Online Poker Coach

Force your opponent to lay down their hand with poker fold equity

Poker fold equity is understood as the money that you win when your opponents decide to fold upon you betting or raising. There is a more complicated fold equity formula, but to calculate this we need to understand the following variables:

  • P = Current Size of the Pot
  • X = Breakeven Folding Frequency
  • L = Maximum Loss
  • W = Maximum Gain
  • V = Villain’s Equity
  • H = Hero’s Equity

To calculate the fold equity formula then, you’re going to want to set up an equation that equals zero, and uses these above stated variables in the following way:

0 = XP + (1 – X)(-LV + WH)

As you become more systematic in your approach to online casino poker and different poker tactics you are going to want to take the time to understand all of the terms in the above fold equity formula. This may seem daunting at first glance -and it is if you’re new to poker tactics- but over time and with the right amount of study, it will start to make perfectr sense (and help you maximize your winnings at the same time).

An Easier Fold Equity Formula

Poker fold equity can be made simple.

Basically, poker fold equity is the amount of equity (i.e the share of the pot that is yours to win based on the implied odds) you gain when you take into account the likelihood that your opponent is going to fold. As is always the case with online casino poker (or casino poker of any kind for that matter) the amount of fold equity that applies depends on your ability to get a correct read on your opponent.

If you do feel confident that the implied odds are high that your opponent is about to fold, you can use this much simpler fold equity formula:

Fold Equity = (oppopjnent folding probability) x (opponent’s equity per hand)

A Real Life Example

Let’s see how calculating fold equity can work to your advantage in a real life poker playing situation.

Imagine you’re playing against Ricky Slick and you’re dealt a 6♣ and a 6♥. Slick, on the other hand, has been dealt a J♠ and a 10♦. There are $100 USD in the pot too, let’s say. In this situation, you’re chances of winning the hand are fifty fifty—it’s a coin toss scenario whether you bet or fold. Your pot equity in this situation is $50 ($100 times your 50% chance of winning or P X E).

What this pot equity calculation doesn’t take into account, however, is the probability that Ricky Slick will fold if you decide to bet or raise the stakes by going all in. Supposing that there is a 50% chance that Slick will fold if you bet all i, the fold equity equation will then be the probability that slick will fold multiplied by his equity or 50% X 50% which equals 25%.

You can then ammend the calculation of your pot equity for the $100 pot to be $75 ($50 pot equity plus $25 fold equity). Of course your fold equity increases with the increasing probability that Slick will fold if you bet or raise.

What’s more, you can never work out your poker equity at the table because you can’t actually see what the other players are actually holding. Nonetheless, if you have a handle on the fold equity concept you can definitely take better and more profitable calculated risks.

Also, one of the most frequently occurring situations in which Poker fold equity can be used is when a player only needs a single card to make a flush or a straight. For instance, you’ve been dealt a 5♦ and 6♦ and Ricky Slick has a K♥ and Q♣. The flop is dealt out onto the table and the three cards are K♦ A♦ and 4♠. In this instance your chance of winning is at 40% whereas Slick has a 60% chance of winning. If you still believe that Slick has a 50% chance of folding if you place a large bet, then you can still increase your pot equity from 40 to 70%. For this reason, in this situation it would be best to make a semi-bluff bet.