Never bluff a calling station in poker

February 01, 2018, Al Spath  

Even the best players can’t convince “calling stations” to fold as they are incapable of understanding or realizing this concept. So the best advice would be to curtail your efforts and take steps to avoid wasting your time and chips. Tactics work better on players who consciously notice pot odds, know whether their starting hands have worth or expected improvement possibilities, concepts that avid calling stations don’t consider.

Let’s be clear about bluffing and semibluffing, and define what we mean. A bluff entails making a sizeable bet that’s designed to make your opponent fold and your hand has no chance of winning the pot if called. To semibluff means you have a hand that has potential of improving and winning if called, however, you are attempting to win the pot on that round of betting.

Should you fail to convince your opponent to fold, you have outs to improve and still win the hand, or if you miss, to bluff and try to win the hand anyway.

When you play against players oblivious to your strategies, they will ruin your attempts to control the pot and manipulate the table into doing what you want. Therefore, making these moves against a calling station will result in frustration for the bettor and hilarious comments at the table or in the chat box.

Players who play any ace and any two suited cards or basically any two cards, usually are lurking at your table, whether online or live, and identifying your common opponents will make your task a bit easier and save you chips.

On the flip side, when you’re up against a calling station, you can extract extra value on those hands when they don’t connect. Overcharge them to stay; remember, you don’t want lots of them in your pot holding one pair. And when you lose (occasionally), show sportsmanship and realize you’ll have chances to get your money back and more if that player stays at your table. Nothing creates more tilt at the tables than losing to call.ing station with two awful cards, so it becomes your priority to not let it happen.

— Al Spath live broadcasts on TwitchTV: (PositivePokerInsiders), and streams from JaoPoker.com (signup using referral code: ppiposse). Contact Al directly at alspath@alspath.com with questions and coaching inquires.