Hero Call in Poker

Hero Call in Poker

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Imagine yourself at the poker table, playing an interesting No Limit Hold’em game at the local casino. The opponent to your right absolutely loves bluffing and you know it. After a flop of ace-king-seven, you and your ‘bluffer’ opponent are the only ones left on the table and he bets. You call with an eight-seven suit fully aware that he is bluffing with no hand. The game proceeds to the river, and it brings a 4 of spades with it. He confidently pushes his stack to the middle and flashes a cheeky grin at you. You feel it in your bones that he is bluffing, even though your hand is a marginal hand. Contemplating whether to call? If you do, then you would have just made a hero call without knowing it!

What is a hero call?

A risky, brave call made with a marginal hand is known as a hero call. An interesting way to qualify a hero call (and a rather accurate one) is that it is the kind of call that one should not be making, but one resorts to it nevertheless because he or she is convinced the other player is bluffing.

Hero calls are usually made on the river in Texas Hold’em games and Omaha games. Such a call occurs when a player makes a raise or large bet or is representing the nuts and the hero calls the bet or raise. This results in the player winning the pot. While some players tend to raise with the nuts, others end up bluffing.

The hero call, in reality, is the result of the hero realizing that an opponent is bluffing. The reason why this call is known as the product of bravery is due to the fact that the ‘hero’ may not have a great hand himself. The risk, if done right will result in an excellent payoff. Making a hero call entirely depends on the table dynamics, your opponent’s play and your ability to read your opponent’s moves correctly.

When must one resort to hero calling?

·         When your opponent is prone to pulling big bluffs, you can do this.

·         The manner in which the hand is played justifies making a hero call.

·         When your opponent is representing very few hands with his bet, you should indulge in this.

·         Routinely calling is not wise as the opponent might take advantage of your river tendency to call off light.·        

It’s a good way to slow down an aggressive player.

What are the benefits of making this move?

·         A big hero call can give the player’s confidence a great boost.

·         One’s opponents will think twice while pulling a bluff against you the next time.

·         It is a good signalling device to ensure that other opponents on the table do not take you lightly.

·         It is a valuable addition to your repertoire.

What are the drawbacks of making such a call?

·         One might become too comfortable in doing it and one might be left spewing money without even realising it.

·         Making the call only to prove one’s superiority.

Do’s and don’ts’ of hero call


·         Make a tough call when the situation warrants it.

·         Consider the size of the bet in relation to the size of the pot and see if the call is worth it.

·         Evaluate your range and your opponent’s range with as much precision as possible.

·         Stick to your gut feeling and proceed with caution.

·         Allow the spots to come to you naturally.


·         Make a hero call just because you dislike an opponent or want to show up your opponent.

·         Make a habit out of calling he bets on the river.

·         Be afraid of making the call if you feel that you have accurately read your opponent’s hand.

·         Make a call because you are afraid that you might be shown as a bluff.


When you make a good decision of making a hero call based on your read of the situation, you are entitled to be happy about it, but do not blow it out of proportion. If the converse were to happen, do not sweat it and let our valuable information. Hero calling is just one of the weapons in your rich poker arsenal, so use it wisely and exercise it with caution. Be it a timing tell online, or a physical tell live, you usually need some kind of reliable evidence to make very big calls in the face of lots of action. Neither your history nor your emotions must drive you toward making this decision.

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About The  

Kanchan Sharma
Kanchan Sharma

Kanchan Sharma started her career as a learning designer at an MNC while pursuing poker as a hobby. However, she soon pivoted to becoming a professional MTT (Multi Table Tournaments) player. She is currently a leading player, who has taken the male dominated poker world by storm. During her stint as a poker player, she has bagged many titles including India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) for Rs. 17,98,906, Winter Celebration Series for Rs. 6,62,500 and has final tabled multiple tournaments. She continually seeks to improve her poker game and work on her mindset to win the WSOP title soon. Her journey from being a recreational player to a poker pro is inspiring for many people out there.

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