• July 24, 2021

How To Play Limit Compared To No-Limit

If you’ve watched yourself push all in and lose to overcards so many times that it’s become frustrating or intimidating, switching your poker game to limit hold ’em might be a good change of pace for your play. Limit differs from no limit in that it requires different approaches to game and chip management, due to the fact that you can neither boss players around with a large stack nor try to double (or triple or quadruple) up in the event you hit a great hand. How should you play limit hold ’em?
Build A Better Bluff
There’s an old saying about limit: it turns hold ’em into no-fold-em. Often, a reluctance to fold a hand (even if it’s by no means a great hand) comes hand in hand with limit games, on account of the fact that the player need only commit a few paltry chips in order to see the next card(s) which could save their hand. Since players need only invest a small percentage of their chips, rather than most or all of them, this makes folding a much less appealing prospect and bluffing much more difficult. There are, in general, two convincing ways to successfully bluff in limit games. The first is speed of your play: by playing much faster than the competition, by betting or raising or checking with as little lag time as you can manage, you put more pressure upon the opponent — with more pressure comes more folds. The second is to check raise methodically, as this is one of the few times when a raise will cause a player to consider folding.
Don’t Overrate Table Position
In a limit game, the first player to bet when new cards pop up has the chance to control the betting (or lack thereof). As such, being the first to act when cards turn over gives you the first shot to bet and the chance for a back-breaking re-raise. When you play limit, however, you can assume that the lower betting threshold makes it more likely that others will join in the betting, effectively negating your chance at winning out. The bad news is that table position becomes less valuable — but that’s good news as well, since it means you can play weaker hands without the risk of getting burned. In starting position, a low pocket pair or high connectors cost you less to play, meaning that a lucky flop pays out.
Know When To Fold
Just like the limit stakes makes everyone else reluctant to fold, so too does it make you reluctant as well. What’s another dollar or two to see another card? Unless you believe the odds are in your favor relative to the amount of chips you put in, don’t be afraid to fold playing limit when you’ve found yourself with less than you hoped for, such as low pair or a king high card. Folding when there’s an ample pot is never fun, but draining your chips in the hopes of catching magic is worse.

Steve Carr

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