# Knowing When To Fold

Sometimes in poker the best thing you can do at the tables is fold. Sure we all wish we could win every hand but then it wouldn’t be much of a competition and it would get tiring after awhile.

There have been many instances where I’ve seen players continue calling bets when they’ve should have folded. When players are calling these bets they are chasing flushes and straights most of the time.

In Hold’em a lot of my decision making is based on what happens on the flop. If I don’t hit anything on the flop and all I have is a high card I’ll play it safely unless I have a history with my opponent and have a feeling that if I bet my opponent will likely fold.

I’ll try to check it down and see if something hits on the turn or river. If an opponent bets I’ll likely fold. You should be playing the percentages and not chase something that’s not likely going to hit. When you do that all your doing is throwing away your chips unless if you have a history with an opponent and you know they’ll probably fold or if your a good bluffer and are often successful bluffing.

When do you know when it’s the right time to fold a hand?

-Marc

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Usually one second after I have been rivered - again

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Yeah, that’s my usual time, too.

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Folding is one of the three decisions you can make in poker (the other two being call and raise), and folding specifically is mostly a math problem. If you have just a flush draw and somebody goes all in for 100x pot, you probably are not getting the right to call and can’t raise. But if villain bets 1/2 pot, you should almost never fold.

I fold when a) I don’t think it is a good spot to bluff, b) I am not getting the right price to continue, c) I do not think I am ahead of enough hands villain is betting for value, and d) I have better hands to continue with in my range.

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In the vast majority of instances, it’s pretty easy to determine your likelihood of having a winning hand after you see the flop. But people do strange things that make absolutely no sense.

I folded so often that someone complained.

I’ve obscured the player’s name, because I don’t want him to get a warning, even though he used bad language. I understand the complaint. Folding was pretty much all I did at that table. I can appreciate that it must have been irritating. I can appreciate that others may have thought I was trolling. But I wasn’t. I was folding all the time because I was getting garbage hands all the time. Folding a lot is not actually unusual for me, but it’s the first time anyone’s complained.

On the other hand, I’m entitled to fold as often as I see fit. There are, as far as I know, no rules compelling one to play, other than posting blinds. If I receive junk cards - all the worst ones (7/2, 8/3, etc.) - I will not play. If that means folding 19 in every 20 hands, so be it.

I’m a nit. I know garbage when I see it. Nits are just a part of the game, just like donkeys, fish, bingo players, maniacs, etc. While nit-play has obvious shortcomings, nits make rational decisions and they should, assuming they possess modest skills and are prepared to take calculated risks, be able to achieve sustainable profitability.

I’ve played nearly 70,000 games of poker here. That might not sound many compared to some players, but still, 70,000 games is a reasonable amount of poker. I’m wise enough to know that 8/3, 7/2, 9/3 is not going to win. One might, very occasionally, flop an eights/threes full house or even quads, and while it’s disappointing when that happens, the savings made from always folding garbage are vastly greater than any winnings one might achieve from the very occasional, freakishly lucky flop.

Moreover, the person who complained has (to put it charitably) a very modest number of chips in his bankroll, despite having been on the site for longer than me. His bankroll is 2% of mine. He obviously doesn’t realize, but if he folded more often, he’d win more chips.

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