't a clue what to do. Again minimise mistakes.
    – Grinch91
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 21:34
  • You said "time to wait for strong hands". Please define strong hand. What should be their range on the button and not.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 14:13

Won't accept my own answer

Pro is deep enough you cannot just jam a big range pre flop for the math. With small blinds the pro can fold.

Pre and flop have standard bet sizes for you entire range. You cannot afford to give them any information.

If you are first to enter it would be for the standard raise every time. Like 3 bb pre and 2/3 the pot on the flop. On the button if they check the flop then bet 2/3 if you have any piece including draws.

Out of position I think you can check almost any hand as the pro on the button is going to raise pre and c bet like 90%. If you smashed the flop then check raise big. If the bet less than full pot you can call with any equity (even a draw).

If you play a big range the same pre flop and flop then you can hit the turn and they cannot easily put you on a hand.

HU you have to play a big range. You cannot tighten up to like 30% as pro can just fold when you bet. You will be blinded off faster than them. You need to be playing over half the hands even if you are not comfortable with it. You will need to play at least 70% (if not 80%) from the button and at least 60% out of position. Pro should raise every hand on the button. You cannot just forfeit the big 40% of the time.

Play a lot of draws if they are not charging you too much as you want to give yourself a chance at nuts or near nuts and not be out played.

Will need to call with some weaker hand if they are abusing it. But with a chip lead you can afford to forfeit some small pots.

If they even up the stacks then will have to play real poker.

If you get them down to 40 bb then jam top 30% pre.

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