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Limit Texas Hold'em Strategy

Compared to No Limit, Limit Texas Hold’em is a totally different game. Some players find the adjustment difficult at first — while on the face of it, the distinction seems reasonably minor, it has a massive impact on the game and probabilities throughout each round.

You should adjust your strategy when playing limit poker of any kind to take account of these differences, which invariably shift the game to become more centrally about the cards you hold and the hands you can make. With these key differences in mind, here are a few strategies you need to adhere to, to get maximum value from your hands in no limit hold’em.

Every Bet Is Important

Firstly, because there are betting limits in each round, every single bet you and others place is important to the overall pot. At the same time, you have the spectre of limited betting information to deal with. Because the stakes are capped, one bad bet means you need two winning bets to profit — something that is much less of an issue in the No Limit environment, where one big win can offset all of your previous losses. This makes it all the more important to understand your game, and to know when to bet and when to fold.

Limit Hold’em is a game of much smaller margins, so it’s essential that you capitalize or conserve more strictly than might be the case in No Limit games. There is less margin for error with each hand, and less scope for recovery when you slide behind.

Calculate The Best Hand

In Limit games, you need to constantly have an idea of the best hands available. From this position, you can start to assess whether any of those hands are at the table — the more players left in the hand as it progresses, the higher the chances are that someone has the nuts or an equivalent strong hand. Understanding probability of draws in No Limit is much less important, because you can make up ground on the betting side — but bluffing, muscling and other betting manipulations become significantly more difficult in Limit games, where strong hands are worth so much more.

Look at the flop and the cards in your hand. Think about the best possible hand, and the number of draws available that would contribute to that hand. By knowing how many possible hands could beat your own, versus the number of players remaining in a hand, you can start to make more reasoned assessments of your chances come showdown. Especially when you are looking to minimize bad bets, this is a crucially important skill.

Be Selective In Early Position

When you’re out of position, you want to be incredibly selective of the cards you play. This puts you at an inherent disadvantage to other players at the table, particularly in limit games where you are subject to capped betting and all that entails. You don’t want to be moving forward on a 9/6 hand - it’s almost always worth folding these from an early position, and waiting for the game to move round until you act.

Limit Texas Hold’em really is a discipline apart from its No Limit counterpart. Players who switch versions often find the differences much more pronounced than they would realize, and experienced Limit players can often find opportunities playing against players from the No Limits discipline. Success comes from being more selective in the plays you make and on each bet, so you can stack the much finer margins in your favor, while limiting your downside exposure to losing hands.
 

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