Math is Easy – Fold Equity

Fold Equity is based on how often we expect our opponents to fold to a bet or raise. Since poker is all about being aggressive at the right time, it’s a good idea to know a little something about fold equity. Often times, you will find yourself in spots where a call is perfectly okay, but with fold equity, it may be best to raise it. Allow me to demonstrate.

With the nut flush draw + overcards + BDST (backdoor straight draw), we are actually ahead of a top pair hand like T9. Although we can call here, the most optimal play is to raise. This is because of fold equity. Raising will fold out medium-pair hands like 99 or 8x. With the dead money already in there and being OOP, we don’t mind that kind of result, especially since most of his range will be mediocre holdings. A ten will probably call us and that’s fine because we will be able to fire on a lot of turn cards (any spade, and J, Q, K and A). Since most of his range includes marginal hands like T9, he can’t be too thrilled about calling another big bet.

Here’s another example you may be familiar with:

We only have ace-high, and even a pair as weak as 22 is ahead of us. So why do we want to put money in when we’re behind?

Fold equity.

We will be able to fold out hands that are a favorite against us but too weak to call OOP (22-88). We can put a lot of pressure on our opponents with AK and we don’t mind getting it all in pre-flop when we get 4-bet. Three-betting with the intention of getting it in against a 4-bet is rarely our goal with AK. If he folds to our 3-bet, then we win. If he calls, then we can still flop a big hand and win. If he 4-bets us, then we have enough odds to call.

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