What is a ‘Backraise’?
A (sometimes ‘back raise’) is a poker term referring to a re-raise by a player who previously called, but chose to re-raise on the back of an opponent’s decision to raise.
This ‘back raise’ move is used where a player makes a different decision on the basis of another player’s action, such as a switch from tight to aggressive play on a weak to mid-strength hand. It is often found in home games but is rarely permitted during casino and card room poker.
‘Back Raise’ Explained
To fold means to withdraw, hand back your cards and forfeit your bet, while a call is a full bet made to stay in the game. A raise is a bet of (usually) twice the value or more of the previous bet, which forces all players who call to meet the new bet price for the round. In some games, players can also re-raise – that is, they can raise further after an opponent declares their own raise. A ‘back raise’ is a type of re-raise seen in some poker games, where the rules allow it.
To make a back raise, a player who previously opted to call should make a re-raise after an opponent follows the call with their own raise. Most raises come in succession, and players who opt to call are usually expected to do so again when play returns to them. Casino poker games do not often allow back raises to take place, but they are common in home games.
If a back raise is permitted, it gives a player who stayed cautious and simply called at the start of the round a chance to change their decision and challenge another player’s raise. Where the back raise is used, the bet is expected to be at least the total of the previous raise, and some will insist that it increases upon that last raise. A player might use a back raise when they have a weak hand, such as a mid pair, but they suspect from the next player’s raise that they are bluffing on a high card at best – so they reenter the action using the back raise option.
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