Sounds easier than it seems…right? This could easily be one of the most difficult skills to master in poker. Not only it’s not enough to have instincts or technical knowledge to determine whether if it is best to check, call, raise or fold, but also a lot of discipline. This is especially true when we should fold when everything indicates that there is no way to win the pot.
Many times emotions cloud our reasoning and take control of our decisions, and I call this the cancer of every poker player.
But FEAR NOT!
Here we will give you some of the best advice you can receive regarding this and it will help you clarify your mind in those critical situations of the game. Just don't join the dark side of the force! Ready? Here we go!
WHEN FOLDING IS WRONG!
• Whenever you have the option to CHECK! (Duh, right?)
• Whenever you are 100% sure you have the best hand (Yeah, ok Mr. Obvious)
• Whenever you potentially have the worst hand but you have the correct odds to call
• Whenever you potentially have the worst hand but you can bluff your opponent out of the pot
WHEN FOLDING IS CORRECT!
• Whenever you´re holding the worst hand and/or you´re not sure if you can bluff your opponent out of the pot.
• Whenever your hand doesn´t have enough chances to improve to take down the pot in a potential showdown.
• Whenever you´re unsure if you´re ahead or behind and you´re facing a big bet
• Whenever you´re getting the right odds to call but you´re not closing the action and you have an aggressive player behind.
This seems pretty straight forward, right? That's because it is! So, why is it difficult for many players to decide to fold a hand when they surely know they´re beat?
It is due more to a mental or psychological cause rather than to a lack of knowledge or experience. We have seen many players with extensive knowledge of the game and enough experience under their belt not making a clear fold in a hand simply because they allowed their emotions to dictate their decisions. In other words ... They fell on tilt!
It is that simple.
So, stop looking for hidden cats here and complicate a very simple topic. All the technical knowledge about poker to dominate the game is available and accessible to the vast majority of people. But it is worth nothing if all you can learn about the game are only odds, percentages, outs, hand reading, ranges, equities, etc. if you also don´t work the mental aspect.