Dealing with Calling Stations while Playing Online Poker

online poker

A calling station at the online poker table is a player who doesn’t take the initiative in the hand, often simply just calling bets of other players. As you can imagine, this is a terrible way of playing poker. Aggressive, solid play is considered the best style to employ the majority of the time on the felt. Calling stations lack the aggression to be successful, practically ensuring that the hand will progress to the showdown stage. Their tendency to avoid folding can be both profitable and annoying to you as they often lack the good sense of mucking their cards when way behind. However, they will sometimes catch their draws and win the hand, which is the frustrating part of dealing with calling stations. 

There are certain ways to combat such play and to maximize your effectiveness against those calling stations who seem to have deleted “fold” from their vocabulary and playing style. Your goal will often be to make them pay for the opportunity to outdraw you. When involved in a heads-up online poker India situation with a calling station where you are sure your hand is best but can be beaten depending on either the turn or river, the size of your bet should be large enough to give your opponent incorrect pot odds. He will invariably call you anyway as calling stations are known to do. But in so doing, he is making a statistical mistake.  

As long as you can achieve this mathematical consistency. Or edge of giving him incorrect pot odds to continue playing the hand, over the long run. You will be profitable and successful despite the occasions that he will get lucky and outdraw you. 

Players who take control of the game 

When confronted with calling stations, you will generally be the player who takes control of the hand, dictating the action and bet sizes. Calling stations will leave the wagering up to you, content to call bets and see how things may pan out without giving any thought to pot odds and the probability of winning. A calling station generally knows he has some sort of hand and will want to see if what he is holding is better than what you may be holding.  

This is a double-edged sword to you because your value bets while ahead in the hand can pay off quite handsomely versus a player who continues throwing money into the pot right along with your bet. But if he does happen to hit an out to win the hand when logic. The incorrect pot odds would have forced a better player to muck his cards long ago. All your online poker real money betting while having the best of it will go for naught. But remember that you actually want a calling station at your table who plays that badly because you will profit nicely over time. 

Keep in mind that you should avoid bluff attempts against calling stations. They tend to call you down with any sort of pair–even low pair. That is fabulous in the majority of hands in which you will be playing them, as chances are good that if you are in the hand that you can beat a low pair. However, if you cannot beat it and try bluffing, your bankroll will suffer as a result. Bluffs will typically not work due to the tendency of calling stations to play the hand through. You can’t bluff a player who won’t fold. 

Spotting the calling station 

After sitting down at the best online poker table and playing a few hands, it is usually quite simple to spot a calling station. They tend to be involved in too many hands and will play them through to showdown often without acting first and waiting for other players to bet and set the pace of the hand. Go ahead and take control if you have the hand to do so. If not, checking and getting a free card is the advisable play when heads-up versus a calling station because a bet on your part will not likely scare him away. Your play should be aggressive with good sized bets only if you have the best hand. 

Don’t allow a calling station’s inability to fold frustrate you. Of course it’s annoying when they continue to call your bets and eventually catch a card to pull off a bad beat. But the majority of the time, you will be scooping pots after a calling station has happily donated money into the pot incorrectly playing a draw or some other bad hand that he can’t seem to muck. So take the occasional bad beat in stride and realize that over the course of time you will profit nicely from players who call and call without proper pot odds or any strategic method of attack in their arsenal. You want calling stations at your table. Remember to make value bets when ahead in the hand and don’t bluff or bet without a good hand. That is the correct way to deal with calling stations. 

Happy playing!