How to Play Poker According to Your Varying Chip Count

Online Gaming

Locking into a particular frame of mind and applying the same strategy throughout an entire poker tournament, is unlikely to work. Poker pros are adaptable creatures and will apply different tactics in order to survive and ultimately win their game. Using your chip stack as an alert system to when to change it up, is one way you can emulate the veterans.
There are precise formulas which a lot of masterminds use to measure their stack in accordance to the rest of the available chips and gauge the current strength of their position. However, such precision can take the instinct out of the game (especially when the luck undermines it anyway), which is why a lot of players use the formulas as guidelines to keep them on track when they play poker.
Dan Harrington is one of the most highly regarded poker professionals to date and his literature on the game is covered in a lot of different commentaries. One of his famous topics discusses his ‘M’ formula. This is an uncomplicated method of evaluating your current chip strength by comparing your stack to the blind levels.
This is how it works…
Divide your chip stack by the big blind and small blind combined, for the mathematicians the formula looks like this: M = Chip Stack/(Big Blind + Small Blind).
The resulting figure is then used to determine how you should be playing the game at that point in time. If it is over 20 then you are in the ‘green zone’ and can play pretty much how you like. Should you slip into a figure between 10 and 20, you have entered the ‘yellow zone’ and should tighten up your play, bet big on your more assured hands and avoid loose calls and the potential of small, frequent, losses.
‘Orange zone’ strategy comes into play when your ‘M’ is between 5 and 10. The approach is similar to the ‘yellow zone’ but instead of playing every strong hand with big bets, you wait for a reasonably strong hand and look to double up. Whether this means investing half of your stack pre-flop and the rest after the cards are on the board or pushing all-in from the off – big wins are needed.
Small wins will need a high level of frequency to outpace the amounting blinds and get you out of the ‘orange zone’. The ‘red zone’ is all or nothing – no questions asked. You don’t need particularly strong hands to prompt an all in here, loosen up your range and take some chances – you need at least a double up to get back on your feet, and you need it quick.
Try out Harrington’s methods online and see how you get on, that poker bonus which has been out of reach for too long might just be yours for the taking now.

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