Early in the book, we told you that we'd teach you to win by folding. As we approach the end of this text, it's probably well to review some of the reasons that you should fold. So, you should be looking for a reason to fold if:

  1. You look at your first two cards and don't think, "Hey, cool."
  2. There's a raise in front of you pre-flop.
  3. On the flop, you don't have top pair or better, an open-end straight draw, or four-card flush draw.
  4. An unimaginative player raises on the turn and you don't have the pot odds to outdraw him if you're behind.
  5. On the river, you have a marginal calling hand but there are other callers in front of you, or players to act behind you.

Of course, you shouldn't fold in every one of these situations, nor should you necessarily call if none of these apply. But these guidelines will help you get out of hands that are likely to cost you money.

Here's a tip about folding pre-flop: many experienced poker players will encourage you to not look at your cards until the action gets to you. This does indeed insure that you won't give away any tells to the other players before you act. However, I think that when you're new to the game, you're better off looking at your cards immediately. If for no other reason, it will give you time to find the reasons to fold. Often our first instinct is to put money in the pot; a little time to think may allow you to find an important reason to wait for the next hand.

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Gambling Generics

Gambling Generics

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