When To Fold Jacks Pre-Flop At No Limit Hold ’Em


Jacks can be a bit of a problem hand. A lot of people insist on raising with them. The problem here is that someone else may re-raise. Then what do you do? Here there was a raise then an all-in in front of me, so I had only two choices, and called. I should have folded for two reasons. One is that it should have been obvious I was probably up against kings or aces – the latter as it turned out. The other is that I had started extremely well in this small second stage freeroll qualifier, and had an excellent chance of making the money. One in five got a ticket for the next round, and I had been chip leader for quite a bit. The other picture is a screengrab from earlier in the same tournament. This should have been an easy fold for pocket jacks.

A screengrab from a second stage freeroll qualifier played September 10, 2012.

The one saving grace is that if I had qualified for the next round and been busted out then, it would have bothered me a great deal more.

A screengrab from a second stage freeroll qualifier played September 10, 2012

[The above article was published originally as a blog, September 10, 2012. Although the second screengrab features pocket queens rather than jacks, the principle is the same; queens are likewise vulnerable to an ace or king on the flop, turn or river, though not to a queen. I think I had intended to wait until I was dealt pocket jacks again, but as the two grabs are from the same tournament, they illustrate the point well enough.]

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