Poker is a complicated game, and sometimes, no matter how hard you try, staying in the game can be more of a loss for you. In such cases, it makes no sense for you to stay in and continue to hemorrhage your funds. Like in every emergency situation, you need to have an exit strategy planned. But, don’t worry. Poker has such an exit door marked out for you. It’s called the poker fold.
Now, we know that playing aggressive and raising bets is all the rage. But, a poker fold is the underdog of the game. When you’re drowning in a game, this move acts as a life raft and saves you. If you’re not aware of what a poker fold is -or when and how to play it- then be rest assured. We’re going to help you out and clear all your doubts about this move. All you need to do, is read on.
When to Fold in Poker?
As we know, there are multiple stages in a poker game. Not only that, but you can be dealt many combinations of starting hands. So how can you decide when is the right time for you to cut your losses and fold? We’ve got some tips that’ll help you make that decision. They are as follows:
- Poker Fold in the Pre-flop:
There are some starting hands that are considered to be weaker than the others. In such cases, it’s a smart decision to fold and sit out the game.
It’s very tempting to play all the hands you can, in the pre-flop, but this will get you in difficult situations. You are more likely to lose money and be an unprofitable player with this strategy. You should be wise enough to play only premium or good hands in the pre-flop and fold in other cases. Honestly, in the pre-flop, you’ll be folding more than you play. There are several criteria, such as the positions, the stack and betting patterns that you need to consider while deciding to fold. To make things easy, fold when you have cards towards the lower end of the ranks.
- Poker Fold in the Post-Flop:
It is difficult to decide when to fold in the post flop rounds. Most players use a Minimum Defense Frequency, which essentially uses mathematics to tell players how much of their hand range they can continue to play the game with, based on the sizes of the bets placed by their opponents. This kind of calculation helps players decide and speed up the process of folding poker hands.
These MDF numbers can also be used to calculate when to fold top pairs. Sometimes, even when you’re blessed with a top pair, you are unable to play it to win. Players have a hard time folding such cards, and continue to remain in the game, even if there’s no chance of them winning, and just lose money.
- Getting your opponents to poker fold:
While the poker fold is an important strategy to apply as a player, it can also be used in an offensive manner. In such cases, you can be an aggressor, and get your opponents to fold. How can you do this? You just need to use fold equity. Fold equity is nothing but the share of the pot that belongs to you, on the basis of the chances of your hand winning.
So, if your fold equity is 80% and your opponent’s is 20%, you can raise bets and get them to fold. Because of your strong hand and likelihood to win, your opponent might fold. Then you’ll get their share in the pot, making your fold equity 100%.
There are some other pointers need to be kept in mind when considering a fold. They are as follows:
- Opponent’s betting range: you can tell a lot about a player’s cards from their betting range. If your opponent is betting high, you can assume they have a strong hand, and vice versa. This will help you determine if your hand can compete or whether you need to fold.
- Pot odds: you need to consider whether your bet size in comparison to the pot versus that of your opponent. This calculation will help you decide how many times you’re right in playing a hand also and your profitability. So, you’ll know when to fold.
- Opposing players: you need to evaluate the hands and gaming style of your opponents. You can read their hands via their bet sizes and other tells. Even their style, be it aggressive or more passive, can help you decide if you need to fold or not.
All in all, your aim should be to make it to the showdown, and win. But, sometimes it is smarter to fold and be a profitable player rather than run losses. As we conclude, you’ve probably gotten the hang of the poker fold. Now, all you need to do is - play some poker and give the poker fold a try. So, come join us at Spartan, and play some poker games.