December 2, 2009
Towards the end of the game, in Texas Hold’em poker, a player’s options are scarce. The final decisions are the most crucial ones, as making the wrong ones can cost you a lot. In such a situation, many players prefer going all-in. And why not? If you are confident about the strength of your cards and are playing to win, some rick has to be taken and going all-in is just the type of risk that can get you to the big pots. You will either win or be off the table with an empty pocket.
Although, going all-in seems to be an attractive idea with all the risk and element of luck involved in it, making the right decision about taking this step is crucial. As I mention before, this step will either give you the big advantage or will drive you off the table. The most important factor involved in making the right decisions is observation and anticipation. You have to watch the table and watch it well. You have to try to know the playing styles of all you opponents and have an idea of the type of cards that they may possess. If you are keeping a good eye on the table, you will know when you have to take make this move when you:
Are convinced : If you have been keeping an eye on the moves of your opponents and the cards on the table, you will have an idea of the types of cards in possession of the players on the table. If you are convinced that you, of all players, have the strongest hand, then you should make this move. If you presumption is correct and you do turn out to have the best cards, you will have the big advantage. However, the important thing to remember here is that every player will try his best to avoid giving away his hand and thus it is very much possible that you get the wrong idea about a player or two’s hands. In such a case, you risk can make you sink. So, make the decision only when you are truly convinced and have your reasons to be so.
Have Convinced : You may not have the best cards on the table, but you can surely bluff your way into making others think that you do. If you think that you have done that successfully, then you should go all in. In such a case, you can knock off your opponents. But, like in the first case, here too, you can be wrong about your assumption and so, special care should be taken, before making such a decision
Have your aim on one of the opponents : If you think that one of your opponents is weak and you have a good chance of eliminating him with your aggression, you should make this move. In such a case, if you have timed your move right, you will easily devour his chips. But in case you have got your timing wrong, you may just have to bear the big loss.
Are low on chips : If you don’t have many chips in your stack and you think you don’t have much to loose if you go down, you should go for it. Go all-in, with confidence and if luck favors you, you will get the chips. Also, if you have a very few chips in hand, going all-in becomes the only sensible option, at times.
As is clear from all the points mentioned above, the most important thing about going all in, is making the right decision at the right time. The concept may sound simple, but it will take time and practice to be mastered.