What is ICM in Poker?

1 minute

Last Updated: January 9, 2024


The poker term ICM is an abbreviation that stands for Independent Chip Model, a calculation that enables players to set a monetary value on their chip stack based on a poker tournament’s prize pool.

ICM considers the tournament’s payout structure and the chip stacks of all remaining players. Using the latter, it calculates the probabilities of each player finishing in the top positions and multiplies that number by the payout for the specific position.

ICM Poker Example:

Let’s say that there are three players left, with stacks of 5,000, 3,000, and 1,000, respectively. The payout structure is $200 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place. Using an ICM calculator, the monetary value of each of the player’s stacks is $150.69, $122.92, and $76.39, respectively.

The strategy for each of these players will vary, as the first player has a big stack, the second has a medium stack, and the last player has a short stack.

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