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Dave Saltonstall
“All-in” is a state of mind. The popular phrase is used in poker games, most prominently in Texas Hold ‘Em, to signify that a player is betting all of their remaining chips. The ability to bet all your chips is a feature of what is called “no limit” betting, where any player at any time can bet all of their chips at once. Other “limit” games only allow the player to bet a certain, pre-defined limit of their chips at once, to prolong the game a little longer. Betting all of your chips at one time involves more than just betting all of your chips at once.

The all-in bet is a tremendous psychological move that can be played at any point during the game. There are many reasons why the all-in bet will be used during the game, ranging from calling out a bluff from another player to bluffing yourself. This bet can also be used when you have a semi-strong hand and you want to discourage other players from continuing to bet, in the off-chance that they will catch a card to defeat you.

The explosion of poker has also translated into a heavier use of this phrase across the board. “All-in” is often used in business context, sports, and general everyday life. In a business climate, one might call a strong business deal a “full house that the company should go all-in with”, in other words to pursue fully. Back in the poker realm, the all-in bet will separate the champions from the challengers at the poker table more often than not. As with the rest of the game, there is a heavy amount of luck that determines the outcome of hands with all-in status. More often than not, however, players who play the all-in hand at the best times will statistically win out. Another aspect of the all-in bet is how it can be incredibly exhilarating and frustrating at the same time, hence the “state of mind.” Consider the example of a player with a high pair, let’s call them Kings, going on an all-in bet against a player with a pair of 10s before the flop comes out. The player with the Kings has played his/her hand well and is in a strong position to win.

The frustrating part comes into play when that third ten shows up on the board to beat the stronger hand. Likewise, the exhilarating part proves out for the player who catches that 3rd 10 to win. This state of mind effect is multiplied significantly when the player catches a winning card on “the river”, or the last card of the board. Playing the game of poker requires patience, intelligence, luck, discipline and psychology. The player who combines all of these facets the best will likely make the best all-in bets, and consistently be in the state of mind to win many games for their career.
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Play poker with betfred.com/poker
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