Most games and types of sport that we watch and enjoy do not have an option to leave right in the middle of the action. If anyone does wish to back out in such a situation, it is often associated with the bad spirit of sportsmanship and unfair play. These events are never remembered fondly off the field and are always termed as infamous. However, poker is a different breed altogether, and so are its regulations. That brings us to the point that to fold in poker is not cowardly at all.
On the contrary, it is one of the smartest decisions a poker player can undertake when the circumstance demands it. Poker has a different meaning entirely for playing with virtue and dignity. The norms here for acceptable and respectable are a lot different than most other games. And so, depending on the stage and which hands to fold are chosen by you, it could be the wisest move you make at the table.
Why do Players Fold?
In poker, it is often said that you should know when to hold’em and when to fold’em. That phrase was coined decades ago, and it still holds true to date. What this essentially means is that you should know when not to play just as much as you should know about when to make a move. Folding in poker is the act of discarding your cards for that particular hand. You can fold whenever you want, but you must bear in mind that this ultimately puts you out of competition for the pot. But while your profits are nullified, so are your losses. This is why, depending upon when you decide to fold, you could be the smartest player at the table since profits are not a guarantee in poker, but losses are unavoidable. If you can escape with your bankroll not suffering a major hit, that would be the win for you.
Folding Live Vs. Online
While playing online, such technology is used in the poker room itself that you need to choose the folding option when it is your turn, and the AI automatically withdraws your cards. However, when playing live poker, it is important to maintain some decorum. For starters, you mustn't let anxiety act. You have to wait till it is your turn and then simply say the word “I fold” and place your cards face-down on the table and slide them just as further as to where the dealer can easily get them to be raked in the muck pile.
It is essential not to expose your cards. You shouldn’t fancily flip them or toss them onto the table. It is also crucial to not let anyone know beforehand that you are about to fold since this affects their call, raise, and fold decisions. Once you indicate a fold, you cannot rejoin the game. If you have the option, you must always check first. Folding before checking is absurd and could lead to unnecessary losses.
The Approach of a Fold
A majority of players pay much attention to the aggressive variables of the game in terms of strategy. They often opt to bet, three-bet, raise, check-raise, lead, bluff and bet for all three streets. There is a logical reasoning to this as playing an aggressive game throughout will give you more chances to win the pot than only the showdown. This approach tends to be more profitable than a conservative approach.
However, folding is not often given the credit it deserves; it is an underrated saviour. Depending on which hands to fold you choose, folding can be the difference between making a loose call and cutting your losses. With time, you will realize that these little zero EV folds when put against negative EV calls (regardless of big or small) will add up much more to your net win rate.
Folding in Poker: Pre-flop
If you are used to playing quite some hands during the pre-flop, then you should know that you are probably heading towards some tough situations post-flop. To avoid this, it is vital to learn about starting hand charts to attain a reasonable baseline. Discipline is essential in poker, and you should fold all the hands you need to. The only change you could make by yourself apart from your starting hand charts is that it would depend on your opposition’s moves and how you can counter them and take advantage of them as per the table scenario.
You should also understand that in poker, most of the time, you will be folding your hands in the pre-flop. As we have already stated, making small pre-flop mistakes can result in complicated post-flop situations that will result in you losing a lot more of your money than you otherwise would. Therefore, it is beneficial if you make good starting hand choices, and that is possible only by folding the needless hands without delay.
Folding in Poker: Post-flop
Players often end up holding a top pair post-flop, and it could be confusing to know when to fold them. Most casual players find it challenging to make the decision of folding big hands when it is absolutely necessary. This causes them to lose out a lot of money needlessly by being stubborn and not folding hands when it is called for. If they instead use MDF (Minimum Defense Frequency) to calculate the strength of the range of their hands and the potential players they could call, it would better help them understand that their top pairs rate a lot lower than they think on the hand-strength spectrum.
What is the Hero Fold?
Players new to the game always come across the term Hero Fold when reading about folds in general. What does this mean? Does it talk about a selfless act of charity? Not necessarily. Sometimes a fold could be referred to as a hero because the player folding the hand may not have a weak hand at all. In fact, these folded hands are very strong, but because the situation looks likely to fit for a fold, they end up doing so. Imagine playing a game of Texas Hold’em, and you are at the river with only one other player. The player you are playing against makes a huge call, and you feel caught because your assumption tells you that you have a weaker hand and that they would not bluff. Because you judge them to be a tight player, you decide to fold, but you place your cards face-up since no one is left to play after you. Such a strong hand being turned down is said to be a heroic fold.
Folding in poker requires for you to take all open options into perspective. Do you have the chance to check? Is your hand really that weak that it’s not worth the try? How much would be the damage for you to play and lose rather than let go? All in all, poker is a game that teaches you to make decisions as per what the table seems best at the moment. You can plan and strategize and have all the experience you want. But in the end, it is always about living the game move by move and folding is one of the most reliable things to do. We hope you gained some much-needed info and on Spartan’s poker dictionary you are sure to learn a whole lot more if you are just getting started with the game. You can also go through other such blogs on our website before experimenting your skills on one of our profitable tournaments.