Using the clock (blind structure) – way out of the Dilemma of a Stalling decision


The calling of the clock is informing the tournament authority to intervene in the game when a player stalls and takes more than required time to take a decision on a hand. Mostly the dealer takes the decision of calling the clock or blind structure.

The poker player needs to finish the act on the hand they are playing within a stipulated time and if the time taken is more, the other players find using the clock (blind structure) effective to get the player to take a decision quicker or leave the hand dead. All the players take the decision on their hand quickly and there is no time limit for each hand but sometimes a player takes too long time to play and the tournament director needs to intervene with the clock.

The other players feel they are getting late when one player takes too long a time to go to the next player’s hand. This slackens the game and so the other players may call the clock and the foreman to deal with the situation using the clock (blind structure), so that the game gets back to the normal pitch and all other people get to their hand and call. The person holds up the game in various situations and usually when the player faces a prominent bet and is confused of tensed to act do they hold the game up. The player generally ends the time by throwing the hand over.

The ‘calling of the clock’ is an embarrassing situation for most of the players who held up the game. The other players also feel reluctant using the clock (blind structure) to get the floor attendant to come over for timing the errant player but since the blinds and bets rise continuously within the game – it becomes necessary for the other players to call a particular bet. The dealer can call the clock as any other players can call too. The floor person will time the player for one minute and will also remind him before ten seconds of the end minute. The player’s time once expires – the hand is considered dead.

The players consider that they should not take harsh decision against a single player to gain enmity from him but if the reasonable time of taking action on one hand, then it effects all the players and their chances to win a good bet. The only way is using the clock (blind structure) in such situation and once the clock is called the time limit for one minute becomes an extra strain for the players. When it is a game it still instills some sense of responsibility among the players and all the rules of the game need to be followed.

A professional poker player Bill Edler documents his own feeling about the system of using the clock (blind structure) by mentioning the stalling player should be given time enough for decision as deciding factor sometimes confuse the person. He also feels that the time given should be till that point is unconscionable. Most players do feel the same way and if the player is holding the game intentionally – the action taken is preferred but not so if the player is actually confused about his decision or cannot take the final decision which will bring him to the doors of great loss.

Using the clock to your Advantage During Tournament Play

A player can use the clock in tournament play to his or her advantage by manipulating the time allowed for there move thus increasing the next players blinds, this holdem clock strategy is often used by players in the later stages of a tournament. Here is how it works, Lets say 6 players are seated at the table player 1 is the dealer making player 2 and 3 small and big blind, now player 4 is short stacked and the blinds are high and about to go up even higher in another minute, so one of the other players holds up the hand for as long as possible to ensure that player 4 receives the next high blind structure.

By using this strategy the player is forced to play no matter what cards he or she is holding and with luck forced from the tournament thus increasing your chances of winning, The strategy is sound and can be very affective especially in online poker tournaments.