Oct 24, 2019


The atmosphere is tense and the blood is pumping. Your opponent has made a big bet and you've decided to call, pushing more than half your chips in to the pot. The game plays out and alas, you didn’t have the winning hand. Fortunately, the game isn't over yet. You're down, but not out, and are now left at the table with the smallest stack. You can play possibly 10 or more big blinds, so how do you make your way back to a sizeable stack?

Every poker player has experienced this at some point in their career and we're sure you'll likely go through to it as well, if you haven't already. In such situations, here's what you can do:

Buy Back In

Although it sounds obvious, casual and beginner poker players tend to make the mistake of playing on with their short stack in cash games

Manoeuvring with a short stack is never easy and instead of wasting what's left of your money, it's better to buy back in and have at least 40+ big blinds to play for. This is especially true if you have less than 15 big blinds worth of chips and everyone else has deep pockets. 

But what if you have around 20bb (big blinds) or are playing in a tournament where you can't buy back in till you bust? Well, there are still some strategies you can employ. 

Play Tight Yet Aggressive Pre-flop

While it's always good to avoid unnecessarily limping into the pot, with short stacks you have absolutely no choice but to play very tight. The best approach is to play only premium hands like pockets Aces to pocket 10s, and high-value face cards (especially suited), which can be played from any position. 

When playing in a late position, speculative hands such as suited connectors, pocket pairs lower than 6, suited aces such as Ace-Six, Ace-Seven should also be played aggressively, but should be discarded pre-flop when playing in an early position.  

This leads us to our second point. 

Use Position to Your Advantage

As discussed above, playing from a later position allows you to open the range of cards you can play pre-flop (although all hands should still be high-value).

Since you're likely to be folding pre-flop when out of position, use that time to determine the mood at the table. Are players playing loose and limping into the pot? Is the table tight with very few hands being played? 

 If table play is loose and you get a good hand in position, its best to bet and raise small to get more players and money into the pot. If they've been playing weaker hands, you can get them to pay the price for playing too speculatively. 

Against tighter play, you can make small bets to bluff opponents and steal the blinds. This is especially useful when many players in the hand have folded before you. There is no point trying to make big bets when short-stacked, because players are not going to be scared to call you if they have a good hand. 

If you want to bet big, then it's best to go all-in. 

 Go All-In

Going all-in is the short stack's secret weapon. If you have a good hand and the opponent is playing loose, you get to double up quickly. If play is tight and you have 20 big blinds, then opponents will still be somewhat hesitant to call you. If a raise has been called pre-flop and you're in position, then you can squeeze players by going all-in. 

In tournaments, shoving with a value-hand when in position is many times the best play to make.

The important thing however, is to know when to shove. Trying to bluff by shoving all-in and expecting players to fold is a very risky strategy and is not the mind-set you should have. Rather, you should make opponents pay for playing speculative hands against you pre-flop. Post-flop, you can shove when on the draw. 


The Basics

The term ‘fish’ has been adopted as a technical term in poker, but it is still considered a derogatory remark. Tread with caution.

First of all, what exactly is a fish? A ‘fish’ is a poker player who is essentially inexperienced and is often a recreational player who becomes a good target for the skilled players to win some pots.

The most obvious action to take is to play as many hands as possible with a fish, but know when to stop. Try to expand your pre-flop ranges against them, however, don’t go overboard.

In order to play more pots, you should most likely prefer iso-raising. However, in order to play against them, you should know how to identify them on a table.

Recognizing the common tendencies of a weak player:                                                     

  1. There is lots of pre-flop open-limping instead of open-raising.
  2. Not choosing to rebuy to 100bb when they are losing chips.
  3. Unconventional hand selection, often significantly too passive or too aggressive.
  4. Excessive talking (especially online). Experienced players rarely use the chatbox.
  5. Bluffing aggressively. Unconventional post-flop lines.

What is Isolation Raising?

Also known as iso-raising, it is a technique you can use in which you increase the number of hands you play against a weak player. It is done by targeting open-limpers in the pre-flop round.

