String raises are a mistake that is unique to live poker. For players who are new to the scene of the live games, string raises will be one of the most popular errors to make. A string raise is when a player places a bet or a raise, but does it in a couple of motions vs. the allowed single motion. If you grab a stack of chips and place them down over the line, you can’t just go back and add more.
If you want to make a certain bet, you need to either place them all out at once or make a verbal announcement of the intended wager size. This is why some players prefer to audibly announce every single bet that they make. If you announce all of your bets, it will not create an opportunity for you to have a string bet.
Each Poker Room is Different
String bets will vary from dealer to dealer and casino to casino. A lot of players like to place their bets by grabbing a big stack and then counting it out in the middle of the felt, one small stack at a time. While this is perfectly acceptable and commonplace in the vast majority of casinos, and according to most dealers, there are some instances where the floor could be called.
If you are a regular players in a certain casino or poker room, the odds are that you will know what is generally acceptable and what is not. There is a defined difference between counting out one stack and going back for a new stack altogether. So long as it is clear that you did not plan on placing your bet as a string raise or to get a read on your opponents, you shouldn’t run into too many issues.
Why They Aren’t Allowed
Some live poker players don’t really understand what the big deal is about string raises in the first place. The truth is that string raises are generally exaggerated in their importance and do not have a major impact on the game, but they are disallowed to discourage as much cheating and angle shooting as possible. A player who wanted to try to get a read on their opponents would string raise in order to see how their opponents reacted with each new set of chips that they grabbed.
The idea is that some players will visibly give up once a certain amount of chips are placed as a bet. Needless to say, however, any knowledgeable player would just sit still and wait for the bet is completed before they acted at all. While string raises don’t usually gain much information, especially outside of the lowest limit games, they are prevented simply because there is no reason why they should be allowed.
This article was written by Jonathan Wanchalk.