All-in is a betting strategy used in today's most popular poker game, No limit Texas Holdem. When you declare that you're going "All-in", you are putting all your chips into the pot on that hand. This could be a do or die move by you, depending on whether you have more or less chips than an opponent who calls your bet. If you have less starting chips and lose the all-in, you are out of the game.
This is what makes all-in such a powerful strategy in Texas Holdem poker, but also what makes it such a dangerous one. Go all-in and you can be finished on one turn of a card.
Some poker players however miss the point a bit with their all in bets and lose out on opportunities to take advantage of a strategically placed bet.
Here are 10 tips that should help you to decide when the right time is to go all-in.
1. Don't just wait until you've got the "nuts". If you do this you will be very predictable and opponents will simply fold to your all-in.
2. Remember that it is much easier to make an all-in bet than to call one. All you need to do to win the hand is bet when you're sure your opponent will fold.
3. If you are a strong chip leader you can bully your opponents into folding. You will lose some of your chips if you lose an all-in, they will lose them all and be out of the game.
4. Don't go all-in on a stone cold bluff. Always make sure that even though you might not have the best hand, you have a chance of making it with the cards that are still to be dealt. Put another way, leave yourself with "outs".
5. Beware of going all-in with a short stack of chips. You are far more likely to get called by a big stack because if you lose, you will be out of the tournament. You need to have an almost unbeatable hand in these circumstances.
6. If you are low on chips, use the all-in to your advantage if you get a monster hand. You will almost certainly get called and you might even get more than one caller so instead of doubling your money you can triple it or even better.
7. You can't bluff if you're short stacked, you do not have enough chips and nobody is going to be afraid to bet against you. You can only go all-in if you get a good hand.
8. If you're short stacked, don't let your chips drain away with the blinds. Make a stand with an all-in while you still have a chance to steal the blinds. If you get called you can still win the pot and be back in the game.
9. If a short stacked player goes all-in, it is usually better for you to re-raise all in. This will scare off any other callers after you in the betting who might have also called just because of the value they were getting for their bet.
10. If somebody goes all in against you, use the previous tips above to decide why he did. Does he only go all-in with the nuts? Is short stacked? Is he trying to bully you to get you to fold? Weigh up the situation very carefully before deciding whether to call.
Use these tips and you’ll soon be cleaning up at the poker tables.
Article by Ian McIntosh, get regular poker freeroll updates in your mailbox every week for FREE!