Tips and Advice on When You Should Fold Your Poker HandsCasino
While many of the gambling options available at online casinos such as online slots and live roulette are based on luck, there are also online blackjack and poker games that are considered strategic. Although blackjack and poker are both difficult games to master, poker is probably the most complex and elaborate game available today. Similar to blackjack, poker offers many different possible moves. However, there is also a mental aspect to poker. In this card game, skilled players are good at hiding their emotions; they use bluffing techniques to lure weak players into believing they have a strong hand, even if they don't. Furthermore, many poker websites feature strategies that focus on aggressive offensive play. However, good starting hands are rare, and you'll need to know how to proceed if fortune isn't on your side. Folding is one of the affordable moves in poker, and one that is often resorted to by cautious (tight) players. Below we will tell you when it is a playful move, as well as give you some helpful online poker tips.
When You Should Fold
Any bet you can keep - instead of giving it to the casino - is a bet you can use in future rounds of play. Naturally, there's no point in using the fold option if you have pretty strong starting hands. However, if you think your chances of winning are slim to none, it's a good idea to fold, thus avoiding the risk of taking a big loss. We're going to look at a few game cases where a fold is the best decision. Keep in mind that these tips apply to Texas Hold'em, which is perhaps the most popular form of online poker today. Being the easiest to learn, Texas Hold'em is also the version of poker able to bring the most profits in the short term (or at least the least losses). So, if Texas Hold'em is your choice, the information below may be very useful for you. It applies to your starting hands as well as when you're on the river. Also, some tips will help you make more informed decisions when you're playing in poker tournaments.
Unlucky Starting Hands
In Texas Hold'em, there are some outright bad starting hands, as well as some that shouldn't be folded. Sometimes it's hard to give definitive advice on how you should proceed at the start of a playing round, as poker is an event-specific game where many different factors need to be taken into account. However, there is still a group of starting hands that should be folded regardless of what happens at the table. In addition, we will list a few starting hands that you can either fold or keep playing. You probably won't agree with some of our recommendations, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, if you're a basic-level poker player, you should still take our advice. So, here are some examples of starting hands with which you are unlikely to get an outstanding result if you continue playing:
A hand with 2-7 except when you have a pair of 2-7 or (2-7)-A of the same suit.
- A hand with 8 except a pair of eights, 8-A, 7-8, 8-9 of one suit, or 8-10 of one suit.
- A hand with 9 except a pair of nines, 9-A of one suit, 8-9 of one suit, 9-10 of one suit, 9-J of one suit, 9-Q of one suit, 9-K of one suit.
So, the list of hands that can be folded at the start of the game is impressive. And if you fold such hands, you'll earn more in the long run, as you won't lose too often. Keep in mind that Aches with low cards of the same suit and low pocket pairs also often trap players into losing a bet. Therefore, you need to study carefully which starting hands are the most promising and learn to make quick decisions. However, even if you decide to stay in the game, you still have a chance to avoid big losses by using a fold move.
Folding on the River
Although poker is a game based on certain rules, full understanding comes with experience. So, if you've made the right decision about what to do with your starting hands, you're unlikely to fold on the river. In fact, if you see a player who often fouls at this stage, you'll know what his strength is. If you make a bad decision early in the game and lose your chances of winning, you may want to fold on the river to avoid taking a bigger loss.
So, as practice shows, professional poker players usually call instead of folding when they get to the river. Unless you are in a clearly losing situation, you should not fold on the river. Furthermore, even if your hand is very weak, in some cases, calling is a much better option than folding.
The Turn & The Flop
When you are on the flop, you already have five cards, which is enough to know what your chances are. It's at this point that you need to make a final decision as to whether you should keep fighting or you should quit. So, if the pot odds aren't in your favour, you shouldn't draw another card. If your hand continues to be weak and unpromising at this point in the game, folding can still save you from an even bigger loss. Keep in mind that Texas Hold'em is about much more than just your current hand at a particular point in the game. There are a lot of factors that get you to the flop and the hand you have. You need to consider your and your opponent's odds of winning. If your odds of making a stronger hand than your opponents are slimmer, a foul can be a better decision.
As seasoned poker players say, making good decisions during the opening hand and also during the flop phase ensures that the rest of the hand will play itself out without having to think long and hard about possible moves. However, if you didn't fold on the flop for whatever reason because you wanted to get to the river, it's better to make a smart decision and fold on the turn. So, if - given your current cards and your opponent's actions - you have a negative mathematical expectation on the pot odds, you should fold on the turn.
Tips for Folding in Poker Tournaments
Above we talked about when you should fold when playing cash games, but a poker tournament is an entirely different experience. When playing in tournaments, you need to use a whole different kind of poker mentality to get meaningful results. So, folding even when the odds of winning the pot are high is a typical situation in poker tournaments.
When you join a tournament, you have a limited amount of chips and you need to keep them in order to stay in the game. Every tournament player wants to increase his chip count, and the best way to do so is to take a risk with what you have. However, such risk can only be justified when your chances of winning are really high.
Let's say you are in a tournament and you have faced a situation where an all-of-your-chips bet has a positive mathematical expectation, but your odds of winning are 25%. This means that in only one case out of four, you will be able to stay in the tournament. Is it worth the risk in such a situation, or should you rather fold to stay in the tournament? There can be no right or wrong answer here, as it all depends on the player's desire and risk tolerance. On the other hand, if your odds of winning a tournament hand are 60% or higher, you should stay in the game.
The difficulty with the tournament format is that you need to find the perfect balance between short-term results and long-term expectations, which is a very difficult task. Obviously, every poker player wants to play hands with good pot odds, but they don't come around nearly as often as desired. However, in most cases, it is far better to accept a small local loss in order to stay in the tournament and continue fighting for the top prize.
Since a fold is the same as giving up, because you lose your chance to fight for the pot, most players prefer the call option. However, statistics show that most poker players lose in the long run by neglecting to fold. Only professional players consider all options, including Call, Raise or Fold. The fact is that poker is a game of probabilities, and you must learn to quickly calculate the pot odds at every phase of the game. Furthermore, by knowing the unpromising starting hands outlined in this post, you can avoid unnecessary time and financial losses.
In order to understand poker, you need to practice it all the time. More importantly, you must understand the fundamental differences between cash games and poker tournaments if you want to make the best decisions. And while most poker strategies teach you to play more aggressively - that is, look for reasons to call - you also need to look for reasons to fold to secure your long-term edge.