If you are wielding a short stack in a No-Limit holdem tournament then for beginners the options are pretty simple either fold or go All-In before the flop.
Of course playing a simplified strategy that focuses on waiting for strong starting hands and using All-In play avoids tough decisions on the turn and river as they able to see the entire hand.
The most basic of strategies is to go All-In when you are the first in the pot is to try to steal the blinds as with a short stack you need to pick the right opportunities to go All-In and double up.
Expert guide to short stack play
And you will need to amend with which cards you go All-In with, with five times the big blind you are almost forced to go All-In with any cards when you are the first one in the pot.
With ten times the big blind perhaps you can wait for an Ace, King-Queen or a pair.
But as you develop as a tournament player you can add more wrinkles to your Short Stack Strategy so it will become more complex and sophisticated.
The first of those wrinkles is to go over the top which is not too much of a variation on the All-In mode.
By going over the top, we mean to re-raise another player's raise and this is best used when you are short stacked but someone else at the table is an even worse position.
If a player with a smaller stack moves All-In before the betting gets to you then based on your very own simple strategy there is a good chance they are betting on wider range of starting hands, possibly even with any card bigger than a ten.
You can take advantage of the desperation of loose players but beware of ultra tight players who will continue to wait until they have to put all of their chips in the big blind.
And as you get deeper into the tournament, when the blinds are a bigger percentage of the average stack size, a mini-raise can work.
If you have had a tight table image hitherto, a mini-raise will suggest a big hand and that you are looking for a call.
Raising the minimum can be a subtle bluff and often enough to steal the blinds, and of course with minimum risk to your already small stack.
But don't try using this when the blinds are one or two per cent of your opponent's stack - it just won't work.
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