When a player calls a lot no matter how strong their hand might be, that player is a “calling station.” This player hates to fold, and you’ll find him or her in live games or in the online games with lower stakes.
The good news about a calling station is that it is fairly easy to beat one. However, if you run into a cold card run, you can end up getting frustrated. Take a look at three changes you can make to beat calling stations and elevate your winning rate.
Cut way down on the bluffing
Bluffing isn’t going to work against a calling station. Why? They’re not going to fold, so you’re going to end up losing with a bad hand. This is why it is so important to pay heed to the strategies that your opponents use. What kind of hands do they showdown? If you figure out that they are calling on hands that are not particularly strong, then you learn that it will not help you to try and intimidate them into dropping out.
Try for smaller value as frequently as you can
Once you figure out you are dealing with a calling station, then you should wager for value in situations where the value would be too small against the majority of players. As you progress in the game, you will see more and more of these situations emerging.
Amp up your betting size
Calling stations tend to rely on calling ranges that do not have much flexibility. So no matter how big or small a bet is that faces them, they go by their range when deciding whether to call or to fold.
You can take advantage of this by making larger bets when you are value betting, putting yourself in position to reap the maximum. If you want to use smaller bets when you are bluffing, you should be able to get away with that. Wiser players would understand what you are doing and start to recognize your bluffs. However, calling stations are not the strongest players, and so they are less likely to notice the difference between your bluff bets and your larger bets on strong hands.
Remember, when you overbet, you tell your opponent that you either have absolutely nothing – or an ironclad hand. This means that your opponent might call down anyway, looking to catch you in a bluff, even though their pot odds are minuscule, which means that you bring in even more money (assuming the hand is strong).
So remember – when you’re dealing with a calling station, bluff less often, pursue thin value whenever you can and bet large with your strong hands. Taken together, these strategies will help you make a lot of money off the calling station in your game. Over time, you will be able to learn which players are the calling stations more quickly, so you won’t have to spend as much time figuring out the dynamic of your game.
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