Limit holdem strategies: Part I

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As I said earlier I’ve decided to move back into limit as my cash game of choice and so far, so good. I four table the 6-handed $1/$2 limit games at Pokerstars and I’m usually up big in one game, down a little in another, and up a little in the other two. Not sure how long that will keep up though, but back to consistently making money.


I like to buyin for 25 big bets, or $50 in the $1/$2 game. For one, it’s really easy to see how much I am up or down at a certain table, and it’s plenty of money to take some bad beats with. A major factor in my limit play is my pre-flop position, and more pointedly, when and with what I raise preflop. A lot of people like to call these lower limit “No Foldem Holdem,” so one of the most important abilities is being able to thin the field, and that’s what I’ll discuss in this post.


Under the gun is the best position to raise to thin the field. It forces the other players to cold call two bets with a small amount of pot odds. I like to raise under the gun with any pocket pair, any Ax suited, and often times K9s and better. I fold crap hands under the gun, but I like to limp in with hands like 5♠6♠, because I can usually be assured to get great pot odds with all the limpers, and if there is a late position raise it usually isn’t respected by anyone and I’m still getting the odds to call.


If it has folded to me and I’m in middle position I play it like I’m under the gun with the exception of hands like 5♠6♠, I’m not longer getting outstanding odds on a call with these cards. Once again though, any pocket pair I will raise it up when it folds to me, or even if there is a limper. A raise from middle position can still knock out the cutoff and button and thin the field. If it has been limpers to me in middle position I will call with hands like Q♥10♥ or J♣9♣ and try to catch a flop with lots of players. I might raise with a hand like K♦Q♦ to build the pot in the event I hit the flop big. visitez le site


Late position (the button) with limpers I like to see a lot of flops with marginal hands. Most any suited connectors or high cards I’ll take a flop from the button. If it has folded to me on the button I will raise with any of the cards I would have called with from middle position. More often that not the small blind will fold and the big blind might make a loose call, only to let it go by the turn, earning you another small bet.


The only time I do not raise with a pocket pair is when I have 77 or worse with at least 2 limpers ahead of me. In that case I will limp as well and hope to catch a set or release my hand. Any pocket pair 88 or better is worth a raise from most positions. I also raise from any position with A♥J♥ and better, suited or not. If the preflop is 3-bet I can easily lay down Ax, minus AQ or AK, and Kx cards. If I’m already in for 2 bets I’ll call a 3-bet with middle cards or suited connectors and try to catch a flop. I always 4-bet with QQ, KK, or AA, and usually stop at 3-bet with 99-JJ. When a player caps it it’s usually a huge tell they have KK or AA, although some people at these limits are just maniacs.


Once you can master when and where to raise preflop, the rest of the hand basically plays itself. I will post more on my limit strategies later in the week.