Old News- When to raise All-in



Cardschat Elite
Silver Level
Oct 23, 2005
Total posts

One of the most exciting parts of a No Limit Texas Hold'em poker game is the option to announce those three little words that many times completely affects the outcome of the game: I'm all-in. What this announcement means is you are betting all of your chips on that hand. The result may either be a big gain or a major loss. There are many factors to think about before you raise all-in.

At any point in the game, you may decide to raise all-in and push all of your chips into the pot. You may do this because you think you have the best hand or because you are on a bluff and feel that an all-in is the way to scare off the other opponent. You must be careful, because if you act at the wrong time and your opponent has a hand or if they are pot committed they may call you and you will risk all of your chips on a bad hand.

The other player is pot committed when they have either the majority of their chips in the pot or odds are in their favor to call your all-in bet. It would be almost wrong for them to fold at this point, because of the amount of chips they have put into the pot. bluffing at someone that is pot committed would be a bad idea, because they will most likely call you.

If you are holding the nuts (the best possible hand), you shouldn't lay the hand down. It is the nuts; it is unbeatable at the current state of the game. Remember, though, a hand can be the nuts pre-flop, and then not be the nuts after the flop. It can be the nuts on the flop, and not be the nuts on fourth street. Every card can change the outcome of the game. For example: If you are holding pocket aces pre flop, you have the nuts. If your opponent is holding pocket queens, though, and the flop comes 4-Q-7, they now have the nuts. If fourth street is an ace, you now have the nuts again. It can change back and forth based on every card that falls.

If you do have the nuts and you want to get another player involved into a pot, you can check, therefore offering them free cards. You must be careful, though, that they don't catch too many cards and beat your hand. You should only slow play (not bet the strength of your hand) when you have the nuts. This way you don't get trapped and beat by a better hand.

If you are playing a weak hand, you must decide how you want to play it. You can catch a hand sometimes with a weak starting hand (72, and catch 2 pair on a flop). You can also use a weak hand to mix up your play. If it comes down to showing your hand, it will allow the table to see that they never know what you could be holding. You can bluff big with a weak hand, and try to scare others out of the pot. If your hand does not develop, though, and others do not back down to your big bets, you must fold, to avoid losing any more chips.

There are always questions about pocket pairs, and how you should bet them. If you are holding a small to medium pocket pair there are many factors you must evaluate. What position you are in (sitting at the table)? Has someone else already raised the pot? If it hasn't been raised and re-raised, and you are in a later position, I would suggest getting in to see the flop and hope to hit a set. A percentage example would be: you are holding a low pocket pair, and you go all-in before the flop. Your opponent calls with an AK suited. The percentage of each hand winning pre-flop would be 52/48. What this means is that the low pocket pair starts out with a slight advantage over the two over cards. However, these percentages will change quickly after the flop.

Whether bluffing or holding the nuts, go all-in and keep the game exciting. Make sure, though, to know all the facts before you risk all of your chips and tournament life. An all-in can make you or break you!

P.S. I got this from Pokerletter for you to use/trash, the chose is your's.