Basically, your opponent open-limps, and you decide to raise in anticipation of a heads-up pot against the limper. In cases where the majority of the players are choosing to call your iso-raise, it’s a common practice to increase your iso-raise.

Other Isolation Techniques


Not every recreational player’s mind works the same way. They can even open-raise instead of open-limp. Therefore, you can make small 3bets to isolate the pot heads-up.

SB Completes HU

When the players have folded in the pre-flop round and you’re in the SB, you can expand your ranges when the BB is a weak player. In case you have weaker holdings, it’s better to complete in the SB rather than open-raise. Try to play 100% of your pre-flop hands against an inexperienced player.

Another situation would be when you face an open limper. It is expected from you to enter the pot with a wide range since your opponent is most likely an inexperienced player. Although you cannot always have strong hands to iso-raise, it’s better to complete the SB with a wide range hoping to see a multi-way pot.

Expanding Cold-Calls

An open-raiser in a hand could be a decent player, however, there are still weaker players on the table. You can choose to cold-call wider against a regular’s bet in anticipation of an overcall from the fish.

There is no fool-proof plan to play certain hands or act in a certain way in poker, but to study your opponent and act accordingly helps. All the best for your next game. Leave comments if you think this was helpful!

Omaha is for the Challenge Lovers!

5 Card Omaha is an action-driven variant of Omaha. Each player is dealt with five hole cards. The board reveals five community cards face up. In this format, each player has to use three community cards and 2 of their hole cards to make a five-card poker hand. The deal is to strictly follow the first and the most important rule of the game- 2 hole cards and 3 community cards.

Basics of the Game

In Pot-limit Omaha (PLO), the games are referred according to the size of the blinds. For example, a 5/10 Pot-limit 5 Card Omaha game has a small blind of 5 and a big blind of 10.

Each player is dealt with 5 hole cards and then the betting rounds begin clockwise, starting with the player at the left side of the big blind.


After seeing their hole cards, each player now has the option to call or raise the big blind or even fold. The betting begins from the left side of the big blind. For example, if the big blind was 10, it would cost at least 10 to call or 20 to raise.

This round ends once each active player (who has not folded) has acted.

The Flop

After the first round of betting, the flop is dealt face-up on the table. The flop is the three community cards that set the tone of the game. Betting begins with the active player sitting immediately to the left of the dealer button. Another betting round begins from there.

The Turn

Once the betting action is completed, the turn is dealt face up. The turn is the fourth community card that the players are dealt with in 5 Card Omaha. Another round of betting begins with the active player sitting at the left side of the dealer.

The River

After the betting round in completed, the river is dealt face-up on the table. The river is the fifth and the final community card that the players are dealt with. The final round begins.

The Showdown

The showdown is done only when there is more than one player on the table. If there was a bet in the last round then the last person who bets shows their cards first, but if there was no bet on the final round then the player sitting to the left of the button will show first. The player who has the best poker hand will win the pot.

Variants of 5 Card Omaha

1. Pot-limit Omaha

Minimum Raise: The minimum raise should be at least equal to the previous bet or raise.

Maximum Raise: The size of the pot. This is defined as the total of the active pot, all bets on the table and the amount the active player must first call before raising.

 2. No-limit Omaha

Minimum Raise: The minimum raise should be at least equal to the previous bet or raise.

Maximum Raise: The size of your stack. This is where the all-in bet comes in.

There is a lot more that needs to be learned in order to play 5 Card Omaha, but with poker, you always learn as you play.

So learn at your favourite online poker app- PokerBaazi, India's most trusted poker website. We have recently launched the 5 Card PLO format. Go ahead and win some!

Be Your Own Mentor!

Multi-table tournaments (MTT) are essentially known for letting you win massive with relatively small expenditure. Here are a few strategy tips if you aren’t able to own this style of gaming:

Early opportunities

Try to study your opponents. Know the weak players on the table and try to get involved with them in a few pots. In the pre-flop round, avoid calling a raise with hands such as A-J, K-Q because these can be easily dominated. However, if you hit a small pair, then you’re slightly ahead in the game. Simply go ahead and build the pot in this situation.

