If you aren’t familiar with the all-in in poker online, it is just like it sounds, it’s when you push all of your chips into the pot. It can be used as a bluff, a way to bully players, or a way to climb your way back to the top.
Going all-in can cause you to quickly double up or a quick exit from the tournament or cash game. Unless you have the nuts (the best hand), putting all your chips into the pot is always a risky decision. If you want to become the best online poker player, you have to learn when and when not to go all-in.
Going all-in pre-flop
Going all-in pre-flop is the riskiest time to go all-in. It is also the most overused play in poker games online, especially with new players who aren’t good enough with their skills and would rather leave things up to chance.
On the other hand, going all-in pre-flop can be your best chance to double up. It can be a smart move if you have a short chip stack and are in a late position of betting. You are one of the last players to act. It is a great way to pick up blinds as well.
If you are short on online poker real money chips and going to be in the big blind soon, you may need to make a move by going all-in before it reaches your position. This might cause you to go all-in with a hand that you don’t like, but it’s what you may have to do.
The reason being is that it’s important for you to be able to make a big enough raise to force the other players to fold. Otherwise, you’ll risk the chance of not having enough chips to raise and push players off lesser hands.
The right hand
If you are short on chips, what is a good hand to go all-in with? Well, this depends on a lot of factors, such as the number of players at the table, the level of the blinds versus the amount of chips you have, and the type of players you are playing with (tight or aggressive).
There will also be times when you aren’t short-stacked and you’ll want to go all-in before the flop. For example, let’s say you are dealt two Aces. If you raise and then get re-raised, you can go all-in because no matter what the other player has, they’ll be forced to catch cards to beat you. When you have a lesser hand than two Aces, this move becomes a lot riskier and might not be worth doing.
If you have a big chip stack, you can bully the shorter stacks around by going all-in. The best time to do is when a short stack just calls the big blind. You know that player wants to see a free flop, and pushing all of your chips in the pot is intimidating and can force a fold.
Going all-in after the flop
Another common move is going all-in on the flop with the hopes of catching a flush. If you have four to a flush, you can force players out of the hand with your all-in. Even if they have top pair and know you are on a draw, you are forcing them into a difficult decision. Do you think they really want to go all-in and hope you don’t catch your card? Probably not.
It is even more common to go all-in with a flush and a straight draw. At this point, you have seventeen outs (cards you can catch to hit your flush or straight).
Going all-in on the turn (4th Street)
Going all-in on the turn may show that a player has a good hand and wants to force any drawing hands into the muck (discard pile).
On the other hand, it can still mean that an opponent is on a draw. In this case, you have to gauge what you know about the player, if anything at all. Is this player the type that would aggressively put all of their chips in the pot with the hopes of making their hand on the final card, or do they already have a good hand?
If you think your opponent is still on a draw and you have the best hand, you should make a big bet to force them into a difficult decision. If there is the possibility to make a flush, straight or trips on the turn, and your opponent has only checked/called this hand, you may want to check your option.
Going all-in on the river (5th Street)
When you have the nuts or very near the nuts and your opponent has called you throughout the hand, going all-in is rarely a bad move. Even if you overbet the pot in doing so, you still may get a call. Going all-in on the river is also a great move if you think your opponent has a hand that they simply cannot fold.