News  >>   2019-06-13
The Ultimate Poker Folding Guide

In this complete guide to folding in poker, you will discover how this much-underrated, but crucial play can help determine how much you will profit or lose.

In poker, folding is where you discard your hand into the middle of the table towards the dealer. You forfeit the current pot and not being able to take any further action for the rest of the hand to win the pot.

Be sure you adhere to proper poker folding rules and etiquette when you fold by keeping your cards face down, not showing your neighbors (and, more specifically, to other players still involved in the hand).

Why Folding Should Be an Essential Part of Your Strategy
There is an old adage in poker that still carries relevance today: You got to know when to holdem and know when to foldem. Every choice you make at the poker table are going to affect your bottom line and help determine both how much you will profit or lose, on average (and whether or not you are a winning player in the long-term).

Many players focus on the aggressive aspects of poker when it comes to strategy: betting, 3betting, raising, check-raising, leading, bluffing, firing bets for all three streets.

Its for a good reason, too: Playing an aggressive overall strategy is going to give you more ways to win the pot than just at showdown. It will usually show more profit than a more passive general approach.

However, folding is sometimes the unsung hero of poker. It can be the difference between making a losing call and cutting your losses short. And, over time, these small 0 EV folds vs -EV calls (however, big or small) will add up massively to your overall win rate.

So, in this article, were going to analyze the art of the fold both what it is and when to fold in poker, along with 6 essential considerations you should make before folding.

Check out sections in this article and then refer to the end for the flowchart:
  • When Should You be Folding Preflop?
  • Basic Starting Hand Selection
  • Getting Opponents to Fold: Being the Aggressor
  • Post-Flop Situations: Which Poker Hands to Fold
  • Post-Flop Situations: When to Fold Top Pair
  • 6 Considerations to Ask Yourself Before Folding
When in Poker Should You Be Folding Preflop?

Playing too many hands preflop is going to get you into a lot of tricky-to-navigate situations post-flop. For this reason, its vital to study starting hand charts by position to give you a reasonable baseline.

Be disciplined and fold all the hands youre supposed to! The only deviation you should make from your starting hand charts would be dependent on your opponents tendencies and how to best counteract/take advantage of them individually.

It must be emphasized that in poker, youre usually going to be folding most of your hands preflop. In fact, if you looked at HUD stats for a winning 6-max TAG player online, theyre probably only going to be voluntarily putting money into the pot preflop(VPIP)  about 22% to 26% of the time. Therefore, theyre only playing one hand for every four or five that theyre dealt!

As mentioned, small preflop mistakes can become compounded post-flop and put you in many bad situations thatll cause you to lose even more money, so its better to focus on making good starting hand decisions starting immediately by folding the hands that arent going to be profitable to play.