Transitioning From Regular Stack to Deep-Stack Opening Range

EricEric Red Chipper Posts: 46 ✭✭
edited February 2017 in General Concepts
We all know that top-pair top-kicker hands are very profitable in a standard stack game but they suffer from reverse implied odds in deep-stack games. Consequently, I adjust my opening hand ranges when playing "deep-stack" poker. Major opening range adjustments take place in MP and LP and slight adjustments MAY take place in EP.

What exactly constitutes a regular stack game and what exactly constitutes a deep-stack game as far as bib blind amounts in conjunction with average pre-flop raise amount?

in other words, at what BB effective stack amount should one transition to his deep-stack pre-flop opening range in relation to the average pre-flop opening amounts?


Game 1 - 150 BB average effective stacks average pre-flop open is 3 BBS (is this worthy of a deep-stack range adjustment?)
Game 2 - 150 BB average effective stacks average pre-flop open is 4 BBS
Game 3 - 150 BB average effective stacks average pre-flop open is 5 BBS
Game 4 - 200 BB average effective stacks average pre-flop open is 3 BBS


Would really appreciate any advice on this.

For further discussion:

Example: If I am implementing my deep-stack pre-flop opening strategy (pre-flop open is 3BB in this particular game), because the average stack in the game is 200BBs, but I am in the MP3 with AJo, and the remaining players left to act are >70 BBs deep, I will switch to my regular stack pre-flop opening range and open with this hand. In a deep stack game I muck this hand unless it is suited. Thoughts or criticisms?



  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,300 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good question, and hopefully it too will get a video, too.

    Phil Galfond has stated that deep starts at 125 bb, I recall, and I start to make adjustments when I see this effective stack in play, removing some dominated hands; but the truth is that I am always adjusting to the players behind me. How often does everyone top off or even buy in full in low stakes games? However, I adjust my preflop opening size based on the styles of players at the table, not the effective stacks. I prefer to keep the preflop open as small as possible to keep the game as deep as possible, but it is impossible in some games to get any isolation with standard sizes from MP, and I find myself forced to cut the effective stacks in order to increase my equity in the hand.
  • EricEric Red Chipper Posts: 46 ✭✭
    Hi Persuadeo, interesting response. Do you know if the 125 BB guideline is at a game where 3 BB is the average pre-flop open amount (the amount sufficient to thin the field)? You can imagine that in a 125 BB effective stack game where 6 BB is the average pre-flop open, pots will incrementally escalate much more dramatically and it might not be profitable to implement a regular stack strategy in such a game.

    When you say "it's impossible to thin the field" in certain games; I feel you pain. However, I have a suggestion. I will increase my pre-flop open amount by one BB until I find the magic # that will thin the field to 1-2 callers. That might work for you. No one wants to take :As:Ah to a 5-way pot OOP :(

  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,300 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Right, i have to open bigger but i only mention it because now the spr is affected, which is the issue you are talking about.

    Because he was talking about online games, you can assume the opens were small. However, the 3 bets were often bigger to reflect the stacks being deeper.

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