Deep Stack Poker: A Comprehensive Introduction

Deep stack poker is one of the most complex poker variants and probably the hardest to master. At the same time, it is the most exciting, giving you the chance to take your game to a whole other level.

In this article, we will take a look at the most important aspects and strategies you need to know when playing deep-stacked poker.

What Is Deep Stack Poker?

Deep stack poker refers to any cash game that has a large stack, usually more than 100 big blinds. It also refers to tournaments with a starting stack that’s higher than the blinds and antes. 

There is a huge difference between playing with a normal-size stack and with a stack bigger than 100 BBs. 

For one thing, when you are playing with smaller stacks, you are usually all-in after the turn and the river is just a card you get after all the betting is done. However, in deep-stack poker, the pot is big and there is still money remaining, which forces players to make important decisions on the river. This also means that implied odds are higher since betting on the turn and river is almost guaranteed.

In fact, your implied odds go up with the size of the stack—you can naturally expect to win more out of an opponent with a deep stack. This allows you to call in position with a hand that would fold if playing with a regular stack. 

Pro players tend to favour deep stack tournaments as there is more play involved. With more chips comes the ability to make bigger bets and play more aggressively. However, it also means that there is more money at stake on each hand and you can’t afford to make many mistakes.

Here is what you need to know about deep-stacked poker.

Pre-flop play

A deeper stack may allow you to call 3-bets for set value, something you wouldn’t do when playing with a short stack. 

This usually comes into play when your starting hand is not that hot. With a regular stack, you wouldn’t call a pre-flop raise with suited aces or suited connectors. However, implied odds increase with the size of the stacks, which, as mentioned above, can let you call in position when holding cards you would otherwise fold. 

Those with a strong starting hand will need to be careful, especially when facing aggressive opponents. If you would normally stack off preflop with a strong hand (like AK or KK), you should reconsider this decision in deep stacked poker. Here you are going up against an opponent who, like you, is risking more than usual on a single hand, so flat calling might be the best option. 


Pot control 

In deep stack poker, pot control trumps protection. Rather than defending a marginal hand, you could fold to scare a card on the turn or river. 


When the pot is big and bets are higher, the chances of players bluffing are lower. This also makes players less willing to induce bluffs as they don’t want to risk 100 BBs just to call someone’s bluff.

Usually, bluff raises are made before or on the flop, when players still use the same strategy as they would with a regular stack. 

3-Betting Ranges

When 3-betting in position, you need to play a very wide range of hands. This way even if your opponent calls, you’ll be in good shape. 

However, when you’re out of position and 3-bet, you’ll need to 

  • Polarise your range more to avoid dipping into a big pot with subpar hands.
  • Aim to better your range’s board coverage with more suited connectors

In general call more when in position and less out of position.

Postflop Strategy

Unlike your preflop strategy, the post-flop doesn’t require too many adjustments. Namely, the biggest one you’ll need to make is to play more defensively when you’re in a 3-bet pot as the preflop raiser out of position.

So check and call more, but raise and check-raise less. This will stop aggressive players from attacking you due to your perceived capped ranges. 

4-bet bluff

When facing an opponent that likes to raise and 3-bet before the flop, you could 4-bet with a weaker hand. These 4-bet bluffs can be very profitable, particularly with hands that are not strong enough to call a 3-bet. That said, if you feel that your opponent has caught on to your deep stack poker strategy, give up on the 4-bet bluffs and focus more on extending your value range. 


Deep stack is definitely not a game for those who are still learning the ropes of poker. It requires a great deal of skill, patience and focus as every decision matters in deep stack poker and you cannot allow yourself to let your guard down at any time. So it may be worth it to get some experience playing poker with a regular stack before you try your hand at this variant.


What is a deep stack in poker?

Typically a deep stack in poker refers to large stack in a cash game, usually more than 100 big blinds. 

How do you play better deep stack poker?

Deep stack poker works differently than playing with a regular stack, so your strategy will need some adjustments. Mainly, what you want to do is take advtange of position and be more aggressive on your draws to scare your opponents into folding. You should also be more careful when raising and check-raising and focus more on calling and checking. 

What does running deep mean in poker?

Running deep in a deep stack poker tournament means that you have lasted a long period without busting out. Sometimes, this means you’ve made the prize pool or even the final table. 


Toni always had an appetite for learning new things and random facts about almost everything, which is why when he got offered the job to work as a content writer he took it without hesitation. Writing daily took his love for words and research to a whole new level, and made him realize that this is a career he would love to pursue. Although he spends most of his time researching his next piece, you can also find him on the football court, in the gym, or at home with a book in his hand.

Latest from this author

The Best Canadian Christmas Casino Promotions How to Play Keno? Gin Rummy Rules: Learn to Play Like a Pro What Is a Rake in Poker? A Proper Guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *