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Why is it so Hard to get Away from Marginal Hands?

by Jeremy Olson on November 15, 2012

One of the most popular sayings in poker is that folding is the best play. After all, the majority of hands you’re dealt just aren’t worth playing. But as logical as it may seem, many players just can’t seem to get away their hands in certain situations.

For example, let’s say that you’re holding A-J(o) on a board of 7s-8s-Ah-Jc. Feeling that you’re ahead against somebody who’s on a draw, you bet half the pot, which makes calling with a drawing hand a bad move. Even still, one opponent calls and the river is dealt as 6s. You now bet half the pot once again, which prompts the opponent to go all-in.

Now a seasoned player in this situation is most likely going to fold because it’s obvious that the opponent connected on either their straight or flush draw. However, beginning poker players have a tendency to think that everybody is bluffing in these situations; so they might be apt to call and see if they’re being bluffed or not.

In some cases, you might catch the opponent bluffing and win a huge pot. But more times than not, you’re going to find out that the villain has a flush, straight or straight flush, and you will lose a lot of money!

Unfortunately, getting away from these kinds of hands is easier said than done for beginners. But it’s imperative to long-term profits that you have the mettle to fold good hands when somebody has likely hit their draw. This takes some experience because nobody wants to admit defeat when they were leading a hand most of the way. However, most players can acquire this skill as they play poker more and more.