Not every hand, even pocket Aces, deserves an all-in play every time
Going all-in when playing Texas Hold’em can be one of the most nerve-racking decisions that can be made.
It can have either an incredibly good, or potentially fatal outcome. That’s why having a strategy behind this decision can make the difference between a big win or watching your entire chip stack disappear. There are several professional poker players who consider going all-in as a truly necessary play, under certain circumstances.
The main risk is going all-in against a player that has a better hand; choosing to put your entire stack on the table can only end up in two ways. Either the opponent fights back or folds, and, in the event of having an opponent with more chips and a better hand, it’s game over. There are, however, a few circumstances in which going all-in can be truly worth it. For instance, if you are sure that no one else at the table is showing signs of having a better hand. Ideally, the best way to go will be to watch the cards being dealt and the players’ reaction if the intention is to go all-in.
Going all-in can also be used as part of an intimidating strategy, as well. The idea is for the other players not to get the cards they need to win. Either against a player who just needs one card to make a winning hand or a weaker player with fewer chips in his stack, going all-in can scare them away. A weaker player will most likely fold nine out of ten times.
On the other hand, an all-in can also be valuable when it is the right time to bluff. If the flop is already on the table and the opponent comes out with a weak bet, then going all-in can come in handy. Although, in some cases, the move can also backfire if the pot is relatively small. Learning how to read the players at the table and the bets they make in any given round will help any player determine whether or not it’s time to shove.