Poker is a long-standing and popular casino table game that can come with a myriad of rules, gestures, and possible betting strategies. Unfortunately, some of these betting strategies, including string betting, are illegal and frowned upon when playing live poker.
In this Wizard Slots blog post, we will discuss what string betting is, why it is not allowed and how to try and avoid making string bets. So, continue reading to find out!
What Is A String Bet In Poker?
A string bet in live poker can happen if you raise or bet, but do not put all your chips down in one swift motion. Instead, you put some chips in after the others, making multiple motions rather than just one.
String bets can be placed verbally or non-verbally through hand gestures. Verbal bets happen if you verbally announce the type of bet you are making. For example, say someone bet £10, and you announce that you call their £10 bet, and you raise £20.
This is an example of verbal string betting because you are essentially making two kinds of bets instead of one, which is not allowed. You have to either call or raise; you cannot do both. So, if you meant to raise but announced the call first, the dealer will typically go with the £10 call and void the £20 raise.
An example of a non-verbal bet is if you are at a poker table and intend to place a £10 bet but first push out £5 worth of chips across the betting line, and then push another £5 worth of chips. The first chips are the ones that count and are locked in; the rest is void.
Basically, you make a string bet if you do not push all of your casino chips in one single move.
Why Is String Betting Not Allowed?
Before we get into why string betting is not allowed, we want to explain that while it is against the rules, sometimes its enforcement depends on the establishment or the dealer. Some casinos may let you get away with it, but you may be hard-pressed to find one that does.
One of the main reasons why string betting is not allowed is that it is considered an ‘angle shooting’ move. Angle shooting basically means getting an unfair advantage in poker without actually playing the game. What this means is with string betting, you could potentially use it to assess your opponent's possible hand through their reaction.
If they call, raise or bet immediately after you push your first chips in, you may decide not to put in more chips or remove some of the chips you have already placed. If they hesitate or take longer to decide, you may push in more chips because it may mean they have a weak hand.
In that case, you get to either save your chips to avoid losing more money or add more chips in to potentially win more money. Therefore, if casinos force you to place a single bet, you cannot try and manipulate your way out of a losing hand or unfairly pool the pot to try and win more.
How To Avoid String Bets
If you are a novice or are not very familiar with poker rules yet, you may unwittingly make a string bet. However, there are a couple of steps you can take to potentially avoid this from happening. Firstly, you can verbally declare your bet so that even if you push your chips individually, the table knows how much you intend to bet.
It can slow the table down, but at least they will know your intentions. Or, you can verbally call your wager while stacking the chips outside the betting line. Then, neatly put them together, and then push the whole batch out at the same time.
More often than not, casinos take your verbal announcements to be final and will ignore the action. So, for example, say you want to bet £20, but your chips are not properly grouped together, and you are worried about holding the table, so you push £15 worth of chips but realise you left £5 outside the betting line, you can quickly push that in without worry.
Another example would be, instead of pushing £20, you pushed £30. The dealer will only recognise your £20, so if you quickly take back the £10 chips, it won't cause any problems because you had announced £20. However, these rules may change depending on the casino.
If you fear being too nervous about making verbal bets and are too worried about accidentally making string bets, you can simply play poker online. Playing poker online has the potential to be less stressful as it is just you and your computer, or mobile device. Plus, the computer will take care of the betting intricacies for you, so you don’t have to worry about physically putting any chips in.
To sum up everything, string betting is something you should try to avoid in live poker. Even if the online casino or the live dealer may allow it, though highly unlikely, try to avoid it if you do not want to create any potential hostility towards you from your opponents.
The best way to try and avoid string betting is by placing verbal bets, as these can be binding and usually take priority over your chips. However, if you’d rather, you can also look at possible poker games to play online until you feel more comfortable with live games.