When poker was played exclusively in bricks and mortar poker rooms, the act of going all in was usually perceived as something reserved for the desperate. A last ditch attempt to increase their stack so that they could stay in the running in a poker tournament.
Since online poker became more popular, going all in has become a common part of the poker player’s arsenal. Online poker rooms are a good training ground for aggressive players, and going all in has become an accepted tactical decision.
It is common to see players go all in at the start of a tournament. Those early all-in bets are a tactical move. The player hopes to either double up their chips, or steal the blinds in a cheap win.
In most cases, those all in moves are a bluff, but if they are made sensibly – when the amount of aggression at the table has been carefully judged, then they will rarely be called. Even if the other players at the table are fairly confident that the all in move was a bluff, they are unlikely to bother taking the risk of being sent home early from the tournament to find out.
If the reason for the choice to go all in is an attempt to double up, then the call will be made from an early position, with fairly strong hole cards. Usually, a bet and a raise will be made first to weed out the weaker hands and to project strength. Then, after the flop, the all-in call will be made – assuming that the flop has provided the desired cards, of course. It’s likely that this betting pattern will result in some chasers. Hopefully, the turn and the river will produce the desired cards.
Going all in like this is a risk. The hand may be seen all the way to the river, and you can’t guarantee that one of the chasers won’t get lucky. You are, however, putting yourself in a fairly good position. The rest at this point is up to luck.