While there are numerous important elements that you should understand about Texas Hold’em, none of them is as crucial as knowing when to fold. Granted, most of the times it can be difficult to go against your own instinct especially since you consider you have a great hand. Call it curiosity, but most poker players have a natural tendency of calling a bet rather than analyzing the possible outcomes and consequentially, folding. Nonetheless, what you think is a great pre-flop hand (flush, straight or full house) is not necessarily going to help you win the round and here are the top three situations when the aforementioned rule applies.
1. Two high cards
It is necessary to mention that folding high cards (such as an A-K combination) is usually tricky and the decision should be made carefully after a careful analysis of the cards the other players are potentially holding. While it is incredibly hard to just drop an ace with a king kicker when the cards on the board could allow you to form a straight, when the other players are betting and raising you it can mean that they have a higher kicker. Therefore, it is best to stop as soon as you figure this out.
2. Flushes and straights
The situation when flushes and straights can fool you into believing you can actually win the hand is when you have a jack or a queen in your hand. Even if you have a high card and can form a straight/flush, it is recommended to wait and see if the other players are table raising the bet. If this is the case, then it means your jack or queen is not high enough and you should fold since you will most likely lose the hand.
On a side note, the same goes for low cards straights: if you are holding a five for instance and the cards on the board are 6-7-8-9, don’t forget that somebody could very well have the 10 in his hand!
3. Certain low cards combinations (2-7 or 2-8)
More often than not, unsuited cards such as a 2-7 or a 2-8 hand are perceived as the worst hand you can ever get in Texas Hold’em and commonly dubbed as “the hammer” in the online poker games. If you have such a hand, you have no other choice than to fold even though they are of the same suit, since the odd of getting a flush are incredibly low. Not to mention the fact that you will not have the possibility to create a straight, since there are four, respectively five cards between the ones in your hand.