So when you bet, think of your overall equity like this:. If you are not betting or raising then you are not giving your opponent the opportunity to fold, so you will have no fold equity. Imagine you are playing against your friend Cool Hand Joe. Therefore, whereas calling to complete our draw would be unprofitable with our Short-stacked players are less likely to fold, as they need to take more risks.
It's a fairly simple concept though, so don't be too nervous about it. If you don't know what equity is just yet, read up on the poker equity article before reading this one. Fold equity is the additional equity you gain in the hand when you believe that there is a chance that your opponent will fold to your bet.
Every time you bet, there is the chance that your opponent will fold their hand. If our opponent folds, we win the entire pot regardless of how strong our hand is.
This chance that our opponent will give up their hand to our bet will increase our overall equity in the hand because we are giving ourselves an additional opportunity to win the pot as opposed to just showing down the best hand. So every time we bet when there is a chance that our opponent will fold we are adding that little extra equity to our hand.
So when you bet, think of your overall equity like this:. To get fold equity you have to bet or raise. If you are not betting or raising then you are not giving your opponent the opportunity to fold, so you will have no fold equity. But you're not trying to obtain fold equity. You either have it or you don't, and you make the best decision based on what you've got. You'll have the most fold equity when you've played the hand in a way that makes it believable that you've got your opponent beat.
It's all about your betting pattern and history. I probably should have clarified this point at the start, but I'm sure the majority of you will have assumed that this was the case anyway.
When you make a bet, you are basically absorbing some of your opponent's equity in the hand if there is a chance that they will fold. Fold equity can be expressed by a straightforward equation:. Your opponent's equity in the hand is pretty self explanatory. As you will remember, your total equity in the hand is your current equity plus your fold equity. Fold equity on it's own isn't all that useful, so we add it to our standard equity to give us our overall equity in the hand.
Let's say we are on the flop and we know that our opponent is holding K J on the following flop:. I worked out the equity of each of these hands using PokerStove. Fold equity becomes an important concept for short stacks for the following reason.
Opponents can be considered likely to call all-ins with a certain range of hands. When they will have to use a large percentage of their stack to make the call, this range can be expected to be quite narrow it will include all the hands the caller expects to win an all-in against the bettor. As the percentage of stack needed to call becomes lower, the range of cards the caller will need becomes wider, and he or she becomes less likely to fold.
Consequently, fold equity diminishes. There will be a point at which a caller will need a sufficiently small percentage of their stack to call the all-in that they will do so with any two cards. At that point, the all-in bettor will have no fold equity. At this point, Alice has a pot equity of In other words, if there were no further betting and both players simply turned up their hands and were dealt the turn and river cards, Alice would be Consequently, Alice can consider that her hand equity if she bets will equal However, Alice cannot be sure that her equity will increase if she bets because she cannot see Brian's cards.
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