There is a time and place for everything in poker, and folding your hand is one of the most critical aspects of the game. Knowing when to fold can mean distinguishing between walking away with a profit and losing your entire stack. Here are a few signs that you should fold your poker hands, no matter the situation.

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You have a low pair or disconnected cards

When playing poker, it’s essential to know when to hold and when to fold. Quite often, determining the best course of action can take time and effort. Generally speaking, if you possess a low pair (22 to 77) or two cards that are not connected and don’t make a straight, your chances of making anything but a low pair or high card with these hands is highly unlikely.

Unless you determine good pot odds and implied odds, it’s in your best interest to just fold your hand and wait for another opportunity until you get the best poker hands. In this case, avoiding risk pays dividends instead of chasing an improbable outcome.

You’re facing a big bet

Being willing to accept a loss in poker is sometimes the smartest move. When facing a big bet, it might be wise to fold your poker card and cut your losses before the pot gets too large for you to handle financially.

Folding can be complex because no one likes to admit defeat, but if the pot is too risky for you, then taking the hit can be more cost-effective than risking money you don’t have on a hand that just isn’t strong enough. No matter how good a player you are, there will always be times when folding and saving your chips is the best option.

You’re facing multiple bets

When facing multiple bets in Texas Holdem poker or any variation of the game, you will likely have to commit more money than if you were facing only one bet. It puts significant pressure on the decision and can lead to tough choices if you feel the odds are not in your favor.

The most prudent move, in this situation, may be to simply fold and wait until another game where you believe you have better chances at success. While it may be difficult to walk away from what could potentially net a significant return, being careful with how much money gets risked at any given time is essential for long-term success in poker.

You don’t understand the value of your hand

Learning the poker rankings is a tricky feat even for experienced players, so when you feel like you’re out of your depth and can’t get a handle on the value of your cards, the best course of action is to fold.

Don’t be tempted to take risks and hope that somehow luck will deliver you an unexpected win; instead, adopt a play-it-safe attitude by folding and taking the time to stay back, assess, and learn more about the game as it goes by.

The advantages are evident – sure, there may be no victory in these moments, but come the next game day, you’ll be better prepared to capitalize on educated decisions and pursue tremendous success at the table.

The pot is already large

The size of the pot can often be a significant factor to consider when deciding whether or not to make a bet. If the pot is huge, it may behoove the player to fold. The risk associated with continuing in a big pot can take time to manage appropriately. Your opponents often attempt to bait even skilled players into making impulsive decisions to take their chips.

An effective poker strategy requires a disciplined approach, which sometimes means leaving the pot when it’s large, and there is less reward potential than risk.

You feel emotional

Feeling emotional during a poker game can be incredibly detrimental to your success. The effect of emotions on decision-making is widely known and supported, as it can cause us to act in ways that are inconsistent with our better judgment or long-term goals.

If you feel overwhelmed by any emotion while playing poker, forming a straightforward habit may prove immensely beneficial: folding your hands. Folding will allow you to take a step back and reassess the situation without the pressure to continue playing.

You’ll be in a much better place to make thoughtful decisions if you leave the table before allowing impulses to guide your actions.

You’re playing at a table with aggressive players

If you’re playing poker and encounter aggressive players, folding your hands can often be the best strategy. While trying to outplay an overly-aggressive opponent may seem tempting, it rarely pays off in the long run.

With aggressive players, you are entering a battle of wits that you may not be able to win; they usually have more experience or knowledge than the average player and will try hard to mislead and bully inexperienced opponents.

It is generally advisable to fold weak hands against strong opponents and only stick around for big hands with a high probability of winning. Of course, the line between bravery and recklessness is thin; however, proper consideration should be given before calling on a potentially weak hand.

You’re on a bad streak

The most important thing to remember when you’re on a bad streak at poker is that you should fold your hands. Trying to stay in the game and hoping things turn around is a recipe for disaster.

Of course, it could be tempting to continue playing because of the possibility of luck in your favor. However, most successful poker players know this is a risky approach and can lead to more significant losses than losses from folding one too many times.

Folding is not an admission of defeat but rather an acknowledgment that it’s time for a change in strategy or time to take a break and come back with a fresh mindset.


Knowing when to fold your poker hands is essential to learning to be a successful poker player. Pay attention to the signs and make sure you know when it’s time to cut your losses and move on. It will help you protect your chips and stay in the game for longer.