Difference Between Betting And Calling In Poker

Tue, 28 Oct 2008 22:19

Difference Between Betting and Calling in Poker

Another step to get initiative in poker.


Non-veteran poker players usually put too much emphasis on slowplaying, as if they could not possibly get through one game without slowplaying in about 75% of their hands. To trap a competitor is not a bad strategy, but if yours is a borderline set that is worth calling, betting is the more logical move.

Betting could make you win in two ways, while calling would make you win through just one way. Betting could succeed by forcing somebody to concede his or her cards. The second way is by revealing the strongest hands. On the other hand, calling could help you out by just showing the strongest hand. Imagine this scenario: You flopped a bottom pair as you're playing heads up. If you make a bet, you can force your opponent to fold a better set. But if you just check and call all the way, you need to get the strongest hand to claim the pot. One effective poker playing strategy is to do a combination of calling, folding, and betting in the course of the whole game.

Betting and calling in poker: when calling is better

There are times when calling is a better strategy, because you plan to show your hand. One of the best times to call is if you are facing a very aggressive opponent. When you just keep on calling that player's bets, he or she would keep on going, regardless of what he or she is actually holding. If you make a raise, that opponent would just fight if he or she is holding stronger hands. Another illustration is this -- you have a flop top fair and an A4, and you're playing against an aggressive player. It's obvious to you that he or she would keep betting to the river once you check to him or her on to Lion. So, you just do a check and call. If you plan to check raise your opponent, you're giving the impression that you have an ace; the opponent would only fight if he or she knows you're beat. Checking and calling is the best maneuver in this case. Plus, risks are absolutely minimized.

Betting and calling in poker: having the initiative

Having the initiative can help a lot when playing poker. Many pots are lost or won based on a player's initiative. You have the initiative when you're at the driver's seat and make a bet into the pot. Imagine this -- you are at the BB (big blind) with just a single limper, the SB (smaller blind) in the hand, and the flop gives 552. Chances are, the first player to bet would be the winner. Assuming you are a strong player, having the initiative to raise preflop frequently would be sufficient for you to get some pots.

A word of advice though. Being an agressive player is not always a good strategy when playing poker. To succeed in this card game, you still need to show the best hand. However, winning smaller pots can make you a tougher opponent to beat.