Playing a Medium Stack

In January and February we looked at playing short stacks and big stacks in tournament play. These two topics you may see covered elsewhere but very often you will find yourself somewhere in between with a ‘medium stack’. This is where you are not forced to play and steal blinds but you also don’t have the leverage and luxury of big piles of chips.

This in many ways is the trickiest position to be in. Short stacks and big stacks can be fearless. Medium stacks have the most to lose and the most to gain. Be extra selective about the hands you play. Be wary of giving short stacks the chance to double through you making them medium and you short. Be aware that big stacks will treat you with the same caution; it is often easier to pressure the big stacks (who have most to lose) with a re-raise than the short stacks who may feel committed by their initial bet. Be patient selective and when you enter a pot play it strong and avoid situations where you are likely to have to back down.

Don’t waste chips in this situation otherwise you could find yourself moving towards short stack status. Should you manage to find a hand and double through any wasted chips cost you double!