What Does Smooth Call Mean?

What does the term "smooth call" mean in the world of poker? What is the definition of the term "smooth call"?

In poker, a "smooth call" is a situation in which raising is the standard play, though a player instead chooses to call in order to disguise the strength of their hand.

For instance - let's say that you are playing in a local casino cash game. You are dealt pocket Aces on the button. The player in front of you raises. Instead of sticking in a re-raise right there, you instead choose to just call with your pocket Aces. This is a "smooth call", and the reason that you are doing it is to disguise your strong hand.

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Now, let's look at a situation where a smooth call can go right. In the hand mentioned above, you just call your opponent's raise and the flop comes 2-2-K. After a bunch of raising, you and your opponent get all-in. He is holding A-K, and you are holding pocket Aces. If you had re-raised pre-flop, you may have chased your opponent out of the hand.

Now, let's look at a situation where a smooth call could go wrong. You are holding your pocket Aces and the flop comes 2-J-J. You and your opponent get your chips into the middle after this flop, though this time your opponent is holding A-J for flopped trips and you lose the hand.

Smooth calling in a multi-player pot pre-flop is usually never a good idea, as your strong holding will usually get out-flopped by somebody else. Instead, smooth calling can be a good strategy when you are against just one opponent.

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