Explanation of Cold-Call

The term “cold” in poker refers to an action taken when no money has been previously invested. It hence applies exclusively to the preflop betting round since it is impossible to reach the flop without first investing some money into the pot.

Cold-call” is most commonly used to describe calling against a preflop open, but it can also be used to describe a situation where a player cold-calls 3-bet or 4-bet. For example:

BTN open-raises.
SB 3bets.
BB cold-calls the 3bet.

If BB were to 4bet in the above example it would be referred to as a cold 4bet. However, if BB were to fold and the BTN was to 4bet, it is no longer a cold 4-bet since the BTN has already invested money into the pot on his open raise.

Since the blinds have made mandatory investments preflop (the blind payments), there is some dispute over whether a preflop call from the blinds should be referred to as a cold-call. The majority of players use the term cold-call in this case, but one of most commonly used tracking softwares refuses to acknowledge a preflop defend from the BB or SB as a cold-call.

Example of Cold Call used in a sentence -> The button open raised and we cold called from the big blind.

How to Use Cold-Call as Part of Your Poker Strategy

A general outlook regarding which positions at the table it is correct to cold-call from can be useful in No Limit Hold’em and several other variants.

As a general guide, our widest cold-call positions at the table should be the BTN (Button) and the BB (Big-blind). The BB gets an effective discount on any preflop cold-call due to the mandatory big-blind payment. The BB also closes the action preflop, meaning that a cold-call from the BB is often guaranteed to see a flop. The BTN is a good cold-call position preflop, simply because it is guaranteed to have position postflop.

The positions at the table where we want to keep cold-calling to a minimum are the SB (Small-blind) and MP (Middle position). Due to the presence of players behind who may squeeze, and due to the likelihood of being out-of-position postflop, cold-calling a wide range of holdings in these positions can quickly become a losing play. 

See Also 

Open-raise, Three-bet, Four-bet, Two-bet, Blind, Position, Squeeze

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