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  • June 4, 2020

Poker Dictionary: All In

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Speak poker as well as you play it
Continuing with our poker dictionary for all those who decided to master the game of poker, we are going to talk about the term “All In”:
ALL-IN
*-A bet that places all of a player’s chips into the pot.
*-To enter all of your poker chips on one hand.
*-To run out of chips while betting or calling. In table stakes games, a player -may not go into his pocket for more money during a hand. If he runs out, a side pot is created in which he has no interest. However, he can still win the pot for which he had the chips.
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When a player is “all-in”, they can not perform another action because they don’t have any chips left.
Let’s give an example where a player would be “all-in”:
Example #1: Joe Doe is playing in a multi-table tournament and is down to just 750 chips (50/100 blinds). Action folds around to Joe Doe on the button, where he declares himself to be “all-in”. Smith tosses the last of his chips into the middle of the table, as he has just verbally committed himself to the all-in move.
When to go all-in
There are a few basic situations where an all-in bet makes perfect sense:
-You’re confident you’ve got the best hand and you know you’re going to be called
-You’re pretty sure your opponent is one card short of a winning hand (on a draw) and moving all-in will stop him getting the card he needs
-You haven’t got many chips left and need to go all-in just to stay in the game – but the odds say it’s the right thing to do
When not to go all in
-You’ve got a great starting hand, but almost everyone else has folded and the pot is low
-You have an impressive hand that improves a bit on the flop, but isn’t outstanding
Going all-in as a bluff
The all-in move can be the bluffer’s best friend, but only at the right time, with the right chip stacks. For example:
-After the flop, your opponent makes a bet. You’re fairly sure he or she has something, but they’ll probably step down if they think you have something better. Also, they haven’t got many chips left, so would probably rather fold than risk losing them.
In this situation, the all-in would probably work, but so would a confident raise, same result, less risk. So why do it at all?
Going all-in because you can
Poker’s a game of information. You’re watching your opponents, and they’re doing the same to you. If you always bet modestly on a good hand to lure people in, eventually they’ll see what you’re up to – and your perfectly good, classic tactic will stop working.
So one day, out of the blue, you slide all your chips into the middle. People assume you’re bluffing, call you and you walk away with the hand, plus a truck-load of chips. Thank you very much.
That’s the all-in for you. When it works, there’s no better feeling in the entire poker universe. But you need to use it sparingly and for very, very good reasons.
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