Skate into Our Exclusive Raffle and snag an NHL team jersey of your choice!

BonusNinja is giving you a golden opportunity to win your favourite NHL team’s jersey! All you have to do is subscribe to the BonusNinja newsletter right on our NHL Excitement page!

Read more!
February 27, 2024

When To Fold in Texas Hold’em—Complete Guide to Poker Folding 

Among casino games, poker—including its highly popular variant, Texas hold’em—is unique in the sense that the outcome of the game does not depend solely on luck but also on an individual player’s skill and strategy. Knowing when to fold in Texas hold’em is a critical part of that strategy. 

You cannot predict a hand dealt to you in Texas hold’em, but you can apply some of the best practices to perfect your gameplay. 

When Should You Fold in Texas Hold’em? Factors To Consider

Source: Michał Parzuchowski

Making a calculated decision about when to bet, raise, check, or fold is an essential process all poker players go through when trying to reach a Texas hold’em winning hand. Beginners might refrain from folding so as not to appear unskilled or weak, but seasoned players know that folding can only serve their needs when performed strategically.

To figure out if folding is your best bet, consider the following factors:

  1. Your hand’s strength—Being dealt a weak hand does not mean you will lose in the long run, but it’s a good indicator you may need to fold a certain round to avoid losing money
  2. The pot odds—Predicting the probability of your hand winning, aka your pot odds, involves comparing the size of the pot to the size of the bet you should call. The ratio should tell you if you should play the hand or fold
  3. Your opponents’ range—Studying your opponent’s betting range by observing their gameplay (their attempted bluffs, the hands they folded, etc.) is crucial in making decisions

Texas Hold’em—When To Fold In Different Game Stages

The decision to fold a certain hand can depend on the stage of the game or the environment in which you are playing it. To fully master your strategy, consider when to fold:

  1. Before the flop
  2. After the flop
  3. After river
  4. In tournaments

Before the Flop

Source: Michał Parzuchowski

You don’t need to win every single hand in Texas hold’em to be successful, as long as your strategic decisions help you win in the long run. Especially during pre-flop, it’s more likely for players to fold instead of play a weak hand.

Here are a few situations in which it would be smartest to fold pre-flop:

  • Being dealt a weak hand (e.g. 2 and 7, 2 and 8, 3 and 8, etc.) gives you slim chances of improving it on the flop, especially if you are in an early position
  • Experiencing unfavourable table dynamics and playing against opponents that are too aggressive (they may be raising or reraising too often) puts you in a vulnerable position
  • Playing in an early position at the table means that unless you hold a strong hand, you should consider folding
  • Having weak hand odds in a late position when the other opponents have already raised is risky 
  • Holding a seemingly okay hand (e.g. a low pair or a pair with one strong and one below 10 card) is another risk often not worth taking

To establish an ultimate Texas hold’em strategy, you should also consider creating a pre-flop chart to form a general idea of which hands are best suited to calling, raising, or folding.

After the Flop

Once the game enters post-flop, it’s much harder to determine when to fold since you can’t follow a set plan or a Texas hold’em strategy chart. Folding a hand that is not profitable is still crucial in making sure you don’t lose more money than you can spend.

If you encounter the following circumstances post-flop, you should consider folding:

  • Your weak starting hand does not improve post-flop, e.g. no pair and no draw potential, draw potential without a chance to call, pocket pair with two+ overcards on the board, etc.
  • A previously passive or tight opponent suddenly starts playing aggressively. This is often a sign they have been bluffing in previous rounds and have a stronger hand than yours  
  • The community cards on the flop become overwhelming. For example, when they are of the same suit or a straight, and your hand does not match them 

One of the most common pitfalls inexperienced poker players fall into is over-attaching themselves to a hand. Don’t hesitate to fold after the flop if it looks like the odds are not in your favour.

After the River

Because it is the last round of the game, and you have seven cards to compile the best hand you can, you might think that folding after the river is certainly a no. Even at this stage, though, you should not stay committed to the pot if you cannot actually win it.

For example, having only a marginal hand against an opponent who is betting aggressively, especially on the river, you can be certain that their hand is stronger. If you had been observing the game closely during previous rounds specifically to predict the cards your opponents are holding, you could deduce whether they are going for a straight or even a royal flush. If so, folding after the river is a wise move to avoid unnecessary losses. 

