Why You Should Consider Giving Limit a Try

published on 04/06/06 at 12:21 pm

I believe that a very skilled big bet (no limit or pot limit) Hold’em player can probably make more money online than a limit Hold’em Player. Knowing that, there really is no reason to play limit Hold’em instead of big bet Hold’em, is there?

Well, not so fast!

For most of you, especially those of you that are inexperienced players, playing some limit Hold’em would be a good idea. Let me give you five very good reasons for giving limit Hold’em a try.

  • Limit is better for clearing bonuses
  • If you are starting out or you just want to get as many of the potential bonuses out there to fatten your bankroll as quickly as you can, playing limit will clear deposit or reload bonuses much more quickly than playing no limit.

    As an example, let’s say that you were trying to clear a reload bonus at Poker Stars. If you want to play Hold’em with blinds of $0.50/$1.00, you choices between limit and no limit would be $1/2 limit or $100 max buy-in no limit. If you choose to play limit, you can clear your bonus at a rate of approximately $4.50 per table hour. On the other hand, the $100 max buy-in no limit game will clear the same bonus at approximately $3.00 per table hour.

    Just by playing no limit, it will take you 50% more time to clear the same bonus!

  • Limit games provide cheaper tuition for beginning players
  • For inexperienced players, the tuition will be cheaper at limit than no limit for learning the basic Hold’em poker skills that are needed to be successful at any form of texas holdem poker. In limit, it would take several hands of play to bust out while learning the basics, while at no limit you could lose a whole bankroll in the course of just a few hands.

    Many beginning players believe that winning at no limit Hold’em is as simple as just making large bets and watching huge pots get shoved in your direction. Well, it takes much more skill than just making big bets and forcing everyone to fold.

    Winning at Hold’em poker of any stakes is about minimizing the mistakes that you make while at the same time forcing your opponents into making mistakes. Understanding and using poker math (e.g., pot odds and implied odds) and poker tactics (e.g., check-raising) is just as important at no limit as it as limit Hold’em. You cannot win at no limit without these skills.

    Why not learn these skills while paying cheaper tuition at limit?

  • Limit is not as position dependent as no limit
  • As most no limit Hold’em players know, absolute position has great importance at no limit. When you take a flop and everyone checks to you or someone makes a small bet in front of you, a good size bet or raise is often all that is needed for you to pick up the pot. The player with position in no limit wields a mighty sword.

    Because position is so important at no limit, you do have to be careful with the hands that you play in early position. If you play a lot of hands in early position, you will spend a lot of money folding to pre-flop raises or end up out of position post-flop with weaker hands. That can and will become very costly to your bankroll.

    On the other hand, limit Hold’em is not nearly as position dependent as no limit. You can play more hands in early position that you can at no limit. To be clear, you should not play weak hands in early position in limit Hold’em, either, but the penalty is often just a few bets if you catch part of the flop but a stronger hand also does. At no limit Hold’em, that same penalty can be a big part of or your entire stack.

    Playing limit will allow you to play more hands at a smaller risk to your bankroll than no limit will.

  • Limit games have a bigger supply of fish
  • Because it takes longer for poor players to bust out while playing limit Hold’em, you will have a bigger supply of fishy players to play against. Also, many fishy players actually choose to play limit over no limit. The average fishy player is not totally ignorant, as he knows that his money will go farther at a limit table than it will at a no limit table. He or she is playing for fun and knows to get more bang for their buck, limit games will take them further than no limit. They may be fishy players but that does not mean that they are not smart shoppers.

    If you don’t think so, the proof is in the pudding. Log into most poker sites online and you will find more limit games going on than no limit. That’s because most of the non-serious, casual players are playing at the limit tables.

  • Limit games will make you a well-rounded poker player
  • If you are not playing in limit Hold’em games, your ability to tap into all sorts of profitable games will be limited. Because more poor competition is at the limit tables, you will be ignoring a lot of possible profit if you don’t play at least some limit.

    Consider adding the ability to play limit Hold’em to your arsenal. You and your bankroll will be glad that you did.

    Michael is a semi-pro Internet low limit Texas Hold’em poker player who is writing a book on how to improve online low limit Texas Hold’em poker play and shares his startegies and thoughts through his blog, Counting My Outs.

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