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Poker Dictionary (106) > ABC Player

Calling Station - Online Poker

Being labeled a 'calling station' is far from a compliment in online poker although the term applies to all poker. If you read any half decent article on how to play poker or more importantly, how to win at poker, you will see some mention of the fact that playing too many hands both in and out of position is a fairly standard route to disappointment. Selective play is essential so as not to put continual risk on the chips that you have. Many low skilled players like to play way too many hands or they get bored. Suited cards raise the blood pressure, draws are there to be chased and any 2 cards that could hit are just a touch too tempting. The fact that the flop could make any two cards connect incentivises the novice enough to want to enter pots just to see what happens. In term of strategy, this isn't going to work as we will miss most of the flops. This is money down the drain.

If you're in any doubt, use an odds calculator and check out how two hands match up against each other. When you see the percentages, it may well serve as an eye opener. A player that plays too many hands are known as 'Calling Stations', as you pretty much know what you're getting with them. They will call most bets.

If you played a hand in the knowledge that you would only win 3 out of every 10 times you played the hand, would you still play it? A calling station is fairly predictable and 3 out of 10 is probably quite appealing to a cash machine. They aren't worried about odds or probability - they just want to play their hand. In fact, there's usually a complete lack of thought on probability, odds, position, stack sizing, bankroll and most other important factors. It is no surprise that these players lose in the long run.

The bottom line is this: every time you get involved in a hand and lose, your stack reduces. The faster it reduces, the more you lose and the more pressure it puts on other hands to win it back. It can start a spiral of bad decision making, which if already a bad player, is not going to end well.

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