Fold Equity

word type: noun

  1. Technically, 'fold equity' is the equity a player has from the 'fold' scenario of the three outcomes of a given bet - your opponent folds and you win, he calls and you win, or he calls and you lose.


Players often use the term 'fold equity' to describe a large enough bet that will cause opponents to fold in a particular hand, which although incorrect is generally understood. The term is also used to describe short-stack play, when pushing all-in dictates the amount of fold equity you have. The larger your stack size, the less likely an opponent will be to call without premium cards. The smaller your stack size, the more likely it is that an opponent will call with a marginal hand.


This is a very basic example, but let's say you're running deep in a tournament and nursing a 20 big blind stack. You're a little short, but you still have fold equity - that is, if you move in over an opening raise, especially one from an active player, they will likely have to fold unless they have a premium hand. There are obviously other factors involved, like your opponent's stack size and image, but assuming they have a bigger stack than you, the example remains relevant. However, if your opponent has 11 big blinds and opens for 3x, you no longer have fold equity because they are essentially pot committed.