The size of the chip stacks at the table are a very important aspect of play at in a game of poker. It pays to be aware of not just the size of your own stack but that of your opponents as well, because at any time during play you could possibly have all your chips in the middle.
Stack sizes are always judged by their relation to the size of the blinds of the game you are playing, whether a cash game or tournament. Your stack may seem large playing at one level, but if you were to take that stack and play at a higher level, of course your stack would be smaller compared to the difference in the blinds. This is a rough guide for stack sizes,
Small Stack – Under 50 Big Blinds
Medium Stack – 51 to 90 Big Blinds
Large Stack – 91 Big Blinds or more
Deep Stack – 200 Big Blinds or more
Most online poker rooms have a limit on how little and how much you can buy into in a cash game, this is usually 10xBB and a maximum of 100xBB, so the choice of how much you buy-in for is up to you.
The size of your stack is going to effect the way you play poker at any given time. If you are the short stack at the table you will be unable to scare opponents out of pots, so you will little chance of bluffing, you will have little option but bet your strong hands and fold all your weaker ones. But if you are the large stack you will be able try and control the betting when you are involved in a hand. If you are up against a small stack it is easier to bully them off the pot, as you are not in danger of losing all your chips, where if you are up against a equally big stack there is always the chance you could lose a sizable chunk, if not all of your stack.
If you do take stack sizes into consideration when you are playing, it will definitely have an advantage over players who ignore their’s and importantly other players stacks. It can pay to target the stacks that are smaller than yours and not get in to scrapes with the big stacks. It will give you the chance of increasing your stack without the risk of losing it all.