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 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 eighty-seven suit, fully aware that he is bluffing with no hand. The game proceeds to the river, bringing 4 of the spades with it. He confidently pushes his stack to the middle and grins at you. You feel it in your bones that he is bluffing, even though your hand is marginal—contemplating whether to call? If you do, you would have just made a hero call without knowing it!

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What is a hero call?

A brave, brave call made with a marginal hand is 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 they are convinced the other player is bluffing.

Hero calls are usually made on the river in Texas Hold’em and Omaha games. Such a call occurs when a player makes a raise or large bet or represents 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 bluff.

The hero calls, in reality, are the result of the hero realizing that an opponent is bluffing. This call is known as the product of bravery 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.

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When must one resort to hero calling?

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

· How the hand is played justifies making a hero call.

· When your opponent represents 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 the 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 boost the player’s confidence.

· 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 doing it and be left spewing money without even realizing it.

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

Also Read

Do’s and don’ts’ of hero call


· Make a tough call when the situation warrants it.

· Consider the size of the bet about the size of the pot and see if the call is worth it.

· Evaluate your and your opponent’s ranges 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 of calling the bets on the river.

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

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


When you decide to make 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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