A calling station is a poker player who consistently makes bad bets and folds with strong hands.
How can you tell they are a calling station? How should you play against them?
We’ll discuss all this in this article.
What is a Calling Station?
A calling station is a poker player who consistently makes bets that are too small and folds to big bets.
The fastest way of recognizing a player like that is to see how they bet on the flop.
How much of their chips are in front? Are they betting big or small?
These players make money by calling people’s bets and catching good hands, like an Ace or a King at one point in time during play.
A calling station is a strategy that is not very common and it can be difficult to play against.
The logic behind the calling station strategy is that they will wait until a good hand is dealt and then attempt to take all the money from the table.
Why Are They Called That?
Calling stations are called that because they are constantly calling.
They don’t make big bets or raise, but instead choose to fold with strong hands and call the other players who bet bigger against them.
Typically a calling station is a weak player, someone who doesn’t know how to play poker very well.
However, it can be effective against players who are too aggressive or think they always have the winning hand.
How Do You Play Against Them?
You need to start betting aggressively on all streets if you have a good hand when it is your turn.
Try to get them out of the game quickly, by bet-calling and raising. How much you should raise depends on how many chips they have in front of them at that moment.
If they have a lot more than you then just call their bets or fold if it is too expensive.
If you can’t afford to bet aggressively, try to get them to fold if you have a really strong hand. How can we do that?
There are some good hands that players will call with but can’t beat.
These are typically hands that have a lot of potential like an Ace or King but aren’t worth much right now (J,Q, or even lower).
You can bet small with these hands to see if they call. If the player calls your bets then you will know that you have a calling station at the table.
This specific strategy will not work as well against players who are more experienced, so it is important to always be mindful of how much they are betting and what their tendencies are.
Examples Of Good Hands To Bluff With And Bad Hands To Bluff With
You want to bluff with hands that aren’t as strong as the player you are playing against at the time. How do you know what cards they have?
You can use tells or read them by paying attention to their body language and betting patterns.
As long as your hand is better than an Ace, don’t bluff with a King, Queen, or Jack.
Another example of a good hand to bluff with would be an Ace if the player has already folded once or twice on that street.
The likely outcome is that they will fold and you can take the pot.
A bad hand to bluff with is a pair like two-sevens because it has little potential to win, so they are less likely to be called.
Tips For Playing Against Them
Don’t sit in the same position for very long because these players will look at you and get used to what your betting pattern is.
If they know you are only calling bets on the third street, then when it gets to the fourth street they will know they have a good chance of catching you with an Ace or a King.
How do we avoid that? Change seats!
If you’re forced to stay in the same seat, you can still change up your betting pattern. How?
Bet larger on some streets and smaller on others to throw them off.
If you are in the same seat, when it gets to the fifth street try betting small with a strong hand instead of just calling their bet.
This will make it seem like you have a weak hand and they may fold.
Now, if the calling station does call your small bet on the fifth street, you know they have a weaker hand than an Ace.
How do we take advantage of this? Bet larger on the next round and try to get them all-in.
When Should You Call Their Bets, When Should You Fold, And When Should You Go All-In
You should call bets if their bet size is small and never call big bets from these players because they don’t have it.
How much you should bet depends on how strong your hand is compared to theirs.
You can go all-in if you feel like they are bluffing or if their bets get too big for the game and there isn’t enough money left in front of them to call with any more chips.
How do you know what the optimal call, raise, or fold is for any given street?
You have to pay attention and use your judgment. How can you use your judgment to find out what the optimal call, raise, or fold is?
Look at how much they bet. How many chips they have left. How many chips your opponent has in front of them, especially when it’s time to go all-in.
Be mindful of your own stack size and what the optimal call, raise, or fold is for any given street.
To summarize: be mindful of how much they bet, how many chips your opponent has in front of them, and the possible hands that each player may have.
Calling stations are an easy target for bluffers.
They call down many hands and fold to any raises.
When you get them all-in on the river with a good hand, they will rarely fold their bad one (or worse).
Play against these players like you would play against someone who is very tight; don’t be afraid of calling bets when you’re in position or raising pot odds if they check to you preflop.
Be aware that there’s no need for fancy plays when playing against these types of opponents – just make sure your cards match up well enough so that it doesn’t hurt too much if he calls down!