Thinking in terms of “big blinds remaining”

What are the advantages to assessing player stack size in number of big blinds remaining?

A) Psychological Factors

To make clear decisions, you need to understand poker in terms of big blinds rather than money. Distancing yourself emotionally allows you to make the best decision.

B) Understanding the effective stack

Understanding our own stack and our opponent’s stacks in terms of how many big blinds gives us the “effective stack” of any situation. If we raise pre-flop with a 200bb stack and are called by a single player in the big blind who has a stack of 100bb, then we can only win or lose up to 100bb. Therefore, the effective stack is 100bb. If the player in the big blind had 20bb, then the effective stack would be 20bb.

Read our complete guide to thinking in “big blinds remaining”.

How to use card suit symbols (♥♦♠♣) on your computer

In our recent Continuation Bet article we show cards in this highly readable way:


The cards can be copy and pasted, printed, and viewed on any device, and it is pure text. Here’s how you can embed card suit symbols for hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs directly into your text.


Use so-called HTML entities, as follows:

  • ♥ – type ♥ into your HTML document. Make sure to start with an ampersand, finish with a semi-colon, and use no spaces between the ampersand and semi-colon
  • ♦ – type ♦ into your HTML document
  • ♠ – type ♠ into your HTML document
  • ♣ – type ♣ into your HTML document

So, for example, if you want A♥K♦, then type A♥K&diamonds; into your HTML editor.

For colours, you can use inline CSS as follows <span style=’color: red’>A&hearts;</span>

Naturally it is best not to inline the CSS style, and instead to create a custom class you can reuse.

In a text editor or document editor

Copy and Paste (Mac and Windows)

Copy and paste the characters directly from this page, one at a time or all four at once: ♥♦♠♣

Yes, these can be treated like any pure text.


On macOS, you can use the “Emojis and Symbols” viewer to find these characters and many more. Just type Cmd+Ctrl+space whenever your Mac is expecting you to type, and this will appear.

Windows, Linux, and non-Mac devices

I don’t know how to do this on Windows or Linux as I mostly work on a Mac. Sorry.

We’ve updated our “Unopened Preflop Raise” article

What is the Unopened Preflop Raise poker statistic?

Unopened Preflop Raise (UOPFR) tracks the percentage of times that a player raises preflop when the action folds to him. This allows you to understand a player’s tendencies at a deeper level than the VPIP/PFR poker statistic. VPIP/PFR gives you a general idea of the player type of your opponent. UOPFR gives detailed information on the range of hands your opponent is playing from each position.

That’s from our Unopened Preflop Raise article. It is one chapter in our growing and comprehensive poker statistics guide. We’re adding a chapter to this guide each week.

We’ve revised almost every paragraph in this article. The examples are clearer, we’ve tried to use less poker slang, and to define it when we do use it.