The Steal Call On The Best Poker Sites

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The Steal Call Is One Of My Favorite Plays On The Best Online Poker Sites
The steal-call - an invention of such devious brilliance that I fear your heads will explode at my sheer genius!

I see blank looks. I shall explain.

In many games, some players are familiar with the steal-raise and will defend their blinds in response to an open-raise from late position, especially if they notice you`re a reasonable player. So, a growing number of players (well me), have begun using the steal-call.

As its name suggests, this is an open-limp with the intention of stealing the pot. Madness! I hear you cry. But it works. Some advantages.

1) Because a number of low limit players are tricksy, and fancy themselves the next Chris Monkeymaker (an honest typo, but amusing enough to leave in), they often figure that a raise is a sign of weakness, and that just limping with a monster is what good players do. This means you get credit for trying to suck them in with a good hand.

2) Calling doesn`t guarantee that you`re going bet the flop. This means that your opponent will feel less able to check-raise you if he flops something good. But, because you volunteered for this pot and he didn`t, the BB can`t feel too confident about trying to move you off the pot (you can even repeat the process on the flop, and save the steal raise for the turn, if he does bet out).

3) Calling disguises your hand. This means that you create doubt in your opponents mind - doubt that often leads to folding in a passive game. A raise suggests a good hand to straight forward players, so Kings and Aces can serve as scare cards for you. Now I know I said that some low limit players are tricksy, but many are not. So betting the flop after a steal-call can lead to a fold even if the flop wouldn`t have helped a hand they think you would have raised with.

4) The steal-call often gets a little more money into the pot. A raise will often only win the blinds. A call may win an extra 1/4 bet by luring the SB in with trash, or an extra 1/2 bet if someone plays on the flop.

5) The steal-call can be cheaper, because if the BB does have a hand, you can get away for only 1 Small Bet, not the 2 that a raise would cost. Of course this relies on you knowing if the Big Blind might make plays or not.

So, the steal-call is really a delaying tactic. The intention is to win the pot on a later street with a steal-raise (or a legit-raise if you hit). It`s not an excuse for getting loose. Your plan is not fit or fold, it`s flop and bet. The timing of the bet is up to you - I like betting quickly on straight-forward flops, but delaying a little on dangerous looking ones, like I want to exploit it, or have something not quite as good as the obvious hand (trips or a flush usually), but still worth playing. Sure, it`s not a perfect tactic. Like all poker ideas, it is useful in certain situations, for certain reasons, and becomes less useful the more you use it.

It is useful against passive, straight-forward, low-limit players who have their heads screwed on enough to know that some people try to be tricky. It`s a bit of variation in your play and is cheaper than raising (the temptation to check is often too much, while a re-raise has macho appeal.

Most of all though, it`s something I invented and I am a poker legend (sure, I won that title by beating Jesse in a "friendly" headsup game, but I`m going to milk it).

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