Effective Stacksize

  • The effective stacksize is always the smaller or smallest stacksize of players involved in a hand, as in the smallest player being all-in effectively caps the amount of chips to be played for in the main pot during the hand.
    The smallest stack involved in the hand dictates the largest possible size of the main pot by the value of that stack's size. So the effective stacksize for the main pot always equals the stacksize of the smallest stack involved.

    If multiple players and stacksizes are involved, the next smallest stacksize is the effective stacksize for the first sidepot minus the contributions to all previous pots, continueing up in stacksize and side pot numbering. So the effective stacksize for each sidepot moves up through the ranks of the stacksize in asending order of the involved players minus the contributions made to the previous pots already collected.

    As any player only has access to all pots they contributed to before they were all-in, the final sidepot can only be won by the two biggest stacks involved in the hand, so the last sidepot has is always based on the stacksize of the second largest stack.

    Example

    Steve 100BB
    Mike 150BB
    Liz 50BB

    All three players take part in the pot and get all-in in the process of the hand.

    For the main pot Liz, the smallest stack at the table, is the effective stacksize.
    For the side pot Steve, the second smallest stack at the table, is the effective stacksize minus his contribution to the main pot.

    The effective stacksize for the main pot is 150BB plus the blinds, because the effective contributed size can only be three times the stacksize of the smallest stack which is Liz 50BB stack.

    The effective stacksize for the sidepot is 100BB, because the effective contributed stacksize can only be twice what Steve has left after the main pot is collected from his initial stacksize of 100BBB. So Steve has 50BB left effective to contribute to the sidepot with Mike who is covering him as the biggest stack at the table.

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