4 reasons why folding is so hard


One of the indisputable rules of poker says: "In order to succeed, you must constantly work increasing your skill" There are many ways to develop skills in poker:

  • Parsing played hands;
  • Work with poker software;    
  • Reading of books;    
  • Discussions on the forum or conference;   
  • View educational videos;    
  • Classes with a trainer.   

Most often, work on the game involves the study of new information and the accumulation of a knowledge base. Comprehension of new concepts and their application in own strategy plays an important role. But in pursuit of fresh ideas, poker players often miss another opportunity to improve their win rate. It is a widespread situation when a player practices independently and studies the theory in a chaotic manner. This leads to a paradoxical situation - we are at a good level able to make 3 barrels in bluff, but are unable to throw out our hand in time in an obvious situation. And the strangest thing - timely folds can often bring much greater benefit to our bankroll than complex concepts (which are not always applicable at low limits).

The idea of ​​the utility of pressing the “fold” button is familiar to all those who at least a little delve into the theory of poker. However, there are no less meaningless calls raised on the river or hero calls based on the fog bluff. Often unintelligible actions are noted players qualified and suitable under the definition of "plus regular".

What is the reason for the lack of calls in suitable situations? As in many other aspects of poker, the root of the problem of unexplained errors is ourselves. The peculiarities of the human psyche as a biological species very often create prerequisites for behavior that prevents a poker player from showing a good game. A sure way to cope with natural but harmful gusts for a poker player is a careful study of the reasons that prevent making folds at the right moments. Consider these prerequisites more closely.

1. "Ego"

We will not go deep into the wilds of psychoanalysis and disturb old friend Zygmund. Just note that for a huge number of players, poker is becoming another way to dominate other people. The desire to transcend their rivals and put themselves above the rest is rooted in primitive people. The most eminent hunter had priority in the division of prey and in the selection of females.

In poker, player success is not measured by impulsive and aggressive actions. The best indicator of excellence is your profit or win rate. And it is achieved much more often not by silly callings, but by folds in suitable situations. But to achieve the correct vision of the overall picture is a separate psychological skill that also needs to be developed.
Especially often sane players start ignoring the fold button when they are in tilt. Everyone knows this when, after a series of losses, you want to get yours back. Naturally, the thought process becomes cloudy and we find nothing better than to call a 3-barrel with a weak TP or push A4s in the hope of a bluff 4-bet from the opponent. The result of such actions is the loss of a significant share of the bankroll, a bad mood, loss of faith in yourself. Lose any control over each player. But getting out of balance can be very expensive. Or maybe - much cheaper. If you feel that you are prone to tilting or have already lost tangible money because of it, then we recommend to get the poker program Tilt Breaker. For a small price you get real poker insurance, which will protect you from unnecessary losses. You will no longer experience fear due to the potential loss of a bankroll. This software automatically blocks the client of the poker room after filling in the amount or number of buy-ins you have previously specified. Many experienced players say that Tilt Breaker is their best investment in poker.

2. Fold - always a loss

There is a certain logic in this: indeed, our bankroll does not increase after we press the "fold" button. But this is only at first glance. Shifting the focus to the overall picture makes it clear that in the long run folds bring money along with value bets. Just our brain is not able to perceive the situation in the complex. Changing mental attitudes through hard work on your psychology is the key to success.

3. “Here he is bluffing right now!”

Curiosity is a natural trait of man. The desire for truth, together with the reluctance to be deceived, push us to make sub-optimal decisions in the form of illogical calls at the poker table. The situation is getting worse from the modern strategic trends, where the leading position is the theory of optimal game. Armed with advanced concepts, we start ... lose more. An unexpected result of working on a theory, isn't it? And the reason is simple - low-limit players do not bluff so often to justify our magicians.

One of the most effective ways to verify this is to work with filters in the program to collect and analyze poker statistics. Careful work with the database in Holdem Manager 2, Poker Tracker 4, DriveHUD or another poker program will make it easy to understand that you are losing too much in situations where your opponent will almost never have weak hands. Please note that each of these programs has a free trial period of one month. This is enough to thoroughly analyze and identify not only situations for a fold, but also many others. Note that when you purchase a Holdem Manager 2 license, you will receive a priority right to free use of the newest poker program - Holdem Manager 3 (immediately after the release).

4. Persuade yourself not to fold

The author of the article very often called before, contrary to his own distribution plan. Always the final call was based on some HUD statistics taken out of context. Another misconception pushing toward the abyss is that very balanced game. Sometimes even working in poker calculators, like Flopzilla or Power-Equilab, can become a foundation for doing minus actions. All because of the misunderstanding of the ranges of rivals. The best solution for quality analysis will be to take several opponents with large samples and display the middle hand, which they can show at the showdown. And not theoretically possible, but never actually there is not there.


Even a superficial understanding of the essence of the contradiction, when we cannot fold a hand in an obviously lost situation, will allow us to become a little better. The scrupulous study of these faces will significantly increase your profit. Before further diving into complex poker concepts, it’s worth dealing with the biggest drawbacks. This will lay a solid foundation of stable victories in the future.