In Tournaments

While your usual folding strategy will be applicable to playing Texas hold’em in tournaments, there are a few aspects to consider that you won’t encounter during regular play.

If a tournament consists of a hundred players, ending up among the top ten guarantees financial gains for all ten players. If you find yourself among 11 players remaining, you are on the bubble—the cutoff stage between those who won’t get paid and those who will. To survive the bubble, you may want to fold an otherwise strong hand to avoid the risk of being the last player out who does not take any winnings. 

Another aspect unique to tournaments is the rebuy option, which happens during the first five blind levels and allows players to buy back their right to the pot. Playing in the rebuy stage, you will find yourself betting against more aggressive opponents, which can affect your folding decision.

What Hands Should You Fold in Texas Hold’em?

While the decision to fold depends on multiple factors, some card combinations are less likely to win than others and are usually not worth that risk. A few examples of hands you should fold in Texas hold’em are:

  • Low pocket pair, especially if your opponents have placed big bets pre-flop  
  • 6 or a number below 6, except if you have a pair
  • Face card paired with any number below 9 except if the other card is an ace
  • 9 or a 10 paired with any card below 8 
  • 7–2 offsuit, which is often referred to as the worst poker hand 
  • Mismatched low pair that has almost no improvement potential

Upon encountering a hand presented in these examples, your best bet is to muck it to preserve your chances of winning in the long run. 

Practice Makes Perfect—Where To Play Texas Hold’em Poker

Source: Markus Spiske

Armed with fresh knowledge on when to fold, you should put those tips to practice. Online poker in Canada is available across numerous digital casino platforms. Below is our compiled list of some of the most user-friendly, safe, and game-rich venues you should try out:

HelloCasinoUK Gambling Commission
Malta Gaming Authority
Register HERE!
Golden TigerMalta Gaming Authority
UK Gambling Commission
Alderney Gambling Control Commission
Register HERE!
PlayOJOMalta Gaming Authority
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
UK Gambling Commission
Register HERE!
Lucky DaysMalta Gaming Authority
Swedish Gambling Authority
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
Register HERE!
WheelzMalta Gaming AuthorityRegister HERE!
Casino ClassicMalta Gaming Authority
UK Gambling Commission
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
Register HERE!
Grand MondialKahnawake Gaming CommissionRegister HERE!
Zodiac CasinoMalta Gaming Authority
UK Gambling Commission
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
Register HERE!
Luxury CasinoMalta Gaming Authority
UK Gambling Commission
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
Register HERE!

Whether you prefer playing Texas hold’em on the big screen of your PC monitor or via your favourite online poker app, you now have new tools to use in your games. Keep practicing, and you will be able to hold your own both in laidback environments and during large tournaments. 

Featured image source: Chris Liverani

Tuomas Laine

Navigating offers and nailing the best, Tuomas is our dedicated Casino Bonus Hunter

Latest articles

Tuomas Laine / 12.03.24
How To Get a Cashback Bonus at an Online Casino—The Pro Player’s Guide

How To Get a Cashback Bonus at an Online Casino—The Pro Player’s Guide

Regardless of your skill level or experience, playing at an online casino also involves losing a few bets sometimes, souring the mood of an otherwise …

Open article
Tuomas Laine / 11.03.24
How To Make Money From Online Casino Bonuses—Maximize Your Chances of Winning

How To Make Money From Online Casino Bonuses—Maximize Your Chances of Winning

There is no denying that casino bonuses have a special allure in the world of online gambling. Many players wonder if online casino bonuses are …

Open article
Ninja Admin / 10.03.24
How To Buy Bitcoin for Online Gambling—Details & Top Alternatives

How To Buy Bitcoin for Online Gambling—Details & Top Alternatives

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have become a staple of our ever-evolving digital landscape. As more and more people keep buying Bitcoin, the demand for new ways …

Open article
Ninja Admin / 08.03.24
How To Play at an Online Casino—Explained by Experts 

How To Play at an Online Casino—Explained by Experts 

If you’re a beginner looking for some tips and tricks on how to play in an online casino, you’re at the right place!  Even if …

Open article