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Three Times When You Should Fold Pocket Kings

Pocket Kings is a beautiful starting hand in poker. Beautiful enough, in fact, to get you into a tremendous amount of trouble if you're not…

We were going to say "if you're not careful," but in reality the last thing you want to be when you have Pocket Kings is careful. You want to be aggressive, run roughshod.

But you also want to be a little circumspect, because there are times when you need to fold those Pocket Kings. Rather than being "careful," though, knowing when to fold Pocket Kings is about identifying particular situations where folding two K's makes perfect sense.

1. A Tight Opponent Just Staked His Life Before the Flop

It's obviously extremely rare that you would fold Pocket Kings before the flop. You want to do everything you can go at least see three cards and hopefully pick up another K or see a bunch of ragged, disjointed low cards come out on the flop.

There is one situation where folding Pocket Kings before the flop may be advisable and that's if a player that you respect is betting a very large amount before the flop and you think he or she might be holding Pocket Aces.

If this player has been tight throughout the night, and now suddenly taking extreme measures such as going all in before even seeing the flop, you must consider the possibility that your opponent is holding Pocket Aces and do you really want to mess with that?

If you can't fold the best hand sometimes, you're not folding enough, right?

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2. Early Position and a Lot of Raising Is Going On

The instances where you would fold Pocket Kings, besides being specific to the player you are folding to, should be closely related to your betting position. If you are betting late and no one else or only one other player will be able to call you, it's easy to make a simple calculation that you are either willing to buy the next card or the price to stay in is too high.

If you're early in the betting order, by contrast, you have much less control, especially if the flop is already out and there are one or two aces on the board, or three flush cards.

Early in the betting order and the flop is out and hasn't helped you too much, you won't want to fold your Pocket Kings, but you may not want to get too aggressive, either. The simple answer is to check.

However, if you get re-raised, this is one instance where you have to closely observe the actions and behavior or your opponents. What hand are they representing, betting at you like this? The last time they bet at you, did they have the hand they represented?

Generally speaking, you would only fold if you were fairly certain that at least one of your opponents already holds a considerably better hand than your Kings, such as Two Aces.

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3. Any Set Beats Any Pair

A tragedy of Pocket Kings may happen when you've bet every card up to the river, not one of those cards has helped you, and the river comes placing, say, a pair of 5s on the board.

The opponent to your right bets into you. What do you do?

It's a tough call. You're sitting there with your two beautiful Pocket Kings, oh my aren't they so lovely, but the game of poker says that any set beats any pair…and isn't there a decently high possibility that your opponent is betting into you because he or she has a set of 5s?

Any set beats any pair, including Pocket Kings--and don't you forget it.

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