Playing No Limit Texas Hold’Em isn’t for everyone. If you’re someone who thinks that they should play every single hand they’re dealt, you’re going to be in for a bad time. Poker is all about knowing when to play and when to avoid playing. In other words, you really do got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away…well, you get the idea.
But when do you really fold? A lot of new players are curious to know when they should fold and when they are better off staying in the game. We wanted to address those points today.
First and foremost, you should realize that position really does count. If you’re in early position with bad cards, you should fold that hand right away. If you try to bluff in early position, everyone else is going to fall in line or re-raise and try to snatch more chips from you.
Think about your chip stack as well. If you see other people doing big raises and it would put you at a disadvantage because of your hand and the flop, then it’s time to fold the hand. Don’t feel pressured to play a bad hand simply because you donít have to pay to see the flop. Even if you’re in the blinds, it’s well worth your while to go ahead and fold.
You should also fold if you’re not feeling well mentally. Sometimes taking a step back for a few hands is the name of the game. This is especially true if you’ve been just grinding through a lot of hands already. Everyone needs a break, even the top players. You’ll find that it’s better to know when to walk away instead of playing when your emotions are scrambled up.
The best thing that you can do is learn how to fold easily. A lot of people tend to get stuck in a past where they are surrounded by all of the hands that they could have played. They start worrying that they’re leaving money on the table. While this might be true for some players, the bigger reality is that few players fold as much as they should. It’s very uncommon for a new player to already play very tight. The tendency of new players is to try to play everything they can, just in case there’s a chance they’ll win some money. In real money poker play, you can’t take this attitude at all.
Are all hands judged the same? Not at all. If you’ve already gone into the flop, you need to look at not just the value of your hole cards on their own, but how they can be improved. If you don’t see any type of improvement, that would be the time to fold.
Sometimes folding means putting the math and the logic above your own sense of pride. A lot of new players figure that if people see them folding a lot, they’re not going to be considered good. The truth is actually the other way around. When we sit down and see a player that rarely folds, we know that we’ve hit a goldmine. We know that we can lure that player into making a lot of choices that they would otherwise avoid, thus putting money in our own pockets. If that sounds very predatory to you, well…you might be playing the wrong game anyway.
Overall, get very intimate with folding your cards and even avoiding showing them to the other players after the card is done. Sometimes they just don’t need that type of information!