Effective Stack Sizes Explained
Your effective stack size, the amount of the smaller stack in a heads-up pot, dictates what strategy you should pursue.
An example is : If you have $1,000 and your opponent has $600, your effective stack size is $600, the amount both you and your opponent(s) can legitimately bet on any given hand. Knowing how you should adjust your strategy based on stack sizes is an important component of no-limit poker.
If the effective stack sizes are short (40BB or less), the strength of your hand increases in importance, and the opportunities to “outplay” your opponent decrease. That’s because a player can push in for a small amount and not face the threat of future large bets. So, when possessing, or your opponent possesses a short stack, you generally need to play stronger hands pre-flop, and select high equity opportunities post-flop.
Conversely, large effective stack sizes allow for playing weaker hands and making more bluffs. That’s because the “implied odds” of making a large hand and getting a hefty payoff increase the value of your hand.