Knowing when to take a Chance

Everyone knows that the ideal situation to push most of your chips into the pot would be having the nuts against an opponent who has only a second rate hand.  However, there are often times where this perfect scenario just isn’t possible and you are the one with a decent hand but not the best.  And, in tournament situations especially, sometimes you just have to take a chance when holding cards like A-Q, K-Q or middle pairs.

But when is the best possible time to make such a move?  In my opinion, it’s when you feel your stack is slipping and a move needs to be made before winding up short-stacked.  And the best way to do this is by trying to isolate someone who has a shorter stack than you.

To go about this, I try to look for a short-stacked person who is the first one to limp into a pot.  If other limpers follow, then it’s a great opportunity to jump into the pot with a raise hoping the original and short-stacked limper calls it. 

Now obviously, this type of move needs to be done when one is preferably in later position but it can also be pulled off from middle position.  There are some dangers to trying this from middle position such as one getting burned if someone behind them has a great pocket pair and raises the raise thus knocking out the original short-stacked player.

But one thing is for sure and this is that sitting by idly while your stack dwindles isn’t exactly a great option either.  And if the stack gets low enough, taking a chance won’t pay off nearly as much as it could’ve before.  In fact, you might be the one having to go all-in when the stack is too low.  And that always leaves a good chance of busting out.


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