But of course sometimes this is the right thing to do. I am sure that you can remember many times where you stuck around only to see your opponent flip over trips or two pair.
It probably seemed fairly obvious after the fact didn't it? But for some reason you just couldn't find the fold button.
In this article I am going to discuss the top 3 situations where it is correct to fold an overpair in poker and how to discipline yourself to make the right decision.
When Your Double Barrel Gets Raised
The first (and in some ways the easiest spot) where you should consider folding your overpair is on the turn when your double barrel gets raised.
A double barrel is when you raise preflop, bet the flop and then bet the turn as well.
One of the key things to remember about most players at the lower stakes is that they are passive. If you use a HUD such as Pokertracker the AF (total aggression factor) will tell you this.
Many players at the micros will have an AF of 1 or 2 which means that they are basically only making strong aggressive plays when they have a big hand.
When somebody raises your double barrel this is a very strong aggressive play.
The reason why is because it says that "I want to play for stacks." When somebody raises your double barrel they will typically have about half of their stack already in the middle. Therefore, it is pretty unlikely that they are going to fold their hand.
Passive players just do not put this amount of their stack in the middle especially as the aggressor without a very strong hand.
There might be a few maniacs and loose aggressive regs who are capable of raising the turn as a bluff or with a balanced range at the micros. But these players are extremely rare and it will be very obvious from their HUD stats.
Against the overwhelming majority of players at the lower stakes (at least 95% of them), the correct play is to fold your overpair when your double barrel gets raised.
If you continue, you will get shown a set, trips or two pair a huge amount of the time.
Folding an Overpair in a Multi-Way Pot
Another situation where you need to consider folding your overpair is in multi-way pots. And at the lower stakes these are going to happen a lot.
You can try using over-raises in some exceptionally crazy games but the bottom line is that sometimes you are going to be in a big family pot with your aces no matter what.
It is important to understand that in a situation like this there is a significant chance that one of them will hit something strong after the flop.
You may have had the best or the second best hand in poker before the flop but after the flop your hand is still only just one pair.
Your opponents are going to be in their with all sorts of small pairs, middle pairs, suited connectors and suited aces. Therefore, the boards that you really want to be careful of the most are highly coordinated and wet with low or middle cards.
On boards like this there are tons of flopped straights, two-pairs, pair + draw and sets that could already have you crushed or be a statistical favourite against you.
You should still go ahead and make your CBet on these boards because you don't want to just give them a free card to hit their flush, straight or some silly two-pair.
However, if somebody starts giving you big action by raising, then you should really consider backing down.
It is important to keep the action in the hand in mind as well.
Often a big clue that people miss is who somebody raises. Are they only raising you or are their several other people left to act as well?
Ask yourself how likely it is that a passive player will raise the entire table with a weak hand in a situation like this. I think you already know the answer.
No Reads and No History
The last set of clues that I look for when considering if I should fold my overpair are the history that I have with this person and any reads that I may have gathered in the past.
If you encounter a player at the micros who is sophisticated enough to be able to bluff-raise or semi-bluff raise your double barrel for instance, they are much more likely to do it when there is significant history.
When they don't know anything about you, then they have no way of knowing whether you will fold or not. But if they have a history of tight play versus you for example, then maybe they will think that they can get away with it.
This is why if you read this blog a lot I actually suggest that you do the exact opposite. That is, make some crazy bluffs when there is no history at all because they will be less likely to suspect it.
I think this should be a vital component of any Zoom poker strategy in particular due to the limited information in that format.
The other thing that I am looking for is any history of making wild plays against anybody, not just me.
While I don't really bother taking notes much when playing at the micros online because there are simply too many players, if I have some downtime and I see a reg show up with a crazy hand I will sometimes make a note.
Also, if you are playing live or on just a handful of tables online then you should always be making at least a mental note of what the other players are doing anyways.
So to sum up, if there is very little history and I have never seen my opponent make any crazy out of character plays in the past, then I will be more willing to give them credit and possibly fold my overpair.
How Do You Discipline Yourself to Make the Right Fold?
So now for the million dollar question. Even knowing all of the above, how do you hit the fold button in the heat of the moment with your aces, kings, queens etc?
Well I am sorry to be anti-climactic but there is no magic pill or math formula in order to make yourself do this. Much like keeping yourself off of tilt, the real key is experience and some good old fashioned self control.
By experience I mean getting shown the trips, two pair or straight enough times that you are finally sick of it. If you want actual proof then you can simply run a bunch of filters in Pokertracker like I discuss in this post and go see the raw brutal evidence yourself.
You can even pull up your graph for when you decide to continue on in the hand after your double barrel gets raised. I gotta warn you though, it won't be pretty!
The second way that you will learn to find the fold button is by learning to take your time in important spots like this and recognize the scenario in front of you.
The nit just raised your double barrel! You know that he hit his set.
You can either pay him off like every other mediocre player out there or you can exercise some self control and logical decision making to make the right choice here.
With enough experience it will become like second nature. You won't "have to see it." Because you "already know it." Just make the fold and move on.
Hopefully this article helped you to understand a few of the scenarios where it correct to fold your overpair.
It never really gets easy. Nobody likes folding an overpair. But once you learn to recognize the common spots you will hopefully learn to start finding the fold button a little bit more often.
And if nothing else, the experience of getting shown the nuts again and again should help you learn how to exercise more self control eventually and make the right fold.
I just want to quickly end by letting it be clear that there is no way that you are going to make the right fold every time. Nobody plays perfect poker. It is important not to beat yourself up about making the wrong decision sometimes.
Sometimes you are just going to get stacked and that is ok. The purpose of this article was to help you move the chains just a little bit and start making some of the more obvious folds such as against the nit who raises you on the turn.
Let me know in the comments below what the main situations are where you have a problem folding an overpair. Do you have any advice on how to get away from overpairs?
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