All in? Again?

Don’t know if it’ll do any good, but here are my thoughts on shoving your chips in.

First, ‘all in’ is a tool; one of a bunch in your toybox.

As a play strategy, you probably will be disappointed in your results. All in (and its best friend, the bingo) won’t help you progress beyond the short term. Of course, if you don’t have the desire to play well, this stuff doesn’t matter. There are folks at YOUR table that looooove chip donors.

“When do I use it, then?”

Good question; here’re my thoughts. I hope others will weigh in with theirs.

  1. When you are absolutely, positively, beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt certain you have the nuts. (best hand in the current round) If you’re sure you’ll win, get paid for it. (And that is an absolute rarity pre-flop. It might work for a hand or three, but someone’ll gobble your chips if you make it a habit.)

  2. When you’ve got a good hand but cards coming later may screw that up. The odds of even pocket Aces taking the hand are very different when you’re facing 1 or 2 instead of 7 or 8 other hands. Shoving your chips can reduce the number of competitors you’ll face. But, if you shove on a 3 9o, you’re still gonna lose. And, you’re committed. There’s no “ooops, I goofed” button.

  3. Whe you recognize a player that bets strong hands weakly. Watch who wins with what. Have seen LOTS of folks bet the nut flush on the river with 10 or 20 chips; that’s not a winning strategy, either. Don’t be that guy. For what it’s worth, a half- or pot bet works well. And if you screw it up, you’ve got chips for the next hand.

  4. In late position (closest to the right of the dealer on the table) If you watch closely, the best players you’ll face make most of their money @ the later positions. This is where what you’ve been doing all along can pay off. Instead of shoving pre-flop with a marginal hand hoping the rest o’the table folds, take that same marginal hand and shove your chips on the TURN, you’ll almost certainly be facing fewer hands that could hurt you and you could end up in better shape, but a bad hand is always gonna be a bad hand. Note: One of the surest indicators of wishful thinking, and a blazing sign that says “I don’t have a clue what I’m doing” is to make a habit of shoving on the RIVER. Good players will eat your lunch.

  5. When you’ve found a chip donor. These folks are also called ‘calling stations.’ They’ll call anything - with anything. How many times have you seen someone get all the way to the river and turn up a 2 7o? Those are donors. Take advantage of’em.

I’m no pro, I am absolutely sure that better players on this site have more (and/or better) ideas for goin’ all in. But paying attention to your opponents and what they play, when, with how much will teach you to be a better player.

Or, you could keep shovin’ and let folks who know better laugh at ya.

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There is one scenario you missed above.

When you are on an extreme short stack. Especially late in a tourney, when seated with larger stacks. In this scenario a short stack only has two “tools” left to them to try and survive. All-in or Fold.

I do agree with your points and examples above strongly.


Good stuff, Boom Doggie. Yep, I missed that one (as many times as I play short-stacked, you’d think I would have remembered that!)

Any others?

Not any good one’s at the moment… :slight_smile:

Pre-flop - sometimes a squeeze play is in order when there is a lot of “dead money” in the middle and you are in late position. Not my favorite play but if you have a table of weak limpers, grab the money in the middle when you can.

Of course there seems to be the opinion that any 2 suited cards are worthy of being shoved, along with sloppy A’s, cards that add up to 14 or more and SPG’s classic line of any face card and a Magic The Gathering rare foil card (or something like that).

I do see the opposite “problem” as well though. Mr. Doggie addressed this in terms of short-stack play but I’ll expand on the thought a bit. Many people allow themselves to be reduced to a few BB’s and lose all fold equity. Once you are down below a certain number of BB’s, your only real choices are fold or shove. You have lost the ability to speculate or to let a hand develop. Limping in a pot (other than checking from the BB) when you have only a few BB’s left is just weak and ineffective. I suggest everyone become at least a little familiar with shoving ranges. There are tons of charts you can look up for reference and modify to your own purposes.

Just my 2-cents worth here. No refunds :slight_smile:

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More good stuff from folks! Thanks for chippin’ in. When you’ve got the time, could you expand a bit on the concept of ‘fold-equity?’ I’m a little familiar with it, but it never hurts to add to the knowledge pool and there are likely others completely unfamiliar with it. Thanks, Warlock!

You can win a pot by either having the best hand at showdown or by forcing your opponents to fold to you. The probability of forcing an opponent to fold a weak/weakfish hand increases in relation to how much of a dent calling your bet will put in his stack if he’s wrong. At a certain point, you have so few chips that even an all-in bet has a zero % probability of forcing a fold from the weakest hand, therefore you no longer have fold-equity, only pot-equity. Since the profitability of any bet is made up of both pot equity and fold-equity, reducing the latter to zero means all bets are now less profitable.

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Just what the doctor ordered, Warlock. Thanks, mucho - the link is the icing on the cake.

Once a month someone starts the same damn topic…
If you don’t want to play No-Limit, then don’t play No-Limit !!! but don’t complain about All-Ins

lol Not whining, Sarah…just trying to shine a little light on things. It’s a failed strategy and opening someone’s eyes to that can only be a good thing.

Additionally, there have been comments here that enlightened me and I count that as a goody, too.

Lighten up. Life’s short, go all in.



I am trying to beat these people and the worse they play the better I like it…

lol There is that, yeah.

my thought … for ALL PLAYERS THAT DESIRE more aggressive betting like **PRE-FLOP ALL IN or AGGRESSIVE PLAYING STYLES in general ** —why not dedicate some tables in “Ring” as well as in “MTT” to this style of play—call them aggressive betting tables and tournaments–.If this suggestion has not yet been shot down I would think the idea would ease the frustrations being expressed by several players that might prefer a more conservative and strategical style of play!

  • just sayin *
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[quote=“Startled, post:10, topic:5962”]
It’s a failed strategy
[/quote]I beg to differ with ya… I always rebuy multiple times in the 500 B&R, just to make sure I’m midpack in chips, most of the time, by 1st break… it is a winning strategy since profit isn’t the goal… getting good Tourny points is the goal… and it works very well.

And all those tourney points get you what ??? I’ll bet dollars to donuts you would never play like that with your real money but as long as you get your daily 2500 free chip fix you’re good to go. ROFLMFAO. JS,Sassy.

I agree with Pairediceo, the all in pre flop
EVERYTIME is not a game. Its just who lucks out and gets the best cards. If this was a site where you actually pay to play, this strategy would not happen. I was just on a table with the guy going in everytime on a pre flop. He kept buying in multiple times, he was loosing his… The game was not fun, no strategy involved.

why do so many people keep calling these all in bets…i see 6 to 8 people still in at the river with complete crap…its up to the rest of the players to take the bingo out the game…

I asked the pizza guy how many slices they have per pizza, and he said, “Eight.”

I wasn’t that hungry, so I asked him to cut mine into 6 slices.

He said, “What’s the difference, you’re going to eat it all anyway.”

In tournaments, somebody ends up with the whole pie. Who cares how many slices it’s cut into?

I read this forum often and this subject always catches my attention bingo players,donks etc…they are here because this is a free site.Its not cash poker its FREE poker. Im not saying this to be a jerk.right now im ranked 70 on this site so I do pretty good here but if I played real cash games I would go to the poor house real quick!

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As frustrating as it gets, all you can do is wait them out to take them out.

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