# Call 20

• Bronze
Joined: 18.12.2009
So I've been calling raises with small to medium pairs for quite some time now. Have got some terrific and some not so terrific results, but in general, I still have no idea, if I've been profitable in the long run always calling those raises before flop using the call 20 rule. So I've been asking the question to myself - is it ok to stick to the call 20 rule that blindly? Aren't there any other factors to take into consideration like my opponents' postflop play for example? Why call 20 and not 25 for example? What is the mathematical basis of this rule? It's just that I rather often don't get their hole stacks when I do hit, sometimes I even simply take the pot without any subsequent investing from my opponents. I have no idea if I am profitable by using this rule..
• 5 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 02.01.2010
It's Call 20 because 1 in 20 times you get your opponent's stack. Your odds of flopping a set is about 1:8.5.
• Bronze
Joined: 18.12.2009
It's Call 20 because 1 in 20 times you get your opponent's stack

It's call 20 because you're supposed to get your opponents stack 1 in 20 times.

I don't see a sound mathematical proof behind the statement "you get your opponent's stack 1 in 20 times if you call a raise with small to medium pockets as long as you and your opponents have 20 times the amount you have to call"
• Silver
Joined: 04.04.2009
Originally posted by Avatars91
It's Call 20 because 1 in 20 times you get your opponent's stack

It's call 20 because you're supposed to get your opponents stack 1 in 20 times.

I don't see a sound mathematical proof behind the statement "you get your opponent's stack 1 in 20 times if you call a raise with small to medium pockets as long as you and your opponents have 20 times the amount you have to call"
This is exactly where your reads should come in. Obviously, if a multi tabling reg has just raised utg and you know he's quite capable of folding aces to aggression on the flop then you would be an idiot to call the raise based on the call20 rule.

The call 20 rule, to me at least, only applies if I believe that should I hit a set I can stack villain more often than not.

If you call 4 bbs each time you set mine then you need to win on average 34bbs every time you hit a set just for it to be a break even play (because you hit 1 in 8.5 times, 8.5 x 4bbs = 34bbs). With this in mind, it's only worth calling the raise if villain can't let go of his hand post flop.
• Black
Joined: 27.11.2008
use holdem manager's filters to see how profitable you are
-calling a raise
-with a small pocket pair (22-66)

Anyway implied odds are super high vs fish. Vs mediocre regs who just cbet 100% you can just bluffraise with your small pairs as well on many low boards. And vs players who checkdown sometimes, your small pairs have showdown value.

My main point is that implied odds are important but not everything. As long as we think of ways to take down/win the pot even when we miss, we can make the call profitable.

For medium pairs, we can probably call a flop cbet if there is only one overcard since our hand rates to be good very often
• Bronze
Joined: 27.05.2010
From Leatherass's book:
Whether you are in position or out of position — providing stacks are 100 big blinds or more (the deeper the stacks the more inclined you should be to play a pocket pair) — I recommend playing small pocket pairs from any position as long as there is at least one very weak player at the table. Once you have decided to play them, one thing to remember is to not be disappointed if you do not flop a set.

Flopping sets is nice, but is not essential to picking up the pot. What is essential is that you look for ways to pick up the pot even when you do not flop a set. If you call a raise pre-flop in position, I like to raise most flops with my small pocket pair. I like to use small pairs as a way to remind myself to balance my ranges. If the only time you are raising the flop is with strong hands and strong draws, the opponents you play with regularly will have a much better idea how to combat your play.

But if you decide to raise your opponent on the flop when you have a small pair that does not flop a set, that will help you balance your range by adding in some hands that are not strong hands or strong draws.

The same concept applies when you are out of position. I recommend using small pairs that do not flop a set as a reminder to balance your range by check raising your opponent on the flop. It’s very easy to find yourself not making very many bluffs against your opponents, especially if you are playing a lot of tables. That’s why I recommend using small pairs as a way to throw in a few bluffs here and there that will help balance your range a little better.

So, essentially, bluff with your call 20 hands.