Jam or Fold Poker

Reply Thu 21 Mar, 2013 08:43 am
Jam or fold is a high pressure, all or nothing strategy. You look at your cards immediately and then either push in all of your chips, or you throw them away and wait for the next hand. The other players now must decide to risk a considerable amount (if not all) of their chips in order to play the hand.

Many times in the late stages of a poker tournament, the jam or fold strategy is the mathematically correct strategy to get the best chance of winning the most money. When people fold you get free money (which at later stages is considerable). Even when people don't fold you have a chance of doubling your money.

I am a bit surprised at how few players in the $100 tournaments I play in understand this. They actually get upset at the tactic which forces them to put all of their chips at risk, something that after 3 hours of careful play they are apparently unwilling to do.

But fast or slow the goal is to win all of the chips, and the risk of watching your chips dwindle slowly as you carefully play each hand with small bets is a worse than the risk of losing them all at once. When you play cautiously at later stages you are giving up "fold equity" which is the money you get when your opponents will lay down better hands out of fear.

Fear is a big disadvantage to mathematical poker. Making other people afraid of losing it all may not be the best way to win friends at a poker table, but it is the best way to win tournaments.

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