Sunday, August 16, 2009

Folding with no bet to you

The discussion came up last weekend about whether or not players should fold when there is no bet to them. My take on it is that it is a legal move but bad etiquette since it can affect the play of the hand. And when the game involves showing cards such as in Stud games or Pass the Trash then the potential effects of open folding are even more pronounced. As an example, let's assume that Player A has a Ten high mixed suit low. Everyone else at the table has paint showing except for Player B showing a Trey. The player who has the Ten high would almost certainly fold to a bet if he had to act before the Player B but if Player B open folds his hand before Player A acts then Player A knows he can for sure lock up the low and will seriously affect the play of the hand. Additionally, every card that the open folder turns over is potentially critical information since those cards cannot show up in other player's hands.

In PtT I don't feel that any significant information is given away by flipping cards over in a hand that one doesn't plan on playing. And I'd say that any modicum of information that is given away is far outweighed by the importance of protecting other players in the hand.

There is much discussion about the matter in this 2+2 thread.

4 comments:

royalbacon said...

I'm not one to argue rules with Martin, so I'll do whatever’s asked (which it sounds like the rule is, to be extremely broad, "no open folds"), but my question is this:

How is it we’ve all played together as long as we have and this has never come up before?

Is it because it really only pertains to stud games with face-up cards?

That more than anything is what bugs me about it.

Sushi Cowboy said...

I'd say that the major factor was that Drew asked about how appropriate it is to open fold. Secondarily, the fact that it was in a game which involves exposing cards made the action all the more significant.

I would also say that the scenarios where someone "checks out" have so far not been of major significance. My recollection is that it is usually in a multiway limped or small raised pot pre-flop when someone open folds whereas the biggest issue with doing that is when there is a large pot at stake with shorthanded action.

I can see both sides of the argument from the thread. The player who open folds is indeed hurting themselves by not taking free cards which could possibly give them the winning hand; however, the problem is that they are also hurting other players in the pot. Granted, the scenarios painted are generally fringe cases but I would say that it is still best to hold onto your cards until there is a bet to you...unless it's heads up in which case you actually *are* only hurting yourself so feel free to open fold in those situations.

Ulfendar said...

My main contention is the same as the author in the 2+2 thread: I want to minimize disclosure of information. I agree it's giving away a very small amount of information, a very small amount, but it's a non-zero amount.

In stud it doesn't matter, as I never have to show my hand (assuming I can open fold on 7th street). It only matters in games where I have constructed a hand that I have to reveal one card at a time.

I don't think it's a huge deal, and I certainly don't mind a rule of "No open folding on PTT" but as a player it's something I want to be able to do.

Honestly, I want a "bring in" in PTT.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Well, first of all, it's just good strategy to put low non-pairing cards out as your down cards. You never know when you might get to second round and see everyone else in front of you either fold or pair their cards. But if you just simply have a hand that you totally do not want to take to war then just put random cards down. You are not giving any information about how you would construct your hand. Everyone understands that sometimes you just get bricks passed to you and it nothing can be ascertained about your strategy if you just show blanks.