As a poker player you will make a significant amount of money by simply knowing when to fold. In fact Kenny Rogers sang in The Gambler: “You got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em,” so it must be true.
A common problem among losing players is their inability to let go of a hand, regardless of how the board reads or the action of the other players in the hand. It is as if they are wearing blinkers that prevent them from seeing any danger before them.
Beginners often struggle with folding their Texas poker hands pre-flop. They will play any ace or any two suited cards regardless of their position or whether or not there has been a raise in front of them. Developing a solid starting hand strategy is a key stage of learning when to fold, and if done correctly will see you folding around 80% of your hands if you are a tight players and 65-70% if you are loose.
Once a player learns how to fold pre-flop, they then encounter problem situations on the flop, turn and river. We have all come across players who will chase a flush draw or straight draw without the correct odds or implied odds to do so. It is sometimes correct to draw but if it is a weak draw you are often better off folding rather than risking making an expensive second-best hand.
The most common scenario when a player should fold but does not is when they hold a pair of aces. People see the best pre-flop hand in poker and automatically think they are entitled to win and that their hand is invincible. Although aces are a very strong hand you should be prepared to put them in the muck if the situation dictates it. Like everything in poker it is player specific, but some examples of when it could be time to fold aces include three and four flushed boards when you do not have one of the suits, when an extremely tight player raises you on a low unconnected board or when the board contains possible straights such as JT9.
Just remember that winning poker starts with folding many hands pre-flop and then also assessing your hand’s strength on each street based on the information you can gather. If in doubt what is the right move, it is usually best to fold.