New PokerStars feature: view ‘stacks in big blinds’

PokerStars, the international online poker room, is happy to announce that its customers can now enjoy a new ‘stacks in big blinds’ feature. This feature is added to the client’s software, giving the player the possibility to see the chip stacks as big blinds, in comparison to chips, as it was until now.

So far, we have seen that the new feature is available on PokerStars.com, but it seems not to be displayed on the play-money PokerStars.net. Maybe, in the near future, the PokerStars.net client will also offer its customers this feature.

This new ‘stacks in big blinds’ feature is optional and can be activated from the ‘table display’ menu of the software settings. When activated, the player will see the chip stacks of every player at the table will be shown as big blinds. To offer an example, at a 1 dollar/2-dollar table, the 40 dollars chip stack will appear as 20 BB, and fractional big blinds will also be counted for bets.

When it comes to players, many of the poker professionals track their win rate in terms of big blinds, rather than in cash. The big blinds can be calculated per hour and/or per hundred hands. These players also keep a record of the money they make, but calculating your success in big blinds can work out better for you. For example, 20 dollars per a hundred hands is quite different when it is the result of 2bb/100 win rate versus 10bb/100.

This method of counting stacks as big blinds is common to the poker tournaments. For example, in the World Series of Poker, broadcasted on ESPN, the chips are shown in one column and the big blinds in a separate one. The online like poker tournament also does this practice frequently. Players at PokerStars have the ‘stacks in big blinds’ feature available both in the tournaments and in the cash games.

The director of poker product at PokerStars, Chris Straghalis, declared for the company’s blog that thinking about the stack in big blinds terms causes one to have a very different approach to the game. He also declared that PokerStars aligns its software to the players’ approach to poker.

There is another advantage to the ‘stacks in big blinds’ feature, as players can swamp back and forth between the display modes. They can choose to see the stacks as big blinds or as chips and change the display at any time.

Straghalis added that the feature has been created optional as some players will not like it. Poker is a game each player might approach differently, that is why the ‘stacks in big blinds’ can be seen or not, depending on each preference.

Straghalis gave the poker streamers as an example of players who might not opt for the ‘stacks in big blinds’ feature. Also, the viewers might not be accustomed to counting the big blinds, making it difficult to follow a streamer playing in a tournament with this function activated.

PokerStars prides itself for having a history in offering players all sorts of helpful features, but it feels like this one was long overdue. Straghalis also mentioned those chip-to-big blind calculations when playing a hand can be demanding, so the poker room decided to offer its players the option automatically.

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