Fold in poker: what is the difference with check and what does it imply in a round?

Do you need to clarify poker concepts? If you have been playing this card game for a while, you will have discovered a lot of terms that may overwhelm you at first.

Beyond making an all-in, bluffing or raisin a bet, you will have to master other basic concepts that will make you understand more in depth this rich card game and manage much better during the games.

In today's article, you will learn what fold means in poker and what differentiates this move from others like check. If you want to expand your poker vocabulary, stay tuned, the information below will interest you.

Fold in poker: meaning and implications during play

Even if you still don't know what we mean when we talk about fold poker, surely you have opted for this move on more than one occasion and at different moments of the games.

Imagine the following scenario in the classic Texas Hold'em game: preflop, you find yourself with a 2-heart and Q clubs. The bets are placed and the flop is reached. The three community cards reveal 4 spades, 5 spades and 7 hearts, and the preflop bets increase significantly. What do you do in this situation? You will most likely opt for retirement i.e. fold.

Now you could answer this question if you are asked what fold poker means. Folding in poker means you are out for that hand. You have decided not to call or raise. In the example above, given the raise, everything points to the fact that your opponents may have a straight or even a flush draw, so it would be wise to fold and not go, given your hole cards.

As you can see, folding is one of your options during a hand, and it is as important to know how to bet as it is to know how to fold. Therefore, if you anticipate that your hand is not going to be a winner, folding in time is much better than continuing to bet. So much so that professional players do not hesitate to fold instead of continuing to bet until the river.

You have to keep in mind that, by folding, you give up the possibility of winning chips in that hand, but, probably, you will stop losing much more money than you could win.

Fold vs check: basic differences

As explained in the previous section, a fold is justified if there is a bet from another player. In case there is not and considering that we start from a weak hand pair, what you should do would be check.

If you have ever wondered what is check in poker, is what one does if they wish to pass the action to the next player, but keep their cards. Checking is a smart move on the part of a player who wants to stay in the game while committing no money to the pot.

However, checking is only possible if there has been no previous bet. In the event that a player has made a bet, the next player to speak can only call, raise, or fold. Here we see the basic difference between fold and check: while you can fold at any time of the game, even preflop, you can only check if no one has bet before you.

A second difference would be that, while folding means abandoning that hand and giving up the pot that has been accumulated, checking will allow you, until a new bet, to stay in the game.

The best strategies based on folding

Learning to fold is key to your success as a poker player. The saying that says that a timely fold is a victory, expresses perfectly the value of folding in poker.

Recreational players and beginners tend to overvalue their hand, that is, they often consider that it is strong enough to continue paying bets or even raise until they reach the river. At the showdown they realize how much money they have lost by not folding in time.

Far from being a mere withdrawal from the game, you can use a series of strategies based on folding that you can use to your advantage, such as, for example, forcing your opponents to fold.

Make your opponents fold

Folding can become one of your most effective weapons to win. How many times have you found yourself with big hands on the flop that didn't make a single hand during the game?

It may also be the case that, if the flops are low, the chances that your opponents have hit something are equally low. In this type of situation, you should not bet to give up so easily because, as soon as you increase the bet, you will lead your opponents to fold, since they also start from a weak hand.

Take advantage of this type of scenario to win the pot in the later stages or, at least, to get to the showdown with a low bet.

Fold on the turn

The turn is a critical moment in the game. Many players tend to overlook the flop and place all their hopes on the fourth card. However, as you can imagine, the study of probabilities is much stronger than chance in poker.

For this reason, many players give up on the turn because they only have one card left to discover and the odds are too low to complete the project they had in mind. Thus, with little pressure you exert, they will end up folding on the turn.

You must also remember that the turn is one of the most propitious moments for bluffing, so you should consider what your options are or use the information you have about your opponent to guess if he is bluffing or not.

The check/fold strategy

This strategy combines checking at first, and then folding. This move can be due to multiple causes and, the truth is that it is more frequent than you think.

As you know, checking is a good option to stay in the game and, if no one bets after you, to see the next card. This opens the door either to get a good match on the next street or it can tip the balance completely towards folding. Either way, you will have bought yourself some time without having to invest more money

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