CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Fred Renzey

Gaming Guru

 

When In Doubt, Fold!

20 July 2007

When you're in a poker hand, many of your decisions regarding whether to play or fold will be clear and simple. If you're playing Texas Hold'em and you've been dealt a 9/6, there's nothing to think about – fold it. Say you're playing regular 7 Card Stud and you've got 4-K/K on you first three cards. Again, there's nothing to think about – raise it.

Those fundamental decisions are easy. It's when you get into the heart of the hand that the tough decisions come up. Like when you raised before the flop in Hold'em with pocket 10s, then the flop comes

2s-7d-Jd

and somebody bets. Has the bettor got a Jack? Is he just betting "on the come" with two diamonds? Could he have had you beat all along with a higher pocket pair? Here's a valuable rule of thumb to follow that will save you a lot of money in poker over your lifetime. Remember it well.

"If you don't know what to do – fold!"

I can't tell you how many times those words have echoed in my mind after I've just lost a bunch of chips in a pot.

Now, the better you know how to play poker, the more you'll know what to do. But even a pro is at a loss from time to time. If he wants to survive to play again tomorrow, he'll "muck" (fold) that hand and save those chips until he knows "where he's at" in the pot.

The first illustration above provides a good example of that principle. You might still have the best hand with your pocket 10s, but you'll probably have to call three more bets (the flop, the turn and the river) to find out. Besides that, more "overcards" (a Queen, King or Ace) or a diamond could still come, in which case you'd have to fold anyway.

Now let's try looking at a common development in 7 Card Stud. Say you start out with that 4-K/K mentioned earlier and raise it up coming in. You get a couple of callers and on the fourth card, one of them catches an Ace and bets right into you.

Did that son-of-a-gun call your raise with an Ace in the hole? Maybe yes, maybe no. Were any Aces folded around the board on the first betting round? Is this player the type who would bet into you without having Aces? If you don't have a good feel for these answers, take yourself out of the guessing game and fold. You can't call four more bets not knowing where you're at.

Finally, let's look at an Omaha Hi/Lo dilemma. You've got A/2/2/K in a late seat and the flop comes down

2-8-8

There are lots of players in. You flopped a full house – deuces over eights. It's a bet, a raise and two calls to you. Barring "quads" (four of a kind), you've got the best possible high hand at this point.

But - there is no 4th or 5th card that couldn't easily make somebody else a higher full house. And if any 3 through 7 comes, an 8 low will be made and there goes half the pot.

If you feel ominously threatened with your tiny full house, you've got more card sense than most Omaha players. Resist the automatic reflex to shake your head and call in confusion. No matter what cards come, you won't know where you're at. Don't put yourself in a position to lament over what a bad beat you took on this hand. Just fold now and get out of harm's way.

There are countless other scenarios like these that are bound to give you pause when they come up in a poker hand. That pause often means it's time to fold.

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey