The 15% rule is a pre-flop strategy. It is an easy way to figure out if an ‘all-in play’ with a marginal hand will be profitable or not.
This theory is very important to remember when making decisions on whether or not to shove all in before the flop with weaker hands.
WHEN ITS UNEXPLOITABLE TO GO ALL IN
If the pot is 15% of your stack or more, and you believe your opponent might fold, then you can shove all in profitably with most hands.
This does not mean that you have to shove all in, or that it is the optimal way to play the hand. It simply means that in theory it is a profitable long run play.
“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”
THE MATH BEHIND THE MOVE
1.) You have fold equity. This means that you have enough chips that the player who raised or the players left to act will be forced to fold without a premium hand.
2.) When they do fold, you will increase your stack by enough chips to make up for the times that they call and you lose.
3.) The times that they call and you end up winning the pot and doubling up is the icing on the cake. Keep in mind that in theory you are never worse than a 2-1 underdog before the flop.