One skill a player must learn while playing the micro-stakes of online poker is knowing when to fold.Â Too often the biggest downfall of a new player is calling too much, especially when
the signs are there that he or she is beat.Â You probably already know you donâ€™t want to become a calling station (someone that just calls down every bet), but you
donâ€™t want to be the player thatâ€™s in too many pots and betting too many streets.Â Just like the old saying goes â€“ you gotta know
when to foldâ€™em playing holdâ€™em.
Letâ€™s look at some hands and using the replayer and weâ€™ll stop the action so you can think to yourself whether you would fold, raise, or call.Â Try
to do these exercises before we give the recommended answer.
Our hero is in the cutoff seat (1 off from the dealer button) for this hand and raises it up 3x the big blind (we recommend 4x).Â The villain in the hand (vogs18) on the big blind puts
out a really weird raise to $2 (this raise should have been to $2.50).Â Our hero with AK offsuit makes the call with position and a big hand.Â The flop comes Q57 rainbow and our
villain check-raises us all in.Â The pot, when you add in his all-in and the $3 our hero put out there, is about $17 and itâ€™s going to be $7.15 more to
call.Â Do you fold or call?
Recommended Answer: FOLD.Â This is a situation where you are either facing a big time bluff (very unlikely) or are crushed in the hand by AA, KK, QQ, AQ, or KQ.Â By using
PokerStove, we see that our opponent with a range of the hands above has 89 to 11% equity against us in the hand.Â Itâ€™s not even close to a coinflip!Â Just
save the $7 and move on to the next hand.
Our hero has a great hand here with AQ suited in the hijack seat (2 off from the dealer button) and makes a 3x BB raise (again, make sure YOU make it 4x).Â Our villain in the small blind
min-raises us (a dubious play) and our hero flat calls.Â Our hero properly plays it safe calling the flop min-bet and checking to see the river.Â The river card is a Q giving
our hero TPTK (Top Pair Top Kicker), however the board is extremely dangerous.Â The villain throws out a ~75% bet at the river.Â What do you do â€“ fold, call,
Recommended Answer:Â FOLD.Â Although there are no flush draws that filled out on this board, there definitely are a lot of hands that he could be holding that beat you.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â A hand with any 10 in it beats you (straight)
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Pocket pairs of 99 and 88 beat you (full house)
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â A hand with any J beats you (three of a kind)
Now think of all the hands that he might have that he would make this bet with that you have beat.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â KQ (Top Pair, worse kicker)
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Busted Flush/Busted Straight Draw Bluff/AK Bluff
This is where your instincts would come into being having watching this opponent play a bit to see if he was bluffy on the river, but letâ€™s take the bluff equation out of the
hand â€“ it really looks like youâ€™re beat here by an overwhelming majority.Â Itâ€™s time to fold because you are flat out beat.
Okay this one is pretty easy.Â Itâ€™s a fold right?Â Right!Â The first â€œred flagâ€ was the donk bet on the
flop.Â A â€œdonk betâ€ means that you were the preflop raiser, your opponent called, and when first to act your opponent bets into you.Â Â
Anyways moving on in the hand, at the river our opponent bets the pot.Â I think itâ€™s not out of the realm of reason to think that our opponent might be bluffing here
but the problem is you have AJ meaning that *anything* beats us in terms of a pair of twos on up.Â Itâ€™s time to fold â€“ again.
What to think about
Here are the important points to take in from this article as part of the bigger picture of your poker education as you play the micro-stakes of online poker:
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â When a big decision has to be made, think about what your
opponent would logically be making their bet with, and is it a hand that you have beat.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Always reassess yourself on every street.Â Pocket
Aces might look GREAT at the flop, but if weâ€™re at the river and all you have is a pair of aces, they donâ€™t look as sexy as they used to.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Thereâ€™s never a need to throw away money
on the river when you know you are beat.
In this article we'll look at some hands from my hand histories at low stakes, specifically $0.50-$1 No Limit Hold'em (both 6max and Full Ring) and also give HUD stats of the villains and see
how that might affect our thinking in terms of making a decision.