Open Shove

word type: poker slang

  1. When a player opens a round of betting, usually preflop, by moving all-in.

When and How

Often times in a SNG or an MTT, the proper move when shortstacked is to simply "open shove" and go all-in, hoping for a call from a worse hand, or for everyone to fold (see fold equity).

Open Shoving Ranges

Knowing how to play a shortstack effectively is one of the most important skills a tournament player can have. Too often when novice players get shortstacked, they get frustrated and move all-in with hands they should be folding. The three most important factors when deciding whether or not to shove are position, stack sizes, and your image.

Position: Generally, the earlier you act and thus, the more people there are left to act behind you, the stronger your hand needs to be in order to profitably move all-in. For example, if you're sitting UTG with 15 BBs and get dealt KJ, you should almost always fold. On the other hand, if you're on the button, you should usually be open shoving KJ with only two players left to act.

Stack Sizes: For the most part, you want to be moving all-in when players with similar stacks to your own are in the blinds, mainly because their calling ranges should be tighter than players with more chips. However, this isn't always the case, so more than anything you should be aware of the tendencies of the players at your table.

Image: Your image is going to define any opponents calling range versus you, so make sure you're aware of that. If you've been crazy and have gone all-in a few times in the last orbit, you should use this and shove only premium hands, expecting to get called lighter. On the other hand, if you've been playing snug, chances are you can shove a little wider as players will be more reluctant to call you with mediocre hands.