Although this might seem like a trivial tip it's something that a lot of players merely ignore. For example: You've got 400 in chips, blinds are 100/200 and you push with As-Ks. Everyone folds down to the small blind who calls with J-9 and the big blind who calls you with 10-7.
The good: You are ahead and you have a 45 percent chance of winning this hand. Also, by winning this hand, you can triple up and get back into the game.
The bad: You have to beat out two opponents who both have live cards and probably will check the hand down to ensure that they will see all five community cards.
The ugly: By only having double the big blind, you mathematically committed the big blind to call, no matter what he has. You just added another opponent to compete for your chips. Getting all your chips in heads up is the goal, unfortunately here, that didn't happen with the three-way pot.
The unlucky: Should you be surprised that a 7 hit the flop? No. Upset? Yes. But surprised, no. The turn and river are blanks and you are out. That's poker.
By not having enough chips to make a real raise before the flop (real meaning about 3-3.5 times the big blind), you're asking for callers, but you might get more than you were hoping for.
When should you start to get worried?:
Many poker players believe that at 10 times the big blind you should start thinking about pushing all in if you're going to play a hand. You're putting the pressure on your opponents to call a big raise and making sure that players with junk hands won't call (unless they're ridiculously loose).
Pushing with 10 times the big blind also will let you steal the blinds a good amount of the times and allow you to build your stack. Once you are under 10 times, this strategy might not work as well.
If you get down to anything under five big blinds, you've only got one move: all in. At this point, you can't call with 6-6 and pray that you hit the flop. Any pocket pair or even ace with a strong kicker should be considered good enough to move in with. Take that risk. You need to. Odds are by the time you pick up a hand, you'll only have a couple chips left.
Another strategy: When you're getting close to 13-15 times the big blind, it's time to start thinking about risking all your chips. Re-raise all in against the tighter players and see if you can take down some small pots to avoid getting super-short stacked.
The most important thing? Don't give up. A chip and a chair is all you need. Just ask 1982 WSOP Champion Jack Straus, who found one last chip underneath the rail and began a historic comeback.