When and When NOT to go all in Playing Poker

by Cole Paganelli | November 8, 2019 |

All-in may seem like a simple move in poker. All you have to do is take all your chips on the table and move them to the pot. However, there’s a lot more to this movement that it is actually one of the most powerful things you can do in poker.

Therefore, you need to know exactly when to use and when to avoid using this move in order to get the most out of it. Let’s take a look at when to use it and when to avoid all-ins. Read on!

Always Consider it an Option if You Have a Strong Hand

The first and the most important rule is that all-in is mostly used to lure other players into increasing their bets as well. Therefore, whenever you have a strong hand and believe that you can take a lot of chips with it, you need to carefully structure your all-in plan so that other players can follow.

Therefore, you don’t want to go all-in on pre-flop or flop bets in this case, as you want players to gradually increase their bets until folding doesn’t seem like a valid option to them anymore. Just be careful — you must be very sure that you have the best hand of all.

Early All-ins? Sometimes

You probably should avoid making early all-ins when you have good cards as this could scare the majority of your opponents into folding.

However, if you don’t think you have great hole cards you can bluff your way out of folding and make others fold by making pre-flop or flop all-in bets. This is risky, but professionals do it sometimes, once they scan their opponents and believe there’s room for such action.

Aggressive Opponents Are Easy Targets

All-ins work better against aggressive opponents who like to raise bets all the time. They are way easier to lure into following your all-in bet even when they don’t have very good hands.

Therefore, make sure to recognize when a player plays aggressively and use the all-in bet as an effective weapon for doubling up.

Analyze Previous Hands

If you are deep into the game, and you managed to analyze how your opponents approach the game, then you will have a better understanding of how they would react in certain situations.

Less experienced players may repeat the same action again and again and be unaware of what they’re missing. This is a perfect time to scan how they respond to all-ins and use it to gain an advantage.

Don’t Let Emotions Get in Your Way

Poker is a game of skill, but the element of luck is always present, and the only way to minimize it is not to let emotions get in your way when playing.

This is especially true for all-ins, as many players make snap decisions to call all-ins from their opponents simply because they are frustrated (or sometimes even too excited). This is a big no-no in poker. Even when you snap-call all-ins, this should be a part of your strategy rather than an impulsive decision.

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