Placing or facing 'all-in' wagers at the poker table is risky business - but why is going all-in particularly dangerous for novice players?


No other card game exemplifies the thrills and spills of casino gambling better than poker, especially when going ‘all-in’ and placing your entire stack into the winning pot. While poker is indeed a popular choice with new and experienced players alike, it’s important for novice players to remember that going all-in is extremely risky. All-in wagers can make or break your game, and you could see your hard-earned stack reduced to nothing at the turn of a card by sacrificing all of your chips in one go.

Newbies – Play Cautiously!

If you’re new to the game and you want to play poker like a pro, it can be tempting to mimic the behavior of more experienced players at the table. This could include entering high-stakes games and going all-in when it comes to placing wagers. However, staying in your lane is important as a newbie to avoid unnecessary losses when playing poker online.

Chance & Skill in Poker

Unlike some other popular casino games such as online slot machines, poker is a game of both chance and skill. While sheer luck is an important factor for success, you’ll usually need a degree of expertise to pocket a big win at the table. Poker is a nuanced game in which players rely on the perceived strength of their own hands. The apparent ‘tells’ exhibited by other players make it through each round – experienced poker players are usually adept at identifying tells and ‘throwing off’ competitors by bluffing. Unfortunately, if you’re new to the game of poker, you’re simply less likely to clear up the chips on the table than a more experienced player. This is the key reason why going ‘all-in’ may not be the best option for playing as a novice.

When to Go All-In

It’s worth noting that there’s a key difference between making an all-in wager and facing an all-in wager presented by a competitor at the table. Generally speaking, it’s better to be the aggressor in poker, and by going ‘all-in,’ you could encourage your opponent to fold. If you’re facing an aggressive poker player who uses all-in wagers, you have two broad options: call or fold. While novice players are advised to avoid making all-in bets unless they’re holding a strong hand – frequent all-ins made by others can be a sign of weakness or clear bluffing, which can then be exploited. How you react to all-in wagers other players poses can depend on several factors, including effective stacks and the actions and behavior demonstrated in previous rounds. Experienced poker players may take advantage of novice players by using all-ins to intimidate or expose weaknesses or bluffs.

Best International Online Casinos for Poker Novices

For you as a novice player, you’ll first need to consider what it is that you’re looking for in a poker site. Factors that you need to consider are the selection of casino bonuses, the flexibility of buy-ins/stake limits, and the type of poker games available. If you are one of those poker novices, then it will be useful to learn how to to select the leading online casino out there. Most poker newbies tend to gravitate towards Texas Hold’Em, whilst games or tables with lower buy-in limits are generally recommended if you’re playing for real money for the first time.

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Once you have a better idea of your requirements and desired specifications, ensure that you go with a reputable and legitimate online casino site that’s fully licensed and trustworthy. Reading up on iGaming sites thoroughly (including checking user feedbacks, game fairness and licensing status) can help you to avoid falling victim to scams or suffering preventable losses at rigged poker tables. This is the last thing you need when you’re learning to play this much-loved online casino staple.

Which Poker Hands Are Worth Going All-In For?

As a poker novice or inexperienced player, you’ll need to develop your understanding of poker hand rankings to react appropriately at the table. There’s no use in going all-in on a useless hand, especially if your opponents are sitting on a potential goldmine.

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While going all-in should usually be avoided for new players, taking the risk could be worth it, depending on the game’s circumstances and your hand. If you’re new to the game, take a look at this quick guide to poker hands, ranked here in descending order:

  • Royal Flush: The most valuable poker hand of all, a royal flush consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and ten from the same suit. If there is any poker hand worth going ‘all-in’ for, this is it!
  • Straight Flush: A straight flush consists of any five cards from the same suit.
  • Four of a Kind: Any four cards that match numerically.
  • Full House: A full house consists of three of a kind plus one pair within the same hand.
  • Flush: A flush consists of any five cards from the same suit.
  • Straight: A straight consists of any five cards running in numerical order.
  • Three of a Kind: This hand consists of any three cards which hold the same value.
  • Two Pair: A two-pair hand consists of two pairs within the same hand.
  • One Pair: A one pair hand consists of any two cards of the same value.
  • High Card: A high card hand relies on the single highest card in hand – going all-in on a high card hand is never recommended unless you’re bluffing or meeting another player’s aggressive wager.

Playing Hands As They’re Dealt

As well as improving your understanding of poker hands and card handling techniques, you’ll likely need to develop a better sense of strategy and odds before committing to all-in wagers as a poker newbie. Always play cautiously and never get out of your depth when you can help it – good luck at the poker table!

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