A Calling Station or station for short, is A is an extremely loose and passive player who is prone to call, even in situations where other actions would be more advantageous; a passive player who tends to stay in the pot with the minimum bet, rarely folding or raising. This player plays too many hands and goes too far with them. He calls every bet, even with marginal hands and is not able to see when he’s beaten. He also plays good hands passively, meaning: he rarely makes a bet to build up a pot or protect a vulnerable hand. They are named calling stations because the call is their favorite move. Hence, they are not bluffable.
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Reasons for Playing Style
There may be many reasons why calling stations play this way. For one, they cannot tell the the strength of their hands and so they go too far with weak hands and do not play their strong hands aggressively enough. On the other hand, they could be looking more for the social aspect of poker; they just want to be involved in the play instead of creating an aggressive atmosphere. A player might also be a calling station because he lacks the confidence to do otherwise, seeing a bluff behind every opposing bet.
How to Play Against Calling Stations
When you play at a poker room that has a lot of calling stations, there are certain steps that you can take to ensure maximum profit.
Keep in mind that calling stations are double-edged swords. On one hand, this type of player can be great to value bet and gain some extra profit. If you make a strong hand on the flop, you can continue betting a reasonable amount into them and they’ll keep calling you down to the river. They’ll allow you to build the pot and win more bets if they don’t draw out on your hand.
However, you also need to keep in mind that calling stations will also be calling on straight and flush draws as well. The last thing you want to do is let them hit their draw cheaply. Adjust the pot odds to your favor by betting the correct amount. If you’re heads-up against a calling station and you have a strong hand but could also be outdrawn, you should consider betting at least the size of the pot. If your opponent calls this bet on a straight or flush draw, he’s statistically making a mistake and you’re making him pay to do it. He’ll still draw out on you at times, but most of the time you’ll just be gaining extra bets. Keep in mind that most players aren’t completely clueless, so if you think that your opponents missed his draw, you should check on the river and try to induce a bluff.
One of the key aspects to playing calling stations is to seldom bluff them yourself. This is the type of player that will call you down with bottom pair. That’s great in most situations, but if you can’t beat that and you’re on a total bluff, you’re going to lose some money. Keep an eye on the players at your table and decide who to bluff and who you’ll need to showdown strong cards to. Calling stations are usually one of the best type of opponents you can have because you’re usually going to the one taking control of the hand and dictating where the action leads.
As soon as you sit down at the table, start watching the players and classify them in your mind or using the built-in notes feature on many of the online poker rooms. It’ll allow for easier decision-making when you tangle with those players for a pot. Remember, value bet the calling stations, show down good cards, and don’t bluff them.
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