How and when to fold properly in Texas Hold em

Playing poker is all about the excitement of taking a hand to the last street and get ahold of that major pot. However, that doesnt happen that often, and the best players are prepared with the best strategies to take full advantage of each step of a Texas Holdem hand even to fold properly, there is a strategy. Folding is one of the least favorite actions for poker players; not only are you giving away your pot money to your opponent, but it also feels like losing. Understanding how to fold and what makes your opponent fold will certainly give you an edge in your game.

When it comes to folding, most players fall into one of these two categories; you are either a player who folds far too often or a player who folds far too rarely. However, to make the most out of a fold, you should fall into a third and less common category that consists of a breed of these two categories to create a player who folds a correct amount of the time and keeps their continuance frequencies and ranges during a poker hand in good standings.

There are times to fold, of course, but it should not be as frequent as most players do, which leads to having incorrect folding frequencies. For instance, there are players who would rather fold a gutshot hand inside straight draw which still has some equity; however, if you fold without giving this hand a shot,

you are just giving up any percentage your cards had to win the hand.

Another threat that could make fold far too often is to become a target of more experienced players who often look to attack the small fishes who fold too often to kick them out and steal their pots. Folding too often will quickly put you in the spot and these players will often follow your actions to try to scare you. A good average is to fold around 30% of the hands, but never go above 50%, or it will only mean you are giving your money away.

Texas holdem poker when to fold

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Understanding How and When to Fold in Poker

If you fold your hand in poker, you lay down your cards and stop playing the hand. A fold can happen at any point in the play when it is your turn to act. Folding in poker means you are out for that hand. You no longer will have any claim on the pot and you won't be required to put more money into the pot for that hand. It's also known as lay down and muck.

The Right Way to Fold

When playing at a poker table, you should wait until it is your turn to act before you fold. While you may have been dealt poor cards and you would love to toss them in immediately, you need to be patient and wait for the other players ahead of you to fold, call, or raise. If you make your fold out of turn you will earn the disapproval of the others at the table as you are giving information to those who have the action before you. Those who had yet to act on the hand will know there is one less person to call and add to the pot or with the potential of raising the pot further. This can affect their decision to call, raise, or fold.

If you're playing online, you can often program the action in when you view your cards, but at a live table, you need to wait.

Place the cards face down and, out of courtesy to the dealer, slide them forward enough so the dealer can easily rake them into the muck pile. You may also say "fold" or "I fold" verbally before you discard your cards face down. Once you indicate a fold, you can't change your mind and re-enter the hand.

You should not expose your cards to the other players when you fold. Don't get fancy with your tossing action and risk one flipping to be exposed. If you do this more than once you are likely to get a further admonishment from the dealer.

It also is unusual to fold rather than check if you have the option to check, such as after the flop, turn, or river. Usually, you would check and then fold if there is a raise.

The Hero Fold

If you are folding on the final play of the hand, such as after the river cards have been dealt and your opponents have made all of the plays they can make, some players might expose one or both cards to show they have made a hero fold. For example, the river card has been dealt and you are in the hand with only one other opponent, who goes all-in. You decide it's time to fold 'em because you know they are a tight player and it's likely you will lose the hand. But you're holding a decent hand and you decide to turn over cards when you fold to show what you had. In this case, you won't get an admonishment from the dealer because you aren't giving information to any player who still has action in the hand.

What Hands to Fold in Poker: Defense is the Best Offense

Every time a community card is turned over, it affects the situation on the poker table. Before the flop, when you only see two hold cards, there is no right or wrong way to play. For players at different levels, their poker strategies in the same scenario might differ.

However, defense is often the best offense. Every decision a player makes should be strategic and aimed toward winning money in the long run. We prepared this guide so that even a beginner can have a better understanding of what to fold safely in their poker games.

1. Give It Up at a Glance

For some hands, as long as you get them, you can basically make your decision to fold. SLOWPLAY has compiled these hands that should be discarded for your reference.

  • When X?6, any hand except ?X+X?or?X+A?should be folded.
  • Any hand with seven, except ?7+7??7+A?or?7+8?should be folded.
  • Any hand with eight, except ?8+8??8+A??8+7??8+9?or?8+10?should be folded.
  • When X?7, any hand with?X+9?should be also folded.

Don t worry if it seems a bit complicated to understand. Simply download our cheat sheet. Any hand that falls into the golden area in the sheet should be folded. It is strategically better to wait for the next round for a more ideal hand.

If you are a beginning poker player and have not yet figured out how to win in Texas Hold'em, when you encounter these types of poker hand, you can be sure to fold them and keep your chips to make a profit in the long run. Even if you are in the blinds and you get to see the flop round for free, with these hands, you would still need to check and fold when other players start putting chips into the pot.

2. Don t Play the Ambiguous Hands

In addition to the hands that we recommend giving up at a glance, there are also other poker hands that are ambiguous of whether it is playable or not. What we suggest is to fold them as well. For example, these hands could be low pocket pairs, aces with playing cards that have a face value of less than 10, or suited connectors with a seven, eight, or nine. These hands might make you hesitant to fold, but in reality, your chance to win is fairly small and they lose on average. Therefore, simply suppress the urge to enter the pot with these hands. (Check out our cheat sheet provided above, these ambiguous hands are also included in the golden area.)

Simply put, these cards are "OK to play but not necessary." If you just want to enjoy the process of the poker game, then go ahead. But if you want this hand to win poker chips for you, then probability is not on your side.

So. what kind of hands should you play?

The answer is high pairs, high suited cards, and high unsuited cards. These hands can help you complete high pairs, flushes, and high straights which give you the best chance to win the pot.

3. How Positions Might Affect Your Strategy

Your position at the table also has a greater impact on whether you should fold or not. If you are in the early position or even the blinds, unless you have an excellent hand like pocket aces, kings, queens, ace king suited, or the bottom line - ace queen suited, you should fold all the other hands for the best result.

If you re playing in the middle position and you get strong pocket pairs or even suited high card hands, you might consider to continue. But the majority of the time, it is still better to fold.

If you are in the late position, in some cases other hands which are not listed above could also be worth a try. However, if you only have a low pair or lower suited hand, and there are already players in the pot that have raised, we would recommend you to fold and play safe. Some players choose to take a risk, but most of them would still fold in the flop round and lose their chips in the end.

Not sure what are the early, middle, or late positions? Don't worry, check out our post here: LEARN THE IMPORTANCE OF POSITION IN POKER AND PLAY WITH BETTER STRATEGIES

To sum it up, the beauty of Texas Holdem is not only about its infinite possibilities but also about meticulous strategic thinking. Trying to train your thought process when it comes to folding cards could help you conserve your chips and turn profitable in the long run. All in all, enjoy the game and let the fun begin!

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