I guess I’ve been playing too much 6-max to remember that at some full tables with weaker players, you can find a lot of “action” after your initial raise pre-flop. In some games it’s not unusual to find more than one or two callers…if there are some players with large stacks who want to “see the flop” and a few maniacs and a couple of players holding small to medium pairs…yeah, this can happen. If you’re in a situation like this with five callers, and the flop comes out and everyone folds to you and you have a weak to nothing hand, ask yourself – what are you trying to accomplish here with a bet?
The old “seeking information” canard just doesn’t cut it for me. If there’s a substantial amount in the pot, six players (five of them and you) and NO ONE has fired a bet yet, it’s pretty obvious that someone is waiting for a contribution from you prior to a raise (and maybe a re-raise if there is more than one player who likes whatever flopped). Save your money for a better hand and a better chance.
As for making an all-in bluff…see “save your money” above. Chances are you’re going to get called by at least one other player (they got this far, didn’t they?) and if it’s one of the big stacks, you could go from “aggressive” to “spectator” in a blink of an eye.
If you find that your raises are constantly being called by half the table, you may consider (a) limping, not raising, and/or (b) making your raises bigger to derail the merely curious. One of the great things about having a big stack is being on the other end of this – if entry to seeing a flop is kept small, you can call small raises to see flops with a variety of holdings, and if you get lucky, then stomp. If you’ve been the stompee too often, then charge a larger price of admission (and change your raising requirements to tighten up so that the large stack gets lucky less often).
Remember, your bets are investments, and you need to make wise investments. Adding money to a pot with a slim chance of winning it is not smart.
More on this subject later in the week…