SPR in Poker: Stack-to-Pot Ratios and How to Apply it

SPR Poker

Stack-to-pot ratios (SPR) are crucial concepts for evaluating the relative strength of different board runouts in poker. SPR refers to the ratio between the effective stacks in play and the current size of the pot. Understanding how SPR changes on various board textures allows you to assess their relative danger and playability.

Defining SPR

SPR is calculated by taking the effective stack size and dividing it by the pot size. For example, with $100 stacks and a $20 pot, the SPR is 100/20 = 5. As the pot grows on each street relative to the stacks, the SPR shrinks.

Lower SPRs indicate pots where stacks are shallow compared to the pot size. These runouts require greater aggression and lower SPRs tend to favour all-in manoeuvres. High SPRs denote deeper stacks and more manoeuvrability.

SPR and Board Texture

The SPR of a runout is highly dependent on board texture. For instance, a monotone or straight board will often lead to more betting and raising as big draws develop. This shrinks SPR quickly and creates a more dangerous runout as play continues.

Conversely, a dry, rainbow board likely won’t lead to much pot growth relative to the stacks. This sustains a higher SPR which favours skilled post flop play over all ins.

SPR Trends

Assessing how SPR trends over the course of a hand provides great insight into strategic play. A hand may start deep with a SPR of 8 on the flop. But a series of raises on a wet turn and river may shrink it down to 2, changing dynamics considerably.

Recognizing these trajectories allows you to adjust your strategy accordingly and not keep playing a deep stacked game when the board texture has changed things.

Balancing Ranges Based on SPR

You’ll need to adjust your bet sizing and balance your ranges differently based on SPR trends. On drier boards that maintain higher SPRs, smaller bets favour skilled players. But on lower SPR runouts, bigger bets to set up all-ins become preferable.

As SPR drops below 3, equilibrium strategy tends toward a polarized shoving or folding approach. You can capitalize on players who fail to adapt to shifting SPRs.

Playing Lower SPR Textures

As SPR drops below 5, hand values condense since stacks are now short. There are much fewer semi-bluffs or marginal holdings to play around with. Equities run close, so it’s critical to squeeze out as much value from big hands as you can before SPR drops too far.

Don’t fall in love with draws or speculative holdings when the SPR math starts to dictate a more gambly game.

Mastering how to assess runouts through the lens of SPR will make you a much sharper, adaptable player. You’ll develop an intuition for when textures warrant an aggressive, exploitative style versus a balanced, controlled approach based on the SPR trends in a hand.

I love the training videos. I was a break-even player until I became a member and am now a consistent winner. Thanks, and keep up the great work!
Paul Dixon
Paul Dixon
19 September 2023
My name is Tomek and I've been playing poker for 16 years. Some years more, some less - as an amateur. I was learning a little bit - get some good spots in mtt but I wasn't a consistent player and I wasn't profitable in the long term. I was able to win a big tournament but lost everything in the next month or 2. At the start of this year, I made a statement I am going back to poker but this time I want to dedicate myself to it. I was looking for a poker coach who can help me develop my skills because I was in a place where I didn't feel learning from a website or YouTube was any good for me anymore. After just one month of working with Narciso Baldo, I just finished my full mtt month play of poker and I was able to earn 75 times more than I deposited. I had more than 10 FT with 2 tournament wins and 2 second places. So his coaching works! I can recommend whole my heart training with Narciso. Tomek
Tomasz Oleszczyk
Tomasz Oleszczyk
28 March 2023
I bought a poker course from Texas Hold’em Questions and saw a near-instant improvement in my results. I’ve since trialled their 1 to 1 poker training and very happy with how it’s going. Ciso speaks clearly and directly to me, so I know the how’s and why’s we’re doing certain things. I can’t recommend them enough for people looking to take their game to the next level.
aelred o'doherty
aelred o'doherty
27 April 2022
I started with Narciso and was playing sit & go, but decided to change to cash games mid way through which I had not really played before. The way he teaches is great he gives you tips while watching the video back and gives you around 3 things to work on until the next session. He's very patient and knowledgeable, he is very good at telling you the tips and the why behind it which makes you think about what you are doing and why. I had been playing poker on off for a number of years and thought there wouldn't be much for me to learn, I now watch my first videos back and think what am I doing haha. Although I'm still learning with the cash games as they are very different strategies I am seeing my profit getting much better, I do still have bad sessions every now and again but overall my game has improved massively and can see myself in a month or so improving dramatically as I'm still learning the cash games but everything seems to have clicked with it now, and just need to work on a few things, I am definitely going to do more sessions with him as I know I still have things that he can teach me. Would highly recommend if you are new or as me been playing for years, he's a great teacher and always replies to messages within a few hours max. 5 stars from me
Emyr Williams
Emyr Williams
15 October 2021
Narciso is patient and his strategy ideas easy to understand. His communication is timely and he definitely has improved my game and I have seen great ROI. I like the interactive nature of the learning too as its the easiest way for me to take on new information.
Jake Leach
Jake Leach
12 October 2021

Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: info@texasholdemquestions.com