Explanation of String Bet

Modern live poker rules are that we only get one shot to clearly indicate our betting intentions. This is in contrast to how poker is sometimes portrayed in old films. For example, when facing a bet, it’s extremely common to hear an old movie star say “I see (call) your bet……and raise you another $100”. 

If the same line was used in a modern live casino, the player would be forced to just call. His raise would not be valid. This is because the first word out of his mouth was “call”, and this action is binding. If his intention was to raise, the first relevant word he utters needs to be “raise”.  Illegally splitting our action into two parts is considered an angle shoot and described as string betting in most casinos.

String betting need not only occur verbally. If a player wishes to wager a certain amount of chips, he needs to place that amount of chips into the pot with one smooth motion. If he only puts half of the required chips into the pot with his first action, this action will stand. Adding additional chips afterwards is considered a type of string bet. The only exception is if a player has already declared verbally the exact amount he wishes to wager – he can then place the chips into the middle at his leisure.

Example of String Bet used in a sentence -> If unsure about handling chips, always announcing decisions verbally is a good way to avoid accidentally making a string bet.

How to Use String Bet as Part of Your Poker Strategy 

The strategy advice here is simple. We should make sure our actions at the table are unequivocal and remember that the first decision is binding whether it’s a vocalization or not. 

String betting can be considered an angle shoot for two main reasons.

1. The first part of the string bet might be used to gain additional information on villain based on how he responds to the bet. I.e. the second part of the string bet may or may not come based on villain’s physical reaction to first part of the bet.

2. String betting can be used deceptively. A player pretends that he actually wanted to raise but relies on the dealer forcing him to just call.

See Also 

Collusion, Angle, Bet, Action, Dealer

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