You Need to Fold Pocket Kings Preflop in This ONE Situation

Fold Pocket Kings Preflop
Something that people ask me all the time is if you should ever fold pockets kings preflop in poker.

So here is the short answer:

Yes, you should fold pocket kings preflop on a few rare occasions with 100 big blind stack sizes in a full ring poker game versus a 4Bet when all of the action is in early position. In a 6max poker game you should never fold pocket kings preflop for 100 big blinds. If the stacks are really deep such as 200 big blinds or more, then you need to fold pocket kings preflop a bit more often.

But this a fairly vague answer and it really depends on the players involved in the hand as well.

Also, there is one particular spot that you absolutely need to know about when it is correct to fold your pocket kings.

I am going to explain it all below. Let's get to it!


1. Fold Pocket Kings Preflop in Full Ring, Don't Fold Them in 6-Max


First let me give you a general rule that I use these days. And that is I don't fold pocket kings for 100 big blinds before the flop in a 6max game, but I will consider it in full ring.

Full ring by the way is a 9 or 10 player table. You will find these games a lot online and they are even more common if you play live poker at a casino.

There are a few reasons for this rule of mine.

Firstly, in a 9 or 10 handed poker game there is a much higher chance that somebody has pocket aces when you have pocket kings compared to a 6max game.

The odds of somebody having pocket AA when you have pocket KK in a full ring game is 4.32%. However, in a 6 person poker game the odds drop sharply to only 2.88%.

The reasons for this are pretty simple of course. More people at the poker table means more opportunities for somebody to have the one hand that beats your cowboys.

So as a general rule I am just not going to be finding a fold before the flop with pocket kings in a 6max poker game, but I will think about it in a full ring game.


2. Early Position Action is the Key


Another very important thing that I consider when thinking about folding pocket kings preflop is where the action in the hand is.

Now what do I mean by "action in the hand" you might be asking. What I mean by this is what positions at the poker table did the raise, re-raise and so on come from.

You see, there is a huge difference between a raise and a re-raise in early position in poker (the seats directly to the left of the blinds) versus a raise and re-raise from the button and the blinds.

Fold Pocket Kings Preflop

The reason why is because people tend to have their strongest ranges from early position and therefore they will only re-raise with a really strong range as well.

For instance, if you have read my first book Crushing the Microstakes then you will know that in the starting hand chart on page 66 I recommend that you play at least 3 times as many hands from late position compared to early position.

So the exact reverse thinking often happens when somebody raises on the button. The blinds will both assume that the button is just stealing (which is a pretty good assumption).

Therefore, they will be much more likely to 3Bet and 4Bet light which I also suggest that you do in the book as well.

So as you can probably imagine I will be way more likely to consider folding pocket kings preflop when all of the action comes in early position.

In a late position battle on the other hand, I will pretty much never even think about folding pocket kings preflop regardless of whether it is full ring or 6max.


3. The 4Bet is Always Aces


The next piece of the puzzle for potentially folding pocket kings preflop is whether I am facing a 3Bet or a 4Bet.

There is an old saying in poker that "the 4Bet is always aces." This isn't actually true in most cases anymore but it is still a valid statement in so far as a 4Bet is a very, very strong play.

First off though, you might be asking yourself what the heck is a 4Bet?


Well let me explain in some simple language:
  • Preflop Limp = 1Bet
  • Preflop Raise = 2Bet
  • Preflop Re-Raise = 3Bet
  • Preflop Re-Re-Raise = 4Bet


Although it is a bit weird, this is the terminology that we use in poker to describe various preflop actions. So a 4Bet is when somebody raises preflop, then somebody else re-raises, and then it is re-raised once again.

This is a very critical bet in poker because with 100 big blind stacks a 4Bet typically equates to about 20% to 25% of your stack. It is tough to put this much in and still get away after the flop.

So a 4Bet is essentially a "I mean business, we are playing for all the chips" kind of bet.

