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Bad Folds in Poker
by Mika Ollila

Many experienced players have learned how to play well in pre-flop. They know exactly when to call, raise, or fold. Surprisingly, these same players make horrible decisions post-flop, especially when they are playing in low-limit hold’em games. Their problem is not because they call down too often, but because they fold when they should not. These players probably believed that they should be playing a smart tight-aggressive play. And this is why they fold most of the time unless they are holding a very strong hand or have a good draw. But what actually happens is that they forget to take into account the odds they are getting.

For example, in the big blind, a player has a King and an Eight of spades. One of his opponents raise in middle position and four other players call. This player also calls. On the table, the flop is made up of a King of clubs, a Ten and a Deuce of diamonds. Then, the small blind bets out. Our poker player is inclined to fold. But it is going to be a bad fold. Analyzing his cards, he still has great odds for his money, although his kicker is not exactly the best. He has a top pair and he might even end up getting trips or two pairs. Admittedly, there is a pretty good chance that one of his opponents will win. But the pot has so much money that our player should at least call one bet.

Making a bad fold can be the biggest mistake that a poker player makes. To avoid this mistake, a player must remember that there are actually two major decisions he should make. One is in pre-flop, and second is on the turn.

In pre-flop, the player will decide whether he wants to play his hand or not. In the flop, this player will usually make or call a small bet, thus, flop decisions are not really significant. In the post-flop, on the turn, the player will consider odds, his hand, and his opponents’ hands. When this player decides to call the turn, it will be advisable for him to also call the river. When he does both, it means that he is making two big bets. This may seem risky but it will be tragic to fold a winning hand on the river.

Supposed the pot is raised pre-flop and only one bet is made post-flop, a player may fold at the turn. Obviously, he lost. But the money he lost is certainly less than what he would have lost if he had called to a showdown.

Lastly, the river is not a good time to fold. There are only two situations in which a player needs to fold on the river. First, a player must fold when he misses a draw. And second, if there is much betting and raising. This indicates that the player’s hand is probably the weakest.

Mika Ollila is the owner of, which provides poker rakeback services for online poker players.

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