When to Fold in Poker

Poker is a card game in which players place bets to form a community pot. Players reveal their cards in a showdown and the player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. The game has many variants. The rules differ from one game to the next, but all involve betting and an ante.

A forced bet that occurs before the cards are dealt, requiring players to put an initial amount of money into the pot. Depending on the game, an ante may be replaced by or in addition to blind bets.

To indicate that you want to raise the bet that was just placed by the player before you, say “call” or “I call.” This means that you will place your chips into the pot in order to match the current raise. If you’re not comfortable raising the bet or aren’t interested in your current hand, you can say “fold” and discard your cards.

Knowing when to fold in poker is an essential skill for any serious player. Recognizing the optimal moment to do so can protect your bankroll, minimize losses, and increase overall profitability. A good understanding of the strategy behind folding can be honed through continuous practice and study. In particular, it is important to recognize and overcome cognitive biases, such as fear of missing out or the desire to prove your hand’s strength, that can cause you to mistime your decisions. Over time, learning when to fold will help you develop a winning poker strategy.