Stacking Off vs. Short Stacks Pre-flop In Cash Games

An unknown player has a 40 big blind(bb) stack in the big blind, it is folded to you in the cut off seat and you raise 4bb with JJ. It is folded, to the short stack in the big blind who pushes, should you call? In these types of situations I assign a standard pushing range for your run of the mill short stack.

Equity & Ranges – As Calculated in PokerStove
Short stack: 51.402%   { 99+, AQs+, AKo }
Us: 48.598% { JJ}

In short, if we call we expect to win 48.598% of the time, so we should fold because we aren’t favourite right? Hold on… we need to know what price we are being laid first.

Cost To Call = 40-4 = 36
Pot Size = 40 + 4 + 0.5 = 44.5

Pot odds (% Equity Needed To Make A Call Profitable) = Cost to call / (Pot Size + Cost To Call)

= 36 / (44.5 + 36) =  44.72%

Conclusion? We only need to have 44.72% equity to call this short stacks all-in profitably if we assume that his range is a pretty standard { 99+, AQs+, AKo } for a short stack, which it will be in the long run against most unknown short stacks. So next time when facing a short stack who wants to stack off against you pre-flop, think about their range and the pot odds being offered before you decide on your actions. Use PokerStove and analyze how TT and AQo and hands like that run in these situations, you might be surprised!

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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