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Defensive Wager

What is a ‘Defensive Wager’?

Defensive bets are made during poker matches. A defensive wager is made to confuse an opponent into calling early, and reduce the drawn-out raising process that can lead to big losses quickly. A defensive bet wraps up a round quickly and gets players to the call much faster, so there is less at stake. It is a tactic best reserved for experienced players, and it is most effective in low stakes games where the player has a reasonably strong hand but cannot risk overspending on a potential loss.

‘Defensive Wager’ Explained

Every poker player is different and each will have their own tactics and techniques which they use during play. Defensive wagering should be used infrequently and only when the circumstances call for it – it is not a long term game plan as it relies on a particular kind of hand being drawn. The defensive wager is usually a far smaller bet, made instead of checking or calling, which keeps the other player interested in the game but also causes them to doubt the strength of their opponent’s hand. A defensive bet can be a good bluff, especially if the cards held are not guaranteed to win the round.

Defensive bets are not designed to carry weak hands through – they simply give the player some thinking time and a little chance of damage limitation, in case the other player actually has beat them. In many cases, the defensive wager alone can be a good enough move to intimidate the other player into calling. Of course, there are still some risks, and the opponent may call the defensive player’s bluff by raising the stakes regardless. However, it adds a little security for a player that is curious to play out their hand, but not entirely confident on its winning capabilities.