Since the great Nipsey Hussle's girlfriend, Lauren London, recited one of Nipsey’s long-time quotes at his funeral in April of this year, the term "never fold" has taken an uptick on social media. Nipsey’s quote read: "The game is gonna test you, never fold. Stay ten toes down. It's not on you, it's in you and what's in you, they cannot take away." RIP NIPSEY!

“Never fold” essentially means that when things get all crazy, one shouldn’t voluntarily give up and most importantly - one should stay loyal to the game. But because us millennials love trends and don’t always need to or want to know about things before we love, use, or share them, I wanted to take a closer look into the popular term “never fold” and what loyalty has to do with it, anyway.

So, ‘’stay ten toes down’’? Yes. If you have ten toes, keep them down. Stay grounded, focused, and determined. Awake and aware. As for ‘'never fold'’, as a poker player, I have different thoughts on it. 

As a poker player

I am a part of a pretty kick-ass and competitive all-women poker team (if you know, you know) and in poker, each player, when it is their turn, can take 1 of 3 actions: fold, call, or raise. To fold in poker means you lay down your cards and stop playing that particular hand because you (the only person who has seen your cards) believe that the cards that were dealt to you won’t bring you to the winning pot of money. Before you can even choose your next move, other players at the table are also making their choice to either fold, call, or raise.

What happens when a player folds:

When a player folds, they opt-out for only that round, they are still in the game though. Once the player has folded, everyone else continues the round and that player cruises and watches the showdown until someone wins the pot. Then, a new round starts a new. It's important to know that when a player folds out, their resources are also secured as the player is no longer winning nor losing money.

Personal choices

Personally, when I fold, I fold when the hand I was dealt is not worth the long round. I fold to save my chips and I fold if the vibe doesn't feel right within me. I fold to stay loyal to myself and my hand. When I don't fold, it’s usually because the hand that was dealt looks like a hand that can get me far in the game. Sometimes I also won't fold so that I can try to bluff my way to the winning pot, which happens more often than you think.

In poker, it is said that folding is the most unattractive thing a player could do. Some players fold too much, and others fold too often. When you fold too much, you’re now a player that’s easy to profit off, and you’re also not having as much fun as you could. Take a risk! When a player doesn’t fold enough, not only do they end up adding unnecessary BS to that round, but they also lose their credibility. They will end up putting all of their resources, energy, attention, and competition into all those rounds by not folding when they know dang right they should.

The game of life

I say that to say this: fold when you feel it is smart to. Fold to benefit you. Fold for the sake of the bigger picture.  Fold to serve. Fold to save the extra bullshit that not folding when you should, might bring you. Fold when you need more time to prepare. Fold when things don't feel right in your gut. Fold to protect your assets. Be strategic. Fold when you no longer love. Fold when your faith is stronger than what should be done. Loyalty is important but non-existent without prior strong loyalty for yourself, first. It's true. And it is science so it is facts, don't @ me.

I wanted to bring attention to this because believe it or not there are people out there in life trying too hard to stay in situations, round, cycles, jobs, relationships, friendships, cities, partnerships, etc where they know they don't belong or want to be in all for the sake of staying loyal [not folding] to someone or something ELSE. The emphasis on ELSE because there is only limited, unstable, and inconsistent loyalty when you aren't loyal to yourself first and foremost. 

The trick is knowing when to fold and to keep yourself first.