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Leak #1 - Not Folding enough

poker not folding

Leak #1 "not folding enough" is symbolized by a folded dollar bill. What this means is that if you do not fold enough in holdem poker, you will lose money. Indeed you will lose serious money, as this is the mother of all leaks, with frequency 9/10 and cost 7/10. It happens very often and costs a lot.

Remember the image of the folded dollar bet anytime you think you are calling too much.

This is the first natural leak that most beginners and some experienced players have. If you play poker, of course you want to win money, but you are also seeking fun, entertainment and social gatherings. This is why many players are looking for action at the tables, and it is quite boring to fold most hands while looking at other players playing exciting hands.

We do not fold enough because we want to participate in the game and play poker for fun. Unfortunately, profitable holdem strategies require to fold most hands preflop, and to use the folding machinery postflop with profusion as well.

Do not play online poker if you are under the influence of alcohol, tired or upset. You will call more often because these three states of mind make you much less willing to withstand the long patient periods without good cards.

It is generally agreed that an optimal VPIP (% hands not fold preflop) should be around 15% in full ring and 22% in 6-max. To take the full ring example, it means that in order to follow such an optimal strategy, you should only play around one hand every 6-7 hands, or a little bit more than one hand per orbit. And waste the rest of the time. This clearly requires discipline and does not come up naturally.

There are four chances to fold. Preflop, at the flop, turn, river. Leak #1 concerns both pre and postflop actions.

First, it is very important to learn to fold most hands preflop. This will save you a lot of money, especially when you are starting to play holdem poker on the Internet. It is quite easy to do so, you just need to follow a starting hand chart. We introduce this concept in the Hold'em Starting Hands article, and this can be used as a building block for you. Later you can think for yourself what hands you want to play in holdem poker.

Poker is a statistical game, and it is crucial to fully understand that some actions, if repeated consistently, will consistently cost you money. It you systematically play 8♠3, this will cost you money because these hole cards have NEGATIVE expected value. If you systematically play A♠A, this will not cost you money, because rockets have POSITIVE expected value.

Leak #1 also crop up postflop and you need to know to fold a hand which has a very small chance to be the winner. Fold if you know you are beat, do not hope (prey) for a (costly) miracle.

The topic of folding hands after the flop in not as simple as preflop folding, which can be as effortless as automatically following a starting hand chart. Postflop, you must assess the quality of your hand, the chance that it improves, the likely hand of your opponent, the chance that he improves, the price of the bet to call, and the bet in relation to the pot.

Leak #1 is like a dark angel floating over you when you play from the flop. Be particularly cautious when you must call a big or an overbet. If you are on a draw, you must calculate if you have the proper odds to call. Sometimes an opponent will attempt to bluff you out of a hand by making an allin bet. Doubt will submerge you, but remember that one of the ABC rule of poker is, "make a bigger bet with a bigger hand". Oftentimes you will call just to discover the dreaded monster.

The ultimate skill of a great poker player is to know when to make tough folds. This is a skill you can learn by watching the best pros and amateurs playing at pokerstars.


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