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Drop Out

What is ‘Drop Out’?

If a poker player chooses to ‘drop out’, they are opting to fold their hand. They hand back their cards, their stake in the pot is lost, and they take no further part in the game until the next deal. Players will drop out if they do not feel their cards could bring them a win, waiting for a better hand to play later. It might also be used to refer to a player who leaves a poker game before the rest of the table have finished playing.

‘Drop Out’ Explained

During a game of poker, players make an opening bet to see their cards and a further bet on the strength of their cards. In draw poker, they receive a hand and can exchange some of those cards for others, hoping to improve their hand. In others, players receive a number of personal ‘hidden’ cards and some other cards shared by the table – each player must make the best five-card hand possible from a combination of the two sets. In both, betting takes place at each new event in the game, and before the final showdown.

At any of those betting stages, players can choose to ‘drop out’ instead of making the play. Also known as folding, this means that the player will retire from the hand, and forfeit their contribution to the pot in the first place. Players will often drop out early if they have a bad starting hand, so they avoid paying lots of money on each betting round and only take the small hit of a lost ante. Others might drop out if the threat of an all-in raise is too heavy for their hand to carry, or if they feel sure another player already has them beat. Players might also ‘drop out’ of the game entirely, choosing to leave early following a big win or because of some prior engagement.