Poker Road Warrior: Limit Holdem
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Limit Holdem

Some great advice for limit holdem players from one of my forum's most respected vets:

The Question:

i find i've been losing alot on limit holdem to alot of suck outs, and even thou im beat i have a bad nerve of calling. i know i should stop playing but i keep going back and losing even more, i don't know what to do or should i just avoid the limit cause i do not have the control to play rite on this type of game??? or should i just keep trying and learn to accept the beats and fold......what do you all think?

The Answer:

I think it is pretty fair to say I am one of the better limit players on this site and have played in some pretty big games, both live and on the net. I prefer limit to no limit but you do have to learn to live with the suckouts because after the flop, there is no way to protect your hand and people are more likely to call you down with an inside straight than then would in NL because it is not going to cost them very much and the return could be huge.

The first thing you need to do is start with quality hands and play positionally as well. I only play 6 tabled hands on the net as lower hands have more of a premium but hand selection is still key.

In an early position, you ONLY play big cards. Forget the suited connectors and all the other junk. You play pockets of QQ or higher and AK. When you get to middle position, you can play pretty much any pocket pair for a limp and play a high A (10,j,q or k). When you get to late position and are in on a limp, you can pretty much play like you would in no limit but with restrictions. When you play suited connectors in limit, you want everyone and their mother in that pot. The more likely all the large cards are out and the better chance you have of hitting your hand but still don't fall in love with it. When a flush hits the board and someone is pounding it that was in early position and you are sitting with 45, you need to let the hand go.

If you are first man in, I don't care what two cards are in your hand, raise the pot. The whole point of limit is to pound people and make them pay for their cards, even if they suck out and catch you on the river, let them know when they are in a hand with you they are going to pay for it. It will make them think twice later before diving in with shit cards.

When you have it in limit, bet it. Check raise only with a monster and only when you know your opponent is going to bet. You can NEVER miss an opportunity to bet when you think you have the best. You also need to take notes on everyone you play (all internet sites have this feature online). If you don't have a tracking program, the one thing you need to pay particular attention to is how often they win with check raises and in what position. If you are going up against someone who wins 90% of their hands when they check raise the turn, you know to get out of the hand. On the other hand, maybe they are super aggresive and lose 70% of the time, that is the guy you come over top of. Some players like to play middle and bottom pair all the way down and hope to catch on the river. You need to watch all of this and take notes on every player on every hand. Trust me, it will make and save you a lot of money.

Finally, on calling on the river. Yes you should if you have been in the hand the whole way and you are heads up. Maybe he caught, maybe he didn't but you need to realize, that in most cases, all you have to do is win one of those hands every ten times and it pays for itself. If you called down a $10 river bet and won $100 in the pot, you are covered for the next $10 river bets you call down. Odds are, if you are playing solid cards, you are going to win 2 or 3 of those and it is the difference from a profitable session to a loser.

There of course is a lot more to it than what I have posted here but this gives you a jist of what to do. The best thing I have ever read on Limit as Jennifer Harmon's section in The Super System. It gives you rock solid advice on how to play the game and is a must read for anyone playing limit.

You will read a lot about people who don't like limit but I love it. To me, NL is more of a luck game than limit. A lot of people just push on a draw and win big hands that they would never get in limit and people think they are great poker players because they get lucky. I have probably lost about 80% of the hands I have played recently after being all in on the flop with far and away the best but someone else walked with the pot. They never would have gotten that much off of me in limit and eventually, I would have walked away a winner but not in NL.

You have to have a strong stomach to play limit as you will take some horrible beats but if you play solid cards, you can clean up on that game. When I play live, I play 5/10 and 10/20 limit and you should see some of these pots. There are donkeys playing at that level just like anything else and they just chase that one big pot. I will sacrifice one hand to beat them in 5 others. My stack grows and theirs just exists. Stick with the game, do some reading and play lower limits until you get the hang of it and eventually, you will come out on top.


At 2:25 PM, Blogger Mrs Casanova said...

I love video poker and no limit holdem. Great article here!


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