Calling or raising is not the only way to gather information about where you stand in a poker match. You can also use information you already have.
Calling or raising in poker is done to increase your equity in the pot. If you perceive your hand to be the best, those with inferior hands can either call to increase the pot money when you have an edge or fold which increases your chance of winning by 100%. In the event you have an inferior hand, your call or raise may fold out better hands, thus increasing your equity further.
Instead of betting or raising to define your hand and learn whether your moderately strong hand is the best, there is a far cheaper way in calling for information. You must balance your range well, taking care not to reveal too much information regarding your own hand of cards. Then you don’t need to raise to obtain information. You can determine then and there if your holding is good enough to keep on going through your opponent’s actions.
When calling for information seems most tempting, you have to consider strong hands that other people on the table may have. Rather than facing further bets from unknown dangers, it would be more beneficial to see where you stand. Calling for information can be expensive. Additionally, the information may also not be accurate. Poker after all is a battle of mistakes. When a player calls, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are already beat. Many players would call or raise as a bluff or semi-bluff, as well. That way, you wouldn’t know whether you are up against the best or a bluff. So even if this is information is important, you can make better decisions without the unnecessary expense.
Raising can be likened to opening all suitcases in a Deal or No Deal game. When you’ve opened all other suitcases, you can be sure what amount is inside your suitcase, but it will be too late to do anything about it. If you have the best hand, your opponent won’t make further mistakes if he has folded. If you are beat, then you would have put a lot of your money in the pot for nothing.
You can easily use information you already have like the hands your opponents can open for five times with the big blind in middle position, if he likes slowplaying or betting on his strong hands, if he bets on the flop often after pre-flop, and if he bets on medium-strength hands or checks it for pot control.