Don’t Make a Habit of Cold-Calling
No Limit: Don’t Make a Habit of Cold-Calling
The purpose of what follows is to serve as a warning against the folly of cold-calling but, as is so often the case, it should be pointed out that there are, of course, times when calling a raise is a feasible play.
We’re dealing primarily with short-handed games here because it’s easy to keep drifting into passivity and losing out in the marginal, difficult situations that are best avoided, but cold-calling tends not to be a good idea in full table games, either (at least the ‘upside’ with more players involved is that we should be able to get better odds).
Once again the general ‘rule’ that, out of the three options available to us when facing a raise,
either re-raising or folding tend to be more appropriate responses than merely (cold-) calling. Folding is easy(!), while re-raising has the advantage of winning the occasional pot right there as well as putting us in the driving seat – and putting the opponent under pressure instead of ourselves.
Depending on what strength of hand we’re calling with, the problem with this rather passive strategy can be two-fold in that not only are we obligingly surrendering the initiative to the opposition, but there is a danger of doing so while dominated. And to compound the problem, too many players make this mistake pre-flop which, from a psychological viewpoint, can subsequently lead to feeling they should commit further to the cause if they connect with the flop, in turn leading to potentially serious trouble. It’s bad enough wasting money through careless, thoughtless cold calling and then having to surrender the pot having missed the flop, but could be disastrous with typically problematic hands like KTo and QJo, ‘hitting’ and being dominated through to the river.
Clearly, these bad scenarios are going to far outnumber those times when we hit and win. Keep this in mind when you next find yourself on the verge of automatically cold-calling!
Good luck at the tables!
Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador