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Lex’s Guide to Bounties

August 7, 2023
by Lex Veldhuis

PokerStars Team Pro Lex Veldhuis teaches key strategies for success in Bounty Builder poker tournaments in his latest video. In it, he discusses when to call bounties, how to play with different stack sizes and generally improve your poker game.

Use a Timer to Demonstrate Patience

Lex uses a timer to showcase the amount of time that can pass between hands in bounty tournaments. Learning patience is critical, as in Bounty Builders you need to avoid needlessly losing chips while also aggressively going for bounties when spots arise. Stay calm and wait for ideal situations. The timer Lex uses on all of his video highlights this as you can see how much time passes between playable hands.

Consider Effective Stack Sizes

When deciding whether to play to take a bounty, consider effective stack sizes. If the bounty is short stacked, your decision should factor in their range and your equity versus their likely holdings. Don’t blindly play for bounties without considering the situations and how it could affect your stack sizes.

Bet Strong Made Hands for Protection

When you make strong hands, bet them on earlier streets for protection. This prevents opponents from outdrawing you and avoids giving free cards that could improve their holdings. While slow playing is sometimes correct, make sure you have a reason – don’t default to checking strong hands. Bet and you have the protection as the name suggests, this may also prevent your opponents regularly bluffing.

Play Tighter Against Bigger Preflop Raises

Against minimum raises, call with a relatively wide range from the blinds. But as raise sizes increase, tighten your calling range significantly to avoid playing big pots out of position with speculative hands. The size of the preflop raise dictates your strategy, stick to it and you’ll gradually claim the bounties you are chasing.

Adjust Your Ranges As Stack Sizes Decline

When effective stacks are shallow, tighten your opening ranges from early position to avoid getting called too light, make sure you do this when you have strong hands, as Lex suggests, but open very wide on the button as the blinds will be harder to defend. Constantly adapt your ranges based on your stack depth in relation to the blinds and antes before you find yourself out of depth.

Bounty Hunting with Big Aces

When short stacked in a bounty tournament, open-jam more big Aces than usual as opponents will often call too wide to try and knockout your bounty. Big cards play even better when effective stacks are shallow meaning you can take bounties with relatively small hands.

Bounty Builders are simple to learn but hard to master, but using these tactics, you can up your game. Balancing patience and aggression is key, as is adjusting based on stack depths and opponent tendencies, and understanding when to go for bounties and when to avoid marginal spots.

Use these tips next time you are in a Bounty Builder tournament and improve your chances at the poker table.

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