Raise or Call: Poker Basics Guide

The disparity between elevating and calling is often viewed as hostile and prudent. The rising move is a show of strength against opponents and one that can be used in one-on-one situation to scare off players. Knowing when to raise can make building your stack easier.

First of all, the meaning of position is vital to understand the relevance of position. While evaluating hands, poker pros will always want to know the betting place of a player relative to their rivals, as this can often be more important in determining the winner than chips.

For clarity, early, middle and late are the three types of position. Understanding each type can help in raising or calling decision making because it helps players to know when they are in a position of strength or weakness. As an example, the positions below have been defined for a table with nine players:

  • Early–first three players after the small blind and big blind
  • Middle–fourth and fifth players after the blinds
  • Late–sixth and seventh players, who are just before the blinds

In comparison, early players are considered to be in a weaker position as they act in front of their opponents, while late players are stronger as they have more information to use in their decision making. As a result, late-position pro players expect to make more money.
When rising In the above case, being the seventh player, who is the last player before the blinds, is extremely advantageous. The late player has a sense of whether or not they can raise to win the hand after seeing a wave of decisions.


Pre-flop is the first situation to raise, which can be done in a few ways. Second, once they look unconfident in their eyes, it can be used as a bluffing tactic to rob blinds from players in the early and middle positions.
A second instance is to take blinds from players using strong pocket cards. It could be with a pair of Aces, offering the power to bet heavily and scare off rivals who haven’t made a pair yet or are looking for a straight or draw.

When the late player thinks they should bet their opponents after the flop, the most successful form of raise is. Checks, folds or low elevations are moments when an extremely large elevation (two thirds of a stack) can persuade opponents they don’t want to call. Aggression is the best strategy here, as a low increase could persuade players to limp in for the turn and the river.

When to call Poker pro Bill Edler swears by the strategy of folding 90 percent of hands from under the gun, which immediately after the big blind is playing in early position. His reasoning is that being the first player to act will force him to make a decision without having to work with any information. Therefore, making sure that even good hands can be successful is difficult.

An adjusted version of this strategy can be effective for casual players, however, based on less experienced opponents than pros. This would basically mean folding low-value cards with no straight capacity (e.g. 2-7) or a low-kicker face card (e.g.J-3).
If a big hand (e.g. A-Q or K-K) appears, a casual player may feel that calling the big blind and seeing the flop is worth the risk. This can be done by casual players at low-stakes or beginner tables where sharks are unlikely to be lurking.

It can make it easier to spot when players are bluffing by understanding when to raise or call. As a result, it may be possible to get a great read from an adversary to call and trap them as they bluff from the late spot–note that this is a more sophisticated tactic relative to the above examples.

Benefits of Aggression vs. Caution

  • Profitability – Being in late position can let players act more aggressively than timid opponents to steal blinds and pots.
  • Bluffing – Another benefit of late position is that it can be simpler to bluff when a player does not even have a hand.
  • Restraint – Cautious play can protect players from losing large sums of chips when betting from early position.
  • Reading – Sitting out when in early position can be a useful time to analyze opponents for reads that can be used against them later.

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