• July 31, 2021

Limping in Texas Hold'em

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Limping means flat calling the blind rather than coming in with a raise. Some players say never do it, others swear by it. As with many aspects of poker, it often depends on the situation.
Limping in Limit Texas Hold’em
If you’re the first person in the pot in a limit Texas hold’em game, you should almost always raise. Raising gives you control of the hand and lets other players know you are a threat.
Furthermore, if you limp and everyone else folds, you have given the big blind the opportunity to compete for the pot with you for free. A raise might have taken the pot uncontested, and in a limit game where bets are fixed, being able to win just the blinds is great for your overall positive expectation.
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Limping in No-Limit Texas Hold’em
In no-limit, the situation is a little different. While the amount you can win in a limit pot is restricted by the bet sizes, the amount you can win in a no-limit pot is only restricted by the size of your opponents’ stacks.
This means it can be highly profitable to see a flop with several players and the opportunity to flop a big hand than to raise and steal the blinds. Furthermore, if you are holding a hand like a small pair or suited connectors, hands that get their value from hitting a specific flop, raising can cost you. If you raise and are re-raised, you will have to fold, since your risk-reward ratio is no longer favorable. If you limp, you may see a flop cheaply, allowing you to get away with minimal damage if you miss and extract serious money from your opponents if you hit.
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Steve Carr

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