When you sit down in a game of poker with inexperienced players, you may find that you need to make some adjustments to your game. Many inexperienced players do not have a real playing strategy other than to just play until the very end. And these people are called calling stations because they always call, what seems to be, every single bet.
There is a rule in poker that you can’t bluff a calling station because no matter what you do, they will never fold. Believe it or not, this isn’t always the case, but it almost takes an act of God to convince a calling station to fold.
Types of Calling Stations
There are three types of calling stations and each one requires their own strategy:
- The first type are the “I might make my hand” calling stations and they only seem to look at the potential hand that they might make and do not consider anything as sophisticated as pot odds. They will play through to the river regardless of how desperate their draw is, calling all of the way. However they will fold on the River if they wind up with absolutely nothing.
- The second type are the “I don’t believe you” calling stations, many times called the “Sherriff” They may know a little more about the game and value of a good hand. These players however are more concerned about the possibility that they are being bluffed than a normal person should be and will still call with most any kind of a hand. With this kind of a player it is almost a personal affront to them to be bluffed.
- Then there is the “maniac” that will bet with a pair of twos and call with an Ace high. These calling stations are called maniacs because that is exactly what they are. They do not consider the mathematics of the game of poker and focus more on the kind of big bluffing or great calling plays that you see on televised poker.
Bluffing the “I might make my hand” Calling Station
The “I might make my hand” calling stations are the easiest of the three to bluff because half the time they don’t have anything at all but you may find that it is more profitable to just let them continue to draw against the logic of the odds. On the River you might find that Value Betting is a superior move to bluffing against this kind of a player.
Bluffing the “I don’t believe you” Calling Station
This type of player is almost impossible to bluff and Value Betting is always indicated when you have a hand because you are most likely going to get called. The only time that a bluff will work against this type of player is if he has called you down and lost a few times in the last couple of rounds and he is losing. If this type of player is winning, and after all anything can happen in poker, then there is really no point in trying to bluff him.
Bluffing the “Maniac”
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a person that was crazy? I don’t mean a person that you just call crazy, I mean institutionally crazy. It is not possible. They just are not wired to think like a normal person. The Maniac calling station may not be institutionally crazy but give them two cards and some chips and they lose touch with reality. This kind of player is more likely to raise you all in than to fold to your bet. In fact they are so unpredictable that your best bet is to always play this kind of player straight up.
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