The Art and Power of the “All-In” Bet
An all-in bet is a move that can be used when playing any type of poker game. This move applies the maximum amount of pressure on an opponent in any situation that can come up when playing poker, whether it be at an online betting site or in a live poker game. The reason it is such a powerful play is because you are putting your opponent to a decision for all of his chips.
One way to use this play effectively is late in tournaments when the blinds are big and worth taking down. This play in tournament poker will most likely come around the time the money bubble is fast approaching or any time after the money bubble has burst. It happens most often at this period of time because pots are bigger before the flop and it is worth it to win these pots.
A situation that often comes up is when the table folds around to the player seated in the cutoff position or the player on the button and that person decides to make a raise before the flop. Almost every time aggressive players will put in a raise with nearly any two cards to attempt to steal the pot before the flop. If you are seated in the small or big blind and have twenty big blinds or less, this is a great spot to shove in and force a fold. This play has a ton of power behind it and is often used in tournament poker.
Even if you are sitting with just an ace high or a hand like KJ or KQ, you will have the better of the hands facing a button raise a great majority of the time. Even if your opponent does happen to call (which is a rarity) you will have a decent enough hand where you could be in a race situation.
If you have been playing solid and tight throughout the tournament, when blinds get big you can use this play as a way to maintain a stack as well as slow down aggressive players from running you over. If you simply throw away hands like ace high against a button raise, you will slowly have very few chips and decrease your chance of making a deep run in the tournament.
Another spot where you can use the all-in shove is when a player makes a raise before the flop and a player behind them calls. In this spot you can be at any position of the table, but most likely you will be in the blinds or seated in late position on the button. You will be facing a late position raise and a late position call. You ideally want this to be against two aggressive players who have been butting heads throughout the tournament.
These players will instantly muck most of the time if you have been playing passive. This spot is good because you now have a player calling a raise with a marginal hand which equates to dead money in the pot. If you force the original raiser to lay down their hand you will win the pot a great deal of the time. It is a squeeze play, it puts the decision on your opponent as opposed to you. It has so much power in tournament poker and is a great way to use the all-in play.