The Virtue of Folding Your Hand

It's important to remember that poker is an endurance game. You will not win every hand, but the hope is that you win more than you lose, or that the value of the hands you win outweigh the value of the hands that you don't. In some cases, it is important to know when to fold so that you keep this import balance in your favour.

Knowing When to Fold

Though it is important to try your hand, knowing when you are beat is a very important skill. The earlier you abandon a bad hand, the less you have invested in the play - you will lose some chips, but you may lose more if you stay in. Folding now may allow you to stay in the game longer, later. Should you be playing a bad hand but find yourself against an aggressive opponent, and you are unable to identify a bluff, consider folding early to save yourself some chips. If you are playing correctly, your chances of recovering those chips later are high.

Deciding to Fold

You must listen to your instincts, as there are many factors to consider before folding. There are some situations, however, where folding is a more logical option. When a raise has occurred and many people are still in play, if you are bluffing with a low hand, it might be time to consider your odds of outbidding the others who remain. Should there be flops where you see cards that are higher than what you are holding, you should consider the possibility of others having pairs, and how that decreases your probability of winning. You should also keep the straight in mind; if the cards on the table point to this likelihood, reassess your strength in the hand.

Sometimes it is difficult to know when to step away. Always consider what you have invested, what you will have to invest to see it though, and your chances of winning. Though poker is a game that involves chance, the level of skill you apply will determine your outcomes.