I am talking about Poker TDA rules. In particular, rule 53.

In Poker Stars or alikes, if I fold when I could just check, I receive a warning telling "You can just check and still play. do you want to fold anyway?" or a msg like that, with the options FOLD, CHECK, CANCEL.

But it seems that folding anyway -the action if pressing FOLD in such dialog, if playing online poker instead of live poker- attitude is penalized under these rules (in this case, this site states that a penalty is an automatic fold of the next hand). I never perceived that as bad in online poker, and never faced a case like this in live poker.

Is there a reason of why is this behavior penalized? Is this kind of ruling standard or just some website's proposal?

4 Answers 4


The reason it is penalized is to stop collusion and giving an unfair advantage to other players. Let me just give you two examples to the above reasons.

Player A and player B are working together to try win, this could entail anything from soft playing each other to just straight dumping of chips. So lets just say in a hand we get to the river, maybe 3 players were in until the turn but say player A or B made a ridiculous bet, so the other non-colluding player folds. Then say A or B just straight up folds on the river, giving the other player a pot without having to show down.

Ok granted the above isn't exactly something you'd likely see as it's so obvious but it is more so just to give you an idea, you can imagine some situations yourself I'm sure.

Now for the fairness of the game aspect, open folding when you can check gives players to act an unfair advantage. Let's says we have player A,B and C in a pot. Now player B might be holding a small piece of the board or have ok holdings, but something they're not comfortable betting into 2 people. Now player A all of a sudden open folds. Player B's decision all of a sudden is a heads-up situation, his bet doesn't have to beat two players, just one. So by player A open folding they have potentially unfairly effected player C and maybe the entire hand.

Maybe if player A just checks, B checks behind and C has a very different decision. Now the person might not have meant to give other players an unfair advantage but just because you didn't mean for it to do so doesn't mean it didn't happen. Their open folding changes the table dynamic a great deal.

It is a standard ruling in most places(never worked or played anywhere that didn't enforce it), and I have enforced it many times as a dealer. Expect other dealers to enforce it too.

  • Maybe if player A just checks, B checks behind and C has a very different decision << I still do not understand how the dynamic changes a great deal between checking and open-folding. Most of the times, although open fold never happened to me in real life (except when teaching newbies but that does not count) a 3 players check-check-myTurn... I get the first check was an actual "i fold if you bet". Most of the times, tough. Jul 21, 2016 at 15:19
  • Not to say that never happens, or that no exception is to the case. Just to argue whether there is a great change by applying that ruling. Jul 21, 2016 at 15:19
  • Have my upvote meanwhile. Let me think a better effective example before accepting it. Jul 21, 2016 at 15:20
  • @LuisMasuelli When a player folds on a check it changes the whole dynamic of a hand giving advantage to some players and disadvantages to others. Sophisticated players know how to use this advantage and will. It is simply a cheaters tool. Rude players don't get this, and should be penalized when they do it. I leave games when people are chronically "Checking out" and the dealers warning fall on deaf ears.
    – Jon
    Jul 22, 2016 at 4:00
  • @Jon what you said did not add additional information to the provided answer and seemed to be just a repetition of a subset of the answer. Anyway, I found no formal explanation over the web but just almost-copies of this answer. I accept this answer not by liking it or considering it complete, but just by seeing the rule creators said the same thing to enforce it (although no formal explanation, in Information Theory terms, was either given by them). Jul 22, 2016 at 5:23

You should be allowed to in un-raised pots preflop maybe? I know folding out of turn in later streets multiway is very bad for someone in the hand, but on the flop in a limped pot that seems like a good place to draw the line no?

  • Acting out of turn is bad as crap everywhere. My question is not regarding out of turn but regarding my own turn and commiting the dumb action of fold instead of check Jul 22, 2016 at 22:39

Even if you do fold, the question of whether or not the person (and I'm assuming last-preflop-aggressor?) even has an advantage depends on a variety of factors: 1) Board texture. Some boards can be double-edged swords to his "visibility advantage" since his range opens way up on the best boards for him to c-bet, you have to be ready to raise and give them hell here. I'd also throw in the subtle-reverse tell of acting like you "really got it" but don't go overboard. I don't know, I can see myself doing what I'm saying but it's hard to describe...it's as if you're just barely SHOWING him how eager aka "light" you are which should handcuff him into playing straight up especially if you guys aren't deep. 2) He can flip it on you with bet sizing. If this guy always bets say ~60% pot as a cbet into 1 or 2 or 3 players doesn't matter, and now he bets full pot or more and everyone knows it's on the middle player next because the first guy folded out of turn -- he knew he was up against one and still bombed pot. Now I love this super polarized play say on Q86hh I see Mr. 3rd player fold. --> Ok I'm seeing where this gives great advantage to last aggressor, at least on some boards. Q86 is pretty decent triple barrel spot but K92 with TT in my spot could be a check vs. 2 opponents but a protection/semivalue bet vs. one. Bet/chk/call vs. 1 and chk/decide/decide 3 handed.


Its a game of information.if player A checks, and player B folds, then only the remaining players behind b, get to act, knowing b has folded. Player A now, is at an information disadvantage, as he didnt know b was folding....which is not fair. I see this alot in cash games. Its bad etiquette, and absolutely not allowed in tourney play. And probably would receive a penalty.

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