Home / Learn with Lex / When to Push Or When to Fold

When to Push Or When to Fold

March 23, 2023
by Lex Veldhuis

In this video, PokerStars Team Pro Lex Veldhuis goes over how to play effectively when you have a short stack in poker tournaments. Playing with patience and aggression will help you stay at the tables longer and get greater value from your hands.

Seeing Flops Cheaply Is Key

With a short stack, it’s important to see flops as cheaply as possible. Lex demonstrates this by calling a min-raise with 10-2 suited in the big blind. When you only have to call one big blind to see a flop with four and a half big blinds already in the pot, it’s worth it and part of a patient strategy. A lot can change once the flop is down, so be conscious to change your approach if the cards necessitate it.

Know When to Shove

Shoving all-in is an essential weapon for short stackers, but you have to know when to use it. Lex shares some good rules of thumb, like shoving any pair under 25 big blinds, or with suited Aces under 15 big blinds. However, don’t get impatient and shove too wide. Wait for strong hands from good positions. And consider your opponent’s stack size as well as your own. Shoving works best against shorter stacks that will have to fold more often.

Bet Small Post-Flop

With a short stack, your post-flop bets should be as small as possible, often just one big blind. This reduces risk while still building the pot and puts maximum pressure on your opponents as they’ll frequently have to fold to any bet. This strategy also makes it easy to bluff and get away cheaply when you miss. However, following the flop, if raises start coming before you, it’s still safe to fold without losing too many chips.

Stay Patient

The most important lesson in this video is to stay patient with a short stack. Don’t panic and start shoving weak hands. There will be plenty of opportunities with stronger hands to double up when people call you too wide. If you get impatient, you blow your short stack on weak hands and have no chance to get lucky with strong ones. Balancing the patience with aggression from hand-to-hand is key for success.

Find out more about

Lex Veldhuis

Twitch   Twitter   YouTube

Study Poker with Pokerstars Learn, practice with the PokerStars app