Fold’em and bluff’em

Knowing when and when not to fold or bluff during a Hold’em game takes experience, and the only way you are going to gain that is to practice and play frequently. However, knowing how to minimize your losses and maximize your winnings is all about knowing the right time to bet, call, raise, check or fold.

For instance, if you want to cut your losses, fold during the preflop if you do not have a strong starting hand. On the other hand, if you’re starting hand has potential, the longer you stay in the game and raise the bar, the more opportunity you have to get the other players to keep adding money to the pot; thus maximizing your possible victory. But the truth is, folding is sometimes difficult for players, especially for those players who have little patience and a lot or pride.

To help you decide when to fold ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I currently have potentially one of the best hands according to the number of players in the game?

2. Do I have enough faith in my hand to take on the other players’ personalities?

3. Is my hand worth the current wager?

Although you’ll never know the exact answers to these questions, the whole point of asking them is so that you will follow your gut instinct and do what you feel is best for the present game, and your budget. Basically, asking yourself these three questions is like giving yourself a bit of a reality check.

Furthermore, there are technically two particular rounds in Hold’em where folding needs to be considered seriously, the Preflop and the Turn. The preflop gives you an indication of your potential victory with your starting hand, so if it doesn’t look good, you can fold quickly out of the game and cut your losses early. The turn, on the other hand, is your last chance to fold before you put your final chips in the pot for the last round. Thus, if you reach the turn and all of your confidence in your hand has run dry, you can still cut your losses by skipping out on the showdown.

The whole point to bluffing is to trick the other player(s) into believing you have the best hand. The reason you want to do this is so that players will fold out of the game and you can win the pot. Sounds pretty straight forward doesn’t it? Sure it does, but like everything else in life, anything that sounds easy rarely ever is. After all, do you actually think there would be so many strategies out there if gambling was that simple? Of course not, and that’s why it takes skill. And how do you achieve this skill? Experience!

Above all, you need to remember that when it comes down to it folding is often your best option as it allows you to control your money, giving you the chance to really nail your golden opportunity once it finally comes your way. Hence, spend less time obsessing over winning every game, and use your focus on a good hand to maximize its potential and win the pot.