Angling in Poker

Angling in Poker

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Oh! No not the method of fishing, here we are talking about the term angling as used in the poker world. Now, if you are wondering about what angling means in poker, we have answered that bit for you. In this post, we have detailed the basic meaning of the term angling in poker along with an example and answered the pivotal question does angling in poker equate to cheating?

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What is angling in poker?

In poker, angling is regarded as a form of unethical play that is generally undertaken to gain an advantage over another player. Precisely speaking, when a player intentionally acts out of turn during a game of poker in a bid to influence how other players before him will place their bets, he is said to be angling in poker.

Poker angling example

If you still have some doubt regarding what angling in poker means, then keep reading because in this section we have explained the meaning of poker angling better with the help of a short example:

Let’s assume you are playing a game of Texas Hold'em and there are only 4 players left after the flop round. The first player, Mike, puts out a bet of $20. Herein, you decide to indulge in angling in poker and as a result act out of turn and put in a raise worth $60. You were obviously not the next player to act in the game but still acted out of turn. Thereafter, the dealer draws your attention to the act and you immediately withdraw the bet.

Now, take a look at the example and how do you think you have potentially influenced the game plan for the two players who were supposed to act before you but are yet to make a move? The second and the third player who are yet to act, now believe you are holding a monster hand. Additionally, since you have already indicated you are going to place a massive $60 bet, both the players are likely going to fold their hands even if they were dealt fairly strong holdings.

But, even if both the players folded, how is it going to benefit your poker hand? Well, the benefit comes from the fact that earlier you were set to compete against 3 opponents. Herein if we assume you were dealt 5 of spades and 5 of clubs for starting cards while all the other 3 players held big hands like Aces-Jack, Aces-Queen, King-Queen. Then your chances of winning the hand were less than 50%, somewhere around let’s say, 35%. By angling in poker, you effectively pushed two other opponents out of the hand now you are only up against one player. So, if you are holding pocket 5’s for starting hands and your opponent is holding another big hand like Queen-King, your chances of winning now come down to around 50-55%. So, by angling you have increased your chances of winning a poker hand by close to 15-20%.

Is angling in poker equal to cheating?

Technically speaking, in poker, angling cannot be considered cheating, provided it does not break any standard poker rules. However, in poker, angling is generally frowned upon and players who regularly indulge in it tend to have a bad reputation in the poker community. So much so, that if you are known to be angling in poker then other players might refuse to play with you in the future.

It is imperative for you to remember here that in poker, angling is not always intentional. Sometimes, players do make mistakes and unintentionally bet out of turn. This does not count as angling, after all we are all humans and ‘to human is to err’.

But, if during a game of poker, you notice a player acting out of turn over and over again, then you can be rest assured that he is indulging in what is popularly known as poker angling.

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