Knowing when to fold

Success in poker isn’t just about how much you win, it is also about how much you lose. Even if you are winning massive pots on some hands, if you are also losing large amounts in others your profitability is going to suffer. In order to maximise your profits you must learn when to admit defeat in a hand and fold your cards.

Even the worst players can win big when they have the best hand. The better players will not only win big with good hands, but they will also lose less with worse hands. A good player can be spotted by how they lose their hands. If they lose at the showdown too many times then they are probably a weak player, or a very unlucky player. If they are folding before the turn then it’s likely they are a strong player as they are minimizing their losses in that hand.

Every player will have made a call they shouldn’t. Even when you are pretty sure you are beaten you still find yourself calling because you want to see the hand out and you have become attached to your cards. If you get any hint that your hand is second best you have to fold regardless of what you have already put in the pot.

An example is you have AJ and the flop is A-6-7. At this point you have a strong hand so you would bet at your opponents. They may call, especially in a loose game. The turn comes and it’s another 6. You now have two pair and are pretty confident you will win the hand so you put another bet in. It gets called and the river card is another 7 making a board of A-6-7-6-7. Your opponent moves all-in and despite knowing that they are likely to have trips or even a boat but you call anyway because you still have a strong hand and have already bet plenty of your stack to get to the river. A wiser player will immediately know the opponent has made a full house and will fold, regardless of what they have already contributed to the pot.

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