Play tightly

Avoid playing too many hands in the early stages. It’s not a bad idea to let go of hands such as A-J or a K-Q non-suited. However, you can still play suited connectors such as 7h-8h with caution, keeping in mind your stack size. Playing hands that come with high-risk should be played according to the size of the stack you have at a given point of time in the game.

Raise in reply to a raise

Any player who is a regular multi-table tournament player aims to attack the ‘FT bubble’ and the ‘in the money (ITM) bubble’. This style of playing is not as profitable as it earlier was because of the increasing competition in the online poker circuit. However, there are strategies to help you attack the bubble, especially in smaller tourneys. One of these would be to re-raise against the raises with a wide range of hands. You could also flat-call in position to mix things up (if you’re deep-stacked).

Keep a close check on your neighbours

If you are able to have good reads on your opponents, you can easily build your stack. For example, if you’re sitting to the left of a player who prefers to open a lot in late position and does not prefer to re-shove all-in unless they have a premium hand, you can simply re-raise without having good hands. You’ll eventually end up with a healthy stack.

Put pressure on your opponents constantly

A smart online poker player would always try to enter his/her opponent’s mind and make them commit mistakes. To do this, you need to put constant pressure on your opponents. You can either win several small pots from them without the goods or raise their bets on a dry board (K-4-8, non-suited).

Take these few things in mind and get ready as we will soon be hosting the second edition of India’s biggest online poker tournament- GameChanger 2 Crore GTD. This time, the buy-in of the tournament has been cut down to half of what it was earlier- INR 5500 instead of INR 11000!

So stay tuned to our website and social media channels to participate in various contests and win free tickets to the GameChanger!

Another Week, Another Set of Stars!

Week after week, we witness phenomenal performances on the PokerBaazi felts, with both old and new players. As we offer a conducive platform for the rising stars of the Indian online poker circuit, we are glad that the poker pros are actively playing and winning big on PokerBaazi.com!

Here’s a quick recap of our daily featured tournaments this week (July 12- July 19):

FriYay 10 LAC GTD (RE)

This INR 4400 buy-in event was taken down by Ayush Garg a.k.a. “Proman502” for the top prize of INR 2,35,300. He is a frequent attendee at various online poker apps and has participated in various international events such as the World Poker Tour (WPT).

Value Town 10 LAC GTD (5RE)

Value Town was shipped by none other than Anurag “13anurag” Srivastava for a payday of INR 1,75,000. Anurag is a regular pro on PokerBaazi and has some major deep runs in various tournaments such as 1Cr GTD Value Bomb.

BSS SuperStack 25 LAC GTD (RE)

This Sunday marvel announced Chandan “darkfish” Arora as the winner, who walked away with INR 5,14,895. Chandan is again a massive tourney player in the circuit.

The Bout 10 LAC GTD (RE) & The Endeavour 15 LAC GTD (RE)

A massive name in the Indian poker circuit, the two events were taken down by none other than Rohan Bhasin a.k.a. “likeaboss85”. He went home away with unreal combined prize money of INR 7,52,077.

The Vegas 10 LAC GTD

The Vegas was shipped by Ashish “rocky3705” Ahuja. He walked away with INR 2,19,870. Ashish is a regular player in the poker circuit in India and his last deep run was at World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2019.

The Summit 15 LAC GTD (RE)

This Thursday weekly tournament was shipped by Anmol “anzzzzz” Mehta for a paycheque of INR 3,62,250. Anzzzzz is reg in the industry and has taken down several huge tourneys on various online poker platforms.

FriYay 10 LAC GTD (RE)

The event witnessed “brointer” taking down the title for a payday of INR 2,20,900. “brointer” is a known name in the industry for his impressive poker skills.

It has been more than four years that PokerBaazi has been serving the online poker circuit of India. We are proud to announce that we will soon be offering a new poker variant- Open-Face Chinese (OFC) poker, in addition to our recently launched 5-card PLO games. Tune in to our social media channels for the latest updates!

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