Definition of Calling a Bet

by Jesse Knight


Call - A matching of another player’s wager, for the right to continue in the hand.

Generally, when you are facing a bet you will have three options. First, you may call, which means you match the wager you are facing. This gives you the right to continue on in the hand. Your second option is to muck, which means you throw your hand away without matching the wager. When you muck, you lose the right to continue on in the hand, but you are not required to put any more chips into the pot. Your third option is to raise. This means that you increase the established wager. Raising forces your opponents to choose one of the three possible actions (call, muck, raise). If and when the cap (bet limit) is reached, raising is no longer an option. Players involved in a capped betting round or pot are reduced to two options: calling or folding.

A call, by its very nature, is an optional bet. If a player is required to wager it cannot be construed as a call. There are several types of forced bets which players may be required to make, and they are not considered calls. These include blinds, bring-ins, completions, and openers. Players making these forced bets are not calling, but they are establishing the minimum wager that their opponents will face. Players facing these forced bets will be required to call or raise in order to continue on in the hand. So, forced bets themselves are not calls, but they do necessitate a call (or raise) from other players.

There are several different types of calls which differ depending upon their purpose or on the context in which they were placed. Players may draw information based on how a call is made, which can differentiate it from other types of calls. For instance, a “cold call” is a call which is made immediately, without any thought. This can imply a disbelief in the bettors hand strength or can indicate a strong draw. A “smooth call” is a call which is made after the pot has already been raised. A smooth call can indicate that the caller’s hand is strong enough to withstand a raise but may not be strong enough to reraise.

Usage: Smooth Call, Cold Call, Made the Call, Value Call, Reluctant Call, Check Call, Call the Floorman, I Call, Called the Clock, Called

Previous Poker Term: Cage
Next Poker Term: Calling Station


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