Enjoy No-Limit Hold’em but don’t like the crazy swings? Fixed Limit Hold’em is a popular game for people who like the No-Limit Hold’em ruleset but want to avoid the stress of all-in decisions. It’s essentially No-Limit Hold’em but the betting is capped. You can’t just go all-in whenever you want.
Some players find the adjustment difficult — while on the face of it, the distinction seems reasonably minor, it has a massive impact on the game and probabilities throughout each round.
Basic Limit Texas Hold'em Strategy
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 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 specter of limited betting information to deal with.
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.
Be Very 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 Should Almost Always Call in the Big Blind
While you should be cautious when in early position in Limit Hold’em the opposite is true of being in the big blind.
Avoid Bluffing Too Much
While bluffing can be done in Limit Hold’em it’s generally not a good idea to utilize the strategy as frequently as players do in No-Limit Hold’em.
Fixed Limit Hold'em Strategy
Fixed limit Hold'em is a form of Texas Hold'em where the max bet is fixed according to the rules. In most versions of the game, players can't bet more than the amount of the big blind at any given time. Thus, 2/4 Limit Hold'em means the max bet during a hand is $4. Fixed Limit Hold'em is a game of patience and strategy, where players can't scare away opponents with all-in calls.
Pot-Limit Hold'em Strategy
Pot-Limit Hold'em is a version of Texas Hold'em somewhere between Limit and No-Limit Hold'em. While the max bet is limited, it grows over the course of the hand. The bettor cannot bet more than the size of the pot.
This means the max bet is relatively small in the pre-flop and post-flop betting but can swell to larger sizes on the turn and river. This tends to favor players who have draws to a flush or straight, which requires a readjustment of strategy by Fixed Limit Hold'em players.
Common Mistakes in Limit Texas Hold'em
Most card players start with No-Limit Texas Hold'em. When transitioning from a similar game, their intuition is wrong in many cases. Whether you're new to the game or you've been playing for a while, here are common mistakes that players make when playing Limit Texas Hold'em.
Limit Texas Hold'em Starting Hand Cheat Sheet
The Limit Texas Hold'em strategy guides below divide starting hands into two groups: stronger hands and marginal hands. The first table includes hands that many players call Group A, Group B, and Group C starting hands. These include the premium hands, plus those hands that many consider premium (but aren't).
To read the chart, R1 means that you raise when only one other player is in the pot. RR1 means you should re-raise only when one other player is in. "C2" means you should call if there are at least two callers in the pot. "C3" means you should call if there are at least three callers in the pot, while "C4" means you should call if at least four callers are in the pot.
Limit Texas Hold'em Cheat Sheet: Premium/Medium Hands
|HAND||UNRAISED POT||RAISED POT|
|JJ||Raise||Call, RR1, Lone Late|
|AQ||Late Position: Raise If First In, If Not: Call||C2|
|99||Late Position: Raise If First In, If Not: Call||C2|
|AJ||Late Position: Raise If First In, If Not: Call||C2|
|KQ||Late Position: Raