The effective stack poker term refers to the maximum amount of chips on the line between players.
The term is used when two opposing players have unequal stacks, meaning that the effective betting stacks are limited by the total poker chips of the player with a smaller stack.
So, here’s an example of an effective stack in poker. Let’s say that you have 10,000 chips while your opponent only has 3,000.
Although you have a much more significant stack, the maximum either player can win in this scenario is 3,000. The additional 7,000 is irrelevant and won’t come into play at any point in the hand.