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Online Poker Dictionary: Short Stack

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What does the term “short stack” mean? What is the definition of the term “short stack” as it applies to the game of poker?

A player is said to be “short stacking” or “short stacked” if they have a smaller stack of chips.

Noun

* The player with the fewest chips remaining at a particular table or in a tournament.

* A pile of chips that contains less than the number of chips in a typical pile or less than a particular player’s other piles.

* An amount of chips that is less than or is expected to be less than the amount one would like to wager on a particular hand.

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Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Example 1:

You are playing in a multi-table tournament. Thanks to a couple of unlucky hands, you are down to just 625 chips, while the blinds are currently at 100/200.

The average chip stack in the tournament is over 6,000 chips. All of the other players at your table have at least 2,000 chips, while you are playing with just 625.

Thanks to your relatively tiny stack, you are said to be playing with a “short stack”. Or, as some people would say, you are “short stacked”.

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Example 2:

You are playing in a single table tournament. The two biggest stacks at the tournament get involved in a big hand – after getting their stacks all-in after the flop, one player turns up top set, while the other turns over the nut flush draw.

Top set holds, and the player with the busted flush draw is down to just 325 chips. This is well below the table average, which means that this player is now officially a “short stack”.

Players with short stacks need to be aggressive, as the blinds (and antes) will quickly whittle down their stacks to nothing.

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