A call is a betting action a player can take in a betting round. To call a bet or raise is to place an equal amount of chips in the pot to the bettor's or raiser's amount. A player doing so is called a caller.
If more than one raiser has raised the pot prior to a player's opportunity to take an action, then in order to call the player must call the entire amount which is the current bet: the sum of all previous bets and raises which the caller has not yet called on this betting round. If they do not have enough chips to call this amount, they may place all their remaining chips in the pot and go all-in, thereby calling that portion of the pot which they can cover. If they do have enough chips to call but do not wish to do so, they must fold their hand.
How to call Edit
A player may call a bet by stating that they are calling, verbally, or by placing the correct amount of chips in the pot to call. Stating that you call is a binding declaration and cannot be revoked. A rare but once popular synonym for call is "see", and in some card rooms, saying "I see" could be considered a binding declaration of a call, so be careful. More formally, players once said "I see your bet", and this formal phrase would probably be taken as binding in nearly all card rooms, if it were used.
If a player places chips in the pot but the number of chips they have placed is not sufficient to call the bet, then house rules determine what occurs, though the most common ruling is:
- If the player places an amount of chips into the pot that is half what is needed to call or less, it does not yet constitute a call, and the player may still change their mind and withdraw the partial bet.
- If the player places an amount of chips into the pot that is more than half of what would be needed to call, it does not yet constitute a call, but they may not change their mind and retrieve their chips. The chips are now permamnently a part of the pot. The player will need to complete their call before the betting round can resume. Note that in most casinos, the player cannot at this "halfway" point choose to raise, either, since doing so would constitute a string bet, which is nearly always disallowed.
There are no hand signals that mean "call". The action can only be taken verbally, or by pushing chips into the pot.
Commonly-heard phrases using "call" Edit
- A cold call is a call of more than one bet or raise, and is often a bad play. See the cold calling page for more details.
- A calling station is poker slang for a player who calls much more frequently than they should, and hence oftens pays off other players.
Call you down
- Calling all of another player's bets through an entire poker hand, all the way to the showdown, is called "calling them down". This is not usually used to describe calling stations, despite its seeming applicability, and is instead usually used to describe a set course of action taken by a player when they suspect a bluff on the part of another player early on in a hand. This is usually only done when a hand is heads up, and is usually only done in limit games, since deciding to call someone down in a no-limit game could get extremely expensive.
Call to the river
- A less-common phrase that means the same thing as "calling you down"