Poker: Stack To Pot Ratio (SPR)

Poker: Stack To Pot Ratio ExplainedThere is a phrase used in poker known as Stack to Pot Ratio - or SPR for the lazy or hard sighted. This phrase is used more by the mathematical than the intuitive, but it is a theory used by both – even if they are unaware that they do.

The SPR is the number that measures the size of the pot in relation to the size of the player's stacks. When you are in a heads-up pot, the SPR is calculated by dividing the size of the smaller stack by the pot size on the flop.

Players looking for tips to play poker may find the following example helpful: You are playing in a $1/2 six-max cash game and the action folds around to you on the button. You open to $6 and the big blind defends. The pot is now $13, you have $250 and your opponent has a stack size of $200. Your SPR is 200/13 = 15.

Stack-to-Pot ratios are often used when determining whether or not to play for stacks. Imagine you are holding [Ac] [Js] on a [Ad] [7c] [8d] flop. If you had an SPR of two then you would probably play for stacks. This is because the pot is too large and your hand too strong.

But if you had an SPR of 15, like in the example above, then you would very likely be behind should the money go in.

Always remember to use the SPR figure, but be mindful that it is very player dependent. An SPR of nine might not be good enough to play for stacks against a nit, but absolutely crucial against a loose aggressive maniac in a poker live tournament.

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