Out of all the tricky situations in poker, one of the toughest is deciding when to call. A check is easy enough, but when you call you actually have to put your chips on it, so it can be harder than other situations because you normally tend to call when you are not certain that you are still going to be in the game after that round. The call is therefore the main place where players are likely to end up losing more than they intended to. When you make a raise, you normally know you stand to lose some cash, but you have decided you have the cards to pull off a win. Not so with a call and you really do want to think about the factors that go into making the right call in poker regardless of the game at hand.
One of the first things you want to consider is whether or not your hand has valuable enough cards to warrant placing money on the hopes that the flop, turn or river is going to pay off for you. In reality, if you are not holding 10’s or higher prior to the flop it is most likely best to go ahead and fold unless you have a One Pair already. The odds of getting great cards on the flop that are going to help cards values 9 and lower are not high at all. Avoid the unneeded risk of waiting to see and go ahead and fold. When you fold, you show discipline and you will nearly always find out that the winning hand in the game would have beaten yours. If you put this into practice you will find that you are in a much better position to win with consistency.
Another point to consider, when it comes to making a call or not, is where you sit at the table. Players who are in late position are going to find that they may have a better advantage if they make a call because they will then get to see how the rest of their table reacts to their call and the community cards if those are dealt after the call. Of course, still consider your hand’s value, but if you feel you have a solid hand and you really do think it’s worth seeing the flop, turn or river, then making a call can be a smart decision in late or middle positions that will give you an idea of the character of the hands at the table right then.
One very smart time to make a call is when you are confident in your hand, you have seen at least the flop and you believe you stand a chance to win – but you don’t feel like raising the pot. This is the ideal time to call and it can get other players to raise the pot for you. This is where you want to be and remember, if you hold a truly good hand and you want the pot to raise, a call can be a slick way to convince others to stay in the game, build the pot and let you win more.
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