What is a String Raise?

At our newly formed Thursday night poker club, I was informed that I couldn’t call a bet, and then raise. I used these words; “I’ll call your $20, and raise you another $20.” Someone objected and said that I couldn’t do that. I have seen this form of betting many times before, so enlighten me, am I wrong? Jeb S.

Where you have seen “I’ll call your twenty, partner, then after a swig of JD, the gambler utters, I’ll raise you another twenty” is most likely at the movies. You wouldn’t witness “I’ll call you twenty, and raise you another twenty” on Travel Channel’s World Poker Tour or ESPN’s World Series of Poker.

Calling a bet, then digging back into your chip pile and declaring a raise is called a string-raise. String-raising in never permitted in the above-mentioned tournaments nor public poker games.

String-raising allows a player to read the reactions of anyone already in the pot, or the feedback of active players yet to bet. No legitimate poker game would allow a player to put some chips in the pot, then decide to raise if he feels he has a better hand by how he just read his opponent(s). The hesitation in the betting action is the illegal part of the move.

If someone makes a string-raise, a dealer will inform the player that a string-raise has just occurred, and that player will have to withdraw their raise and just call the bet.

If you want to raise, Jeb, just declare “raise,” then go to your stack of chips and count the correct amount of chips needed and make the wager in one continuous motion.

Here’s a tip for string-raises at a kitchen table game. If someone states “string-raise,” but another player says, “It’s okay by me, let it stand,” you’ll first want to agree with no string-raising, but you’ll also want to FOLD. Even the two pair you might be sitting on is probably DOA. The player who allowed the string-raise in all probability has the nuts; an absolute cinch hand.

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