When to Stop Playing

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 00:33

When to Stop Playing

A way of saying stop and quit playing poker.

Most people seem to think that being aggressive is a crucial characteristic in playing poker. Although this quality can often yield favorable results, you still have to learn when to back off and stop playing. Defeat is a fact of life in playing poker, but with proper analysis, you can save yourself from actually losing a lot of money. This is where the process of folding becomes important.  

Folding occurs when you decline a bet and subsequently drop out of the hand. This makes you unable to win the actual pot while preventing you from losing to your opponents. In all Internet poker games, there is a button which you can press to fold. But when exactly should you press this button? This may depend on certain factors such as the comparison between the odds of the pot and those of your cards. Upon knowing how much cash is in the said pot, you should weigh the call or bet against it. For example, if the pot amount is $200, and you need to give a call of $10 for you to stay in the game, then the pot odds would be one to 20. During this stage, look at your hand and decide if the cards can beat those odds. If so, you can make a call and even consider raising. However, if the odds of the pot are far better than those of your cards, then this is an opportune time for folding.

Another way to determine when to fold is by knowing the strength of your hand. Generally, you have a greater tendency to lose a lot if you obtained the second best hand. You may think that it is impossible to determine right away if your hand is weak but after observing the flop, you can have a clearer idea on how strong your hand is. Once you are dealt a card, do not make a conclusion regarding its strength at once, and instead, you should look at the community cards and how each one would be of use to your hand. If no community cards seem to improve your hand, you may choose to fold.  

Moving on, you also have to observe the moves of your opponents while you are thinking of folding. If a player makes a raise or bet when you are currently considering folding, look at the number of chips he has in front of him. If he has very little chips left, then chances are, your opponent is probably bluff raising and betting as he thinks he would be going all-in on the hand.          

As a final note, deciding whether or not you should fold in a particular game is one very consequential choice you will definitely make. You can ensure that you would be taking the right option through studying the odds you have, comparing your cards with the ones on the board, and keeping a watchful eye on your opponents and their stacks.