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Original Article from Adam Goulding at Poker Heaven.

The term “racking off” may not be overly familiar to most, but the action should ring a bell with everyone. In poker, “racking off” is the name given to the act of unnecessarily discarding your final few dollars, a crime that so many of us are guilty of.

Although it occurs often in tournaments, I frequently witness the faux-pas on the cash tables. A player has just taken a hit, is down to his shrapnel, and, in a fit of frustration, throws it all-in on the very next hand.

So, why does he do this? – Boredom? Anger? To gamble? Wants to leave the table? Loses concept of the value of his remaining chips? The possibilities are endless, but they always lead to one word “Tilt. Tilt comes in many forms, and “racking off” is certainly one of them. True, it may only be a few dollars, but, over time, these will start to add up.

So, next time you find yourself short stacked, consider either refilling or just leaving the table. Either way, do whatever it takes to stop yourself from unjustifiably wasting those extra pennies.

Similarly, if your opponent is the low one, say $15 on a $1/2 table, then be sure to resist the temptation to call his all-ins with mediocre hands such as K-Q, A-6 suited, 3-3, etc. He may only have $15, but this isn’t a tournament, you don’t need to eliminate anyone.

Too often I see this $15 find action from hands that would never call if it weren’t an all-in. My eyes widen when cards are flipped and the caller has a pretty, but ultimately poor hand such as T-9 suited. Perhaps call with this hand against a big stack, but versus an all-in, it’s still just ten high, regardless of how aesthetically pleasing it looks.

So the message is simple

DON’T RACK OFF

If you’re low and not playing well, leave the table. If you’re low, but playing well, take a refill. Don’t instantly call others who appear to be racking off. Think about how much the all-in will cost you, consider the chances that you’re ahead, and make a logical decision based on those observations.

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