Again, it doesn't always mean pocket aces these days but for 99% of players in a small stakes poker game, a 4Bet is a very strong hand.


A 3Bet on the other hand can be a much wider range of hands such as:
  • Any big ace
  • Any broadway
  • Big pairs
  • Middle pairs
  • Small pairs
  • Suited connectors
  • Suited aces

I think you get the idea. I will never fold pocket kings preflop to a 3Bet in a million years. Only versus a 4Bet will I ever consider it.


4. Fold Pocket Kings Versus Weak Tight Players


The last "clue" that I look for when considering whether or not to fold pocket kings preflop is the player type. This is always a crucial factor in any poker decision that I make. And it is even more important here.

Put simply, I am only ever going to consider ditching my cowboys preflop versus a weak tight poker player.


This is somebody with HUD stats that look like this in full ring:

13/10/2 with a 3Bet% of 5 and a 4Bet ratio of 1


I don't really have the space in this article to get into the meaning of all these different HUD stats so if you don't know what they mean I would recommend reading my guide to the best HUD stats.

In plain English though what these numbers indicate is a tight and risk averse player who only puts in a significant amount of money before the flop with a very, very strong hand.

Versus any kind of loose and aggressive player or recreational fish I am never even going to think about folding pocket KK preflop.

It has to be versus this one specific weak tight poker player type.


Fold Pocket Kings Preflop in This One Situation


Ok, so let's finally get to the one spot where you absolutely should be folding your pocket kings preflop in a low stakes poker game.

And this is best explained in a video:


So in this hand we have all of the clues listed above for folding pocket kings preflop.

1. It is a full ring cash game and the effective stack sizes are 100bb.

2. All of the action takes place in early position.

3. We are facing a cold 4Bet


And the final clue about only folding pocket kings preflop versus weak tight players was confirmed in the YouTube comments by the person who sent me this hand.

The player who made the 4Bet in this hand was indeed a 9/8 which is absurdly tight even for full ring.


Deep Stacked Folding Kings Preflop


There is one final consideration for if you should ever fold your pocket kings preflop. And that is when it is deep stacked.  By this I mean when the effective stack sizes are 200 big blinds or more.

This is a situation where you absolutely have to be folding kings before the flop a little bit more often. You can't be throwing this many big blinds in the middle unless you are very certain that the player has a wide range.

This is why in deep stacked poker it is best to just call the 4Bet anyways though. There is absolutely no need to ever put in the 5Bet or 6Bet. Just call the 4Bet and with 200bb+ stacks you have tons of room to play poker after the flop.


Final Thoughts


So to answer the age old question of whether or not you should ever fold pocket kings preflop in poker the answer is yes, but only on very rare occasions.

First off, I am really only ever going to consider it in a full ring game when all of the action is in early position as well. Furthermore, with 100bb stacks I need to be facing a 4Bet from a weak tight player.

If the stacks are super deep like 200bb+ I will typically just call the preflop 4Bet and then proceed to play poker after the flop since there is so much more room to work with.


Make sure you let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Have you ever folded pocket kings preflop before? Was it the right decision?

when to fold pocket kings preflop

Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review

Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review
Recently Upswing Poker launched their brand new premium tournament poker course called Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo.

And I have been itching to have a closer look at this course for awhile now because Nick Petrangelo is currently one of the best tournament poker players in the world with over $16 million dollars in live cashes and two WSOP bracelets.

Perhaps more remarkably though is the fact that he is also an online tournament beast (most can't do both). He has impressively won both the Sunday Million on PokerStars and the WCOOP $25k High Roller.

So in this article I am going to give you my complete walkthrough and review of Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo.


1. Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review - Introduction to Pio Solver


The Winning Poker Tournaments course starts off with an introduction to the solvers that were used throughout this course including Pio, Monker, Snowie and others.

If you have never heard of a "solver" before this is a highly sophisticated piece of poker software that offers "optimal" solutions to a specific scenario and range of hands that you enter.

In order to succeed at poker at the very highest stakes these days many players are making use of solvers in order to augment their exploitative strategies with mathematically sound decision making.

Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review PioSolver

Since Winning Poker Tournaments is a very high level poker course, Nick uses solvers frequently throughout in order to create many of the preflop and postflop ranges and frequencies.

PioSolver is used most frequently in this course. And so therefore in this section Nick provides a complete breakdown of what this solver can do and exactly how to use it.

I should note however that it is not necessary that you invest in a PioSolver (or any other solver) in order to understand this poker course.

However, even if you do not plan on using one to augment your poker study any time soon I would highly recommend paying attention to this section of the course in order to understand exactly how these poker tools work and how they can help you in your games.


2. Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review - Preflop


The preflop section of Winning Poker Tournaments is the real heart of this poker course in my opinion.

And the reason why, is because if you have even dabbled in poker tournaments the slightest bit before, then you know how important the preflop game is.

In the middle and late stages of a poker tournament the average stack size is typically between 10bb and 50bb. This means that decisions made on the earlier streets have a far greater level of importance then they do in a typical 100bb+ cash game for instance.

So Nick starts off this section with an introduction to the Preflop Mastersheet.

Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review Preflop Charts

This is literally a full on "cheat sheet" for what hands to play and how much to raise in a poker tournament from every position at the poker table and with every stack size (15bb, 20bb, 25bb, 30bb, 40bb-50bb and 60bb-100bb).

Basically, you click on any of the buttons on the chart above and choose your scenario (RFI, vs 3Bet, Blind vs Blind etc.) your stack size, table positions (EP, MP etc.) and a popup gives you the exact ranges of what hands to play and how much to bet/raise.

There are 250+ charts covering what hand ranges to play in pretty much every preflop poker tournament situation you could ever find yourself in.

If you are wondering where these ranges come from, as mentioned, most of them come from the use of solvers and also Nick's considerable experience as a 10+ year high stakes poker pro.

So most of the preflop section of this course involves Nick explaining the ranges in these charts and how to use them. For instance, what hands to defend from the blinds with a 25bb stack.

Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review Preflop

I don't think I have ever seen such a comprehensive answer to the preflop tournament game. Nick also has a well balanced limping range in certain spots that I found particularly interesting.

I think for a beginner or novice tournament poker player these charts are literally going to be worth their weight in gold. Because it takes all the guesswork out of preflop tournament poker for them.

Now it is important to point out that No Limit Hold'em is by no means a "solved" game. And therefore, I like how Nick also points out when and why you should deviate from these charts.

But all and all, the preflop section of Winning Poker Tournaments is exactly what I had hoped for. An almost textbook like approach of what to do in every conceivable scenario in a poker tournament.


3. Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review - Postflop


The postflop section of the Winning Poker Tournaments course is a series of 23 videos where Nick explains how to play elite level tournament poker in every situation imaginable on the flop, turn and river.

Once again, extensive use of solvers is used in order to ensure that the ranges, betting, bluffing and folding frequencies that he suggests are mathematically sound.

Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review Postflop

Nick's analysis of how to play postflop in poker tournaments begins with the fundamentals of good CBetting strategy.

Then there is a series of videos on how to approach specific flop board textures such as:
  • Ace high boards
  • Dynamic boards
  • Wet boards
  • Monotone boards
  • Paired boards

Once again I like the attention to detail here. I think it is important to break down flop textures in particular into bite size chunks.

Because the correct strategy is often going to differ greatly depending on if the flop comes:
  • AKQ
  • A72
  • 987
  • J63
  • QQ5

You really need to understand the key differences between these board textures and how that impacts both our range and our opponent's range.

I think Nick does a good job of explaining that and using solvers to offer optimal betting, raising and folding strategies in each situation.

The postflop section of the Winning Poker Tournaments course continues on to talk about how to play on the turn and river including probing bets, when to check/raise and optimal bluffing strategies.

Then Nick goes into a deep analysis of how to play in single raised pots OOP and IP, 3Bet pots OOP and IP, SB vs BTN and finally, Blind vs Blind.

Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review postflop 3-bet

I found Nick's explanations of what to do in each of these scenarios to be easy enough to understand even though many of the concepts and strategies that he suggests are highly advanced and include the use of complex GTO math and solvers.

Other topics Nick covers in the postflop section of this course include bet sizing adjustments on various board textures versus specific players, understanding how to use combos and equity distribution, how to use blocking bets effectively and when to overbet.

Overall the postflop section of the Winning Poker Tournaments course does not disappoint. There is enough in here to get you playing postflop tournament poker at a very high level no matter where your current skill-set is at.

I would recommend re-watching many of these videos again and again to really learn and then more importantly implement the strategies that Nick is discussing at the poker tables.

This is how I approached all sections of this poker course in fact. There is way too much information here to be taken in all at once.


4. Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review - Play and Explains


The final section of Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo is the much anticipated "Play and Explains."

Now for those of you who have never studied an Upswing Poker course before this is essentially a series of videos which includes hand analysis and live play from some extremely high stakes poker games.

As I mentioned off the top, Nick Petrangelo is currently one of the best poker tournament players in the world and he regularly plays in the biggest games both live and online.

In fact at the time of this writing he is currently #32 on the all-time live poker tournament money winnings list including a $2.9 million dollar 1st place finish in the WSOP 100k High Roller just 6 months ago.

So in this section you get to essentially look over the shoulder of a world class pro as he tells you why he made the decisions he did in some of the very biggest online tournaments (several of which he won).

Such as, the WCOOP $25K buyin and SCOOP $10K buyin on PokerStars.

Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review Play and Explains

There is also a Sunday Live play video in this section where he plays on 6 poker tables at once across several different poker sites with tournament buyins all above $5K.

So you essentially get to see the nuts of bolts of how Nick plays every single hand in some of the biggest online poker tournaments around.

Lastly, this section also includes a 3-part video series from this summer's WSOP $1,000,000 One Drop where Nick reviews some big hands he played versus well known poker pros Brian Rast and Dan Smith.

The Play and Explains section of any premium level Upswing Poker course is almost always worth the price of admission alone because they only sign the very best poker players in the world to teach their courses.

The Play and Explains section of Winning Poker Tournaments is no exception to this.


Final Thoughts


Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo is the most comprehensive high level course that I have ever seen for poker tournaments.

The Preflop Mastersheet was a big standout for me. This is a game-changing tool in my opinion for poker tournament players looking to improve their preflop game in all scenarios.

The postflop sections and the play and explains also provide tons of high level analysis and instruction from one of the best poker tournament players in the world.

While the use of solvers throughout this poker course can perhaps be a little bit off-putting to some traditionalists of the game, I found Nick's explanations to be easy enough to understand and follow.

If I have one gripe about this poker course, I wish there was more content focused on the mental game. Particularly how to handle the insane levels of variance that poker tournaments are well known for.

This would be especially helpful for any current or aspiring pros who will be studying this poker course. However, as far as I know this course is being updated regularly so Nick may add this in at a later date.

Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review

I also want to stress that this is a not a poker course that was meant for beginners. The instructor, Nick Petrangelo, is a world class poker pro with nearly $23 million dollars in cashes throughout his career, both live and online.

Therefore, this is a premium poker tournament course that is was made for very serious players looking to take their game to a world class level.

In order to truly get the most from Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo you should expect to spend several weeks at a bare minimum studying each module and video one by one, taking notes and applying the information at the poker tables right away.

I forgot to mention that there is also a private Facebook group for all students of this course where you can personally ask Nick your poker questions. I would highly recommend taking advantage of this as well.

If you take poker tournaments very seriously and you are looking to take your game to an elite world class level, then I would recommend checking out this poker course.

To enroll in Winning Poker Tournaments with Nick Petrangelo right now, click here.


Let me know your thoughts below on Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo. What did you think of this poker course?

Please note that the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you I may earn a commission if you choose to enroll in this poker course.

Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo Review