Explanation of Hero call
A hero call is call made on the river despite the fact that winning seems almost impossible. At the very least our opponent would need to be bluffing, and we might not even beat all of his bluffing range. I.e we could call with Queen-high and find out that villain is turning King-high into a bluff.
This is different from “bluffcatching” which is where we at the very least beat all of our opponent’s bluffs. Bluffcatching is a standard part of theoretically correct poker strategy whereas hero calling is not. For a hero call to be correct it implies that we should have an extremely robust read on the type of hand that our opponent is holding.
Example of Hero Call used in a sentence -> We were pretty sure villain had the busted gutshot and decided to hero call the river all-in with our King high.
How to Use Hero call as Part of Your Poker Strategy
Hero calling is not a part of theoretically correct poker play. It is also not correct in practice in the vast majority of situations. Just because a hand may occasionally win when calling doesn’t guarantee that the expectation of the call is positive overall.
Calling with weak hands, i.e. bluffcatching, is theoretically correct on the other hand. It is important that our bluffcatching range is selected carefully to ensure that it doesn’t lose to any of the bluffs in our opponent’s range. To the untrained eye, bluffcatching and hero calling may appear similar. A standard bluffcatch may be referred to as a ‘hero call’ when it is in fact a theoretically correct bluffcatch.
Hero calling will only be correct in practice with a very specific read on our opponent. For example, if a certain bet-sizing indicates that our opponent is always bluffing we can often make the hero call even if we occasionally lose to some of his bluffs. The frequency with which we need to be good in order to have a profitable call is defined simply by the pot-odds we are offered. (I.e if our opponent bets half-pot we need to be good at least 25% of the time in order to make the hero call).