word type: poker slang
- When a poker player makes a risky marginal call solely based on a read or gut feel.
Often times in a poker game, a player will make a big river raise representing the nuts. This will even come from a very nitty player that 99% of the time does this with the nuts and is only bluffing the other 1%. A hero call is when a player realizes when that 1% is happening and makes the very difficult call.
Let's say you're playing a $50/100 NL heads-up cash game and get dealt Ah9h in the big-blind. Your opponent raises to $300, and since he's been playing a little crazy, you decide to three-bet to $900. Your opponent calls and the flop comes down 4d-6d-8c. You decide to make a continuation bet of half the pot, which your opponent calls. The pot is now $3600. When the turn brings the 5s to the board, the action goes check-check. When the river drops the 5c, you check, and your opponent bets $900, you then have to decide whether or not to make the hero call.
In this particular case, your opponent's small river bet seems suspicious, mainly because it looks like a value bet. However, given the board texture (4d-6d-8c-5s-5c), there's also a good chance your opponent is merely trying to represent a hand that is attempting to extract value. You should also be aware that since his bet is so small, he's laying you 4 to 1 odds on the call, which means that your hand only needs to be good one in every five times (roughly) in order for it to be profitable. All things considered, and although you will be wrong more often than you're right, this seems like a good spot to make the hero call and look your opponent up with ace high.