Folding in Poker, With Style
If you want our honest opinion, poker should be about style as much as skill. The way you play poker will eventually broadcast your personality over time, and you have to think about what type of player reputation you want to build. Are you someone that folds too much? Are you someone that folds too little? Either way you look at it, not folding the right way is going to cost you money. We won’t quote the obvious song reference here, but you get the idea: you really do need to know when to walk away from a hand.
We remember being new players in the world of poker, full of enthusiasm. We were so sure of ourselves, thinking that all poker hands were going to be a great opportunity to rack up a lot of chips. Did we mention that we watched just about every gambling movie you can think of? Hollywood might be giving people the wrong impression about poker and gambling in general, but we learned the hard way that adjustments are necessary if you want to rack up wins.
So, let’s get into how fold the right way.
1. Junk Hands
Sure, playing 95 and 72 might let you win in a blue moon, but it’s going to eat up your money int he interim. You also telegraph a lot of fish like behavior to the table, which means that you are going to get bullied. Make sure that you avoid these junk hands like the plague. Folding these is smart because it gives you room for better hands at the table, and a clearer mindset to play them.
2. Huge Raises
If a player immediately bets a high multiple of the blinds, it’s a tell that they are holding a decent hand. You can either get sucked into that or choose to wait for another round. If you’ve got a small bankroll to play with, then you might want to fold here as well. It is possible that they are just bluffing, but if nobody takes the bait, you’re not out any chips. On the other hand, you can get pulled into answering each raise, only to lose big at the showdown.
3. Hand Mismatch
Let’s say that you have a really good set of cards in your hand, like KQ. But if the flop comes down 4-7-5, guess what? Your hand suddenly isn’t that great against that flop. It’s possible that it’ll improve at the turn, but that doesn’t necessarily leave you with a lot of options. This is where your chances of taking the pot are slim, and thus it would be throwing money away to continue. If you’re playing in a tournament, this is a very important item to remember. A lot of players realize that it’s easier to knock people out at the beginning if they can suck you into playing hands that you have no chance of winning, because you’re chasing it down to the river every turn.
Folding is a big part of table image, and how much you fold can help or hinder your game. We’re not saying that you should be afraid to play but playing every hand will quickly get you looked upon as a fish — a new player that can’t navigate the world of poker. Fish get caught in nets, and that means that your chips will be up for grabs by other players. Since that’s the last thing that you want, you definitely need to ensure that you’re looking at playing smart and folding when necessary. Good luck!