Being able to fold a good hand in poker game is one of the most important and most difficult poker skills that is crucial in order to become a successful player. These are situations when you actually have a great hand, but if you could distance yourself for a moment and rationally think about everything, folding is the best option. It’s something even the best players have trouble with, which often leads to some huge losses. There are two main reasons why so many players find it hard to fold a good hand.
First, most players are focused on their own cards and sometimes neglect their opponent’s range or the dangers the board holds. You can see this when players have AA – they get so carried away that they refuse to see how dangerous a 9-10-J flop can be, and they splash too many chips on their over-pair. An over-pair is still just one pair.
This doesn’t mean that you should automatically fold to a bet on this flop, but you should definitely play the hand with caution. If a board comes 9-10-J-9-J in the end you should definitely fold because the only hand you can beat is a stone cold bluff. The only time you should call is if you have a read on your opponent and know he often bluffs in these situations.
The second, and more dangerous reasons players refuse to fold a strong hand is when they are on tilt. One of the first signs of a player on tilt is that he has a huge problem with folding because he thinks that every hand can be the one that will bring back the money he lost. As a rule, this leads to more loses. Here are some main signs that folding is the best move, even when you have a good hand.
Strong reasons to fold a good hand in poker game
This is the most obvious reason to fold a good hand in poker game. For example, if you have a big pair and the flop comes 7-8-10, you bet and your opponent calls, the turn is another 10 and you opponent raises your turn bet then folding is the play that makes most sense.
Keep in mind that your opponent’s style should be a factor in making a decision, because if you’re up against an aggressive player who often raises these dangerous boards then sometimes you have to risk and call his bet. If this is a solid, or tight player, folding will probably save you a lot of chips.
Opponent has put you on a hand
Let say you play conservative and tight, and you get KK. You raise pre-flop, your opponent calls and the board comes 7-8-9. You bet and he raises – what to do? First thing is that, considering your style, your opponent is aware you have a good hand, probably a big pair since you raised pre flop and continued after. The fact that he’s not scared means that he has a pretty strong hand too – probably something like a pair and a big draw.
Calling is not a completely bad idea, but if a turn brings a blank card and he continues to play aggressively that the chances that he already has a bigger hand (two pairs, a set or even a straight) are much bigger. Unless you know this player is capable of bluffing you on this board you should probably fold.
Folding a strong hand is extremely difficult, but then all big decisions in poker are. The most important thing is to consider all the facts and information you have on your opponent and act rationally.