When to Call Pre-Flop

Greetings to all the new aspiring poker players looking to understand the game. Calling is one of the biggest obstacles that new players struggle to overcome. I mean you can't win it unless you're in it, right? While that is true, a poker hand is not like the lottery. You do not get credit for partial hands and there is only one winner most of the time. Calling may allow you to see more flops and you may catch more straights, flushes, and boats. However, when you don't win, you are losing to more straights, flushes, and boats.

There is nothing wrong with calling with the right hands in the right position. For instance, you want to call when there are a lot of callers and you have a drawing hand. Also, you want to call with drawing hands in late and middle position. Lastly, you want to call when you have to limp in monster hands on tight tables.

When to call a raise is entirely different. Especially, when position is involved. For instance, any face card and any suited connectors can be raised in late position. These are easier to call in the blinds because you get a discount and you may have a better face card in your hand. Now, monsters can come from any position. If there is a raise early on, assume that it is a monster hand. Lastly, calling an all-in bet pre-flop is scary. Donkeys do it with horrible hands and skilled players are doing it to steal the blinds or to get their pair to a head-to-head match. Since poker uses 5-7 cards, call with a big pair or a monster drawing hand that will more than likely give you two over pairs against your opponent. This gives you a total of six outs you wish to hit versus your opponents 2 to outs to make a set. (Once the flop comes, other hands can be considered but don't matter because you or your opponent is all-in and betting is done. Side pots are different and will be covered elsewhere.)