Introduction to Deep Stacked Cash Game Poker

If you play online poker at any of the top online poker rooms like on Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, you will have no doubt come across deepstacked tables in the cash games and tournaments lobby. This is really great news for poker purists, since there is so much at stake, and every decision has such profound consequences. Typically the maximum buy-in you can sit down with at ring game tables is 100 big blinds but at deep stack tables, players are allowed to buy in for 200 big blinds and sometimes even deeper. It doesn't just occur in online poker either. It's not uncommon to play deepstacked poker when playing live cash games. Live players are not permitted to take chips off the table so even if they buy in for 100bb after winning a few key pots, player's stacks can get fairly deep relatively quickly. So because of this, it makes sense to focus an article on strategies that relate to deep stacked cash game poker since due to the fast blind levels of most tournaments its fairly uncommon to play deep stacked (usually only at the beginning of the tournament).

I think one of the biggest things to think about when migrating to deep stack cash games is that hand strength changes. You should really be narrowing down the stack off range of hands you're willing to risk all your chips with because the effective stacks are high. Even though top pair top kicker is a very strong hand in 100bb games and you would be fist pumping when you get stacks in with it the majority of the time, you wouldn't be so confident with the hand in a deep stacked game.

A solid deepstacked strategy should take full advantage of position by playing lots of hands when you will be last to act post flop. The great thing about having a positional advantage is that there will be many situations where you have a decent hand but not necessarily looking to go all the way with it, and it allows you to exercise pot control to prevent the pot from getting too bloated. The advantage of position when playing with deeper stacks cannot be overstated enough.

When it comes to playing with deepstacks there are also some fundamental differences to how you should approach pre-flop play. With 100 big blinds, three betting puts immense pressure on the other player since it's a considerable amount in relation to their stack and a flop continuation bet basically forces the player into deciding whether or not they're going to go with the hand, since they'll often be pot committed by that point. However, with deeper stacks, a three bet is nowhere near as significant in relation to effective stacks, so players will be much more willing to continue if they like their hand, especially when in position, and a flop bet is nowhere near as pot committing. This makes three betting out of position in deepstacked cash games a lot less effective, since players have more leverage to play back at continuation bets by using advanced plays such as floating the flop or possible even raising the flop with air, knowing you aren't pot committed.

When playing deeper stacked cash games, decisions become much tougher to make because stack sizes influence how you should play certain hands and the correct play may not be so obvious. This is why more experienced cash players tend to gravitate towards deepstacked tables. While it would be incredibly standard getting stacks in with pocket Kings when you are 100bb deep the decision might not be so clear when the effective stacks are 300 big blinds and there has been a lot of action in front of you. Experienced poker players tend to favor deep-stacked cash games because they feel they have a bigger edge in these games and there is obviously more potential to make a bigger profit. When there is more money on the line, any mistakes that are made are compounded by the larger stack to pot ratio. If a novice player bluffs off their entire stack as a result of an ill timed bluff, instead of losing 100bb or thereabouts it can be double, three times, or even more costly.

All in all, it should go without saying that if you are contemplating playing some deep-stacked cash game poker games, whether it's online or live, there are some adjustments you will need to make. More then anything else, you would want to ensure that you are confidently beating the normal games before considering playing them.