How to Play Deep Stack No-Limit Effectively
If you’re a poker real money game player, then Deep Stacks are your ticket to nirvana.
Although it’s one of the most complex and demanding variants of the game, it’s perfectly suited for those who want to master their poker skills.
Less luck is involved with this poker variance because players are more deep-stacked throughout each stage of the tournament.
Deep Stack is a cat and mouse game where players are punished for the slightest mistake — make a wrong move, and you risk losing the whole thing and walk home empty-handed. If you’re looking for a competition to try out new plays and develop poker skills, then this is it.
Today, we’re going to teach you some tips and tricks that might come in handy the next time you take a seat at the deep stack poker table. More specifically, we’ll talk about:
- Most notable differences between the deep stack and regular poker
- Deep stack preflop adjustments
- Deep stack tips and tricks
Conscious Poker by Alec Torelli
Difference Between Deep Stack and Regular Poker
Deep Stack requires an entirely different approach and skill set than you would usually implement in a 100 Big Blind or even 150 Big Blind game. This poker variance allows players to make trickier plays post-flop and get involved in more pots. Aggressive players will find that they’re better suited for deep-stacked variant, while loose-passive ones are going to learn that the game just isn’t what they are cut out for.
The most notable difference between deep-stacked and standard poker variance is in the pre-flop action. You must carefully consider each decision you make because the pots are larger. You must have an ample bankroll; therefore, you can’t play a deep stacked game based on 100B requirements.
For example, if you play a ⅖ NLHE and the max buy-in is $1,000, $20,000 should be enough to carry out your strategy. On the other hand, if you join a ⅖ NLHE game where the max buy-in is $10,000, you’re going to invest much more than that.
The Difference in Pre-Flop Stack Adjustments
In deep stacked games, you can be a lot more flexible in terms of the plays you can effectively make. For example, going all-in with suited connectors may be a lousy idea in most standard poker games, but in the deep stack, this is one of the most valuable hands. Why? Because in deep stack poker, players are forced to play all three streets.
The position is essential regardless of the type of poker you play or the strategy you intend to deploy when you sit at the poker table. This importance is magnified in the deep stack because the blinds are larger. A good player will try to play as many hands as possible when they get suited connectors at a deep-stacked table. Hands that are usually strong, like AK or pocket kings, won’t have nearly as much value in deep stack games.
Because the big blinds are so strong, you shouldn’t expect to see your opponents to pot commit to any hand. The river in deep stack usually ends up being just a card you have to dodge since all the betting is already finished. Poker pros love deep-stacked poker because they can maximize their edge.
Deep-Stacked Poker Tips
While deep stack may be intimidating for poker beginners, don’t fall into despair just yet. Our team has prepared a few tips that could help get over the hump.
# Preflop Bet Sizing
When it comes to open-raising preflop in the deep stack, your sizing should remain the same as when you’re playing 100 big blinds deep. If you raise to 3bb when playing 100bb poker, you should do the same in deep-stack. The same goes for 4bb raise, 5bb raise, and so on.
When you’re in position, your 3-bet sizes should be the same. When you’re 3-betting in position, you can navigate the hand as you please because you always get to act last. For this reason, you should try getting your opponent to the flop with a wide range when the pots are high. It would be very challenging for them to navigate post-flop.
When you’re OOP (out of position), your 3-bet sizes should be more substantial. When your opponent with 250 big blind stack opens with 3 big blinds, for example, you should make it 13 big blinds instead of 10. You can risk it a bit more, depending on how deep both of you are in the stack department.
# 4-Betting Ranges
When you’re put in a 3-bet position, you should call more often because it puts your opponent into a tough post-flop spot. Therefore, flat-calling the premium hands worse than AK, QQ, and KK is handy.
If you face 3-bet OOP, you should protect your ranges and minimize your advantages. Therefore, we advise flat-calling premium hands worse than AK, QQ, and KK.
When your opponent’s stacking range becomes tighter, you should opt for 4-bet bluffing whenever you can. Kxo/Axo are fantastic candidates, as they reduce the likelihood of the opponent having KK/AA, respectively.
A word of advice — if your stacking range is narrowed while you increase your bluffing range, a perceptive opponent will exploit this. If you notice that your opponent realized what you’re trying to do, you may need to take down a few notches on the 4-bet bluffs and extend your value range. The size of your bankroll doesn’t matter that much and, with the proper strategy, AK can become a viable stacking option once again.
# Exploit Tight Players
Nits can be frustrating to play against. In deep stack, however, they usually leave the table empty-handed because it’s easy to bully them out of pots. On the flip side, you should fold your questionably-strong hands when they go all-in or stop betting if they keep calling you.
Playing deep stack poker can be daunting, but it can also be a cakewalk, depending on how you set yourself up from preflop. If you make the adjustments as we have taught you in this article, you’ll be able to navigate with confidence and put your opponents in tougher spots.
If you have any comments on this topic, please share them with us in the comment section below. We will be happy to help you again in the future.