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Why should you take all the risk when playing Texas holdem? A useful idea in no limit Texas hold em is to put the other player to the test for their whole stack without risking yours. For example, suppose there are two of you in a pot, the opponent has 2,000 chips, and you have much more.
There are 2,000 chips in the pot. If you bet 700 chips, your opponent can't really call and see what comes on the next card and fold if it's not favorable. The pot will be too big compared to the size of his stack – he's “pot committed.” However, if you bet 700 and he raises all-in, if you have no hand at all then you can still fold. So you're essentially asking, “Are you willing to get your whole stack in?” and you're only paying 700 to ask.