Delving into the world of poker will reveal new terms that you will have to become familiar with if you want to master the cards.
Beyond the all-in, backdoor or bad beat, there are many other expressions to designate the moves that we can make or face on the green carpet. One of them is the so-called cold call, a term widely used at the poker tables and that, no doubt, you should know.
Below, we explain the meaning of one of the most striking types of poker moves and we tell you how to put it into practice with total success.
Cold calling: what is it?
There are many people who, upon hearing it for the first time, have wondered what cold calling is. And no wonder. This is an expression that is not usually present in poker manuals, so deciphering its meaning becomes somewhat complex.
With the expression call cold, we can hardly intuit what this type of play consists of. To understand what we are talking about when we talk about cold call, we would have to explain, first of all, what call in poker means.
To call in poker is, basically, to match the bet of the opponent(s). As you know, after the different moments of a poker game – preflop, flop, turn and river – there is a round of betting in which the players decide what to do.
One of the moves they can make, besides checking, folding or raising a bet, is to match the money or chips that have been bet. This is called a call. Well, in relation to this move, there is a type of play known as cold call, which means, in short, to call after there’s been a bet/raise.
The first player to speak, that is, the player under the gun, raises the bet that had previously been made, for example, before the flop. The next player to speak, who occupies an intermediate position, decides to raise again. Then, the third player, instead of continuing to raise, match, that is, makes a call, called, in this case, cold call.
As you can see, in order to talk about a cold call, there must be an initial bet and then a player who increases that bet, known as a raise. If a third player, who has not yet invested money in the pot, calls that raise, he is making what is known as a cold call.
Making a cold call, in itself, is neither a good nor a bad action. Although, as in any other type of play that takes place in poker, you have to know how to choose the right moment to get the most out of it.
Is it advisable to make cold call?
As we have already mentioned, cold calling has its optimal moments in a poker game. In fact, those players who practice this move assiduously and, mostly, without being justified, are highly criticized by the rest of the players.
The reason? Abusing cold calls is considered a sign of weakness and, sometimes, reveals a deep ignorance of the game. In fact, it could even hinder the dynamics and fluidity of the game, so you should consider very well when to make a cold call.
At the other extreme, finding the right moment to make a cold call, or rather, a justified reason, turns this move into a powerful weapon in your poker strategy. If you are wondering when and why to make a cold call, read on, this is of interest to you.
Cold call with strong hands
Generally, no opponent would expect you to make a cold call if you have a strong hand. The usual thing to do would be to continue with the raise. Thus, the cold call in this case becomes a good play.
In this case, it is recommended to expect the next player to raise so that the rest of the players can consider what to do. In case they decide to re-raise or even go all-in, it will be good news, since your hand is very strong.
Cold call in the last positions
Your position at the table has to be taken into account throughout the game, but especially when you carry out strategies such as cold calling.
If, again, you have a strong hand and, in addition, you are in the last positions, making a cold call could be a smart move, which would lead the other players to think that they have a good enough hand – even stronger than yours, since you have not reraised – to increase the bet or go all-in, increasing the pot.
Cold call with Big Slick
This is another expression to write down in your poker glossary. The combination of an Ace-King as a starting hand in Texas Hold’em is known as a Big Slick.
If you’re an experienced poker player, you’re probably aware of the controversy surrounding whether or not to cold call with this pair of hands. While some consider that, having an Ace and King hand, you should play aggressively and go for a raise, others are in favor of combining cold calls and raises with this hand.
The reason? If you always choose to raise when you have Big Slick, your opponents will eventually figure it out and your hole cards will no longer be a mystery. However, if on certain occasions you opt for cold calls, it will be difficult for them to decipher you and see your play.
It goes without saying that, with a Big Slick, you should raise more times than call. However, it is smarter to combine both strategies, especially if you are facing observant and experienced poker opponents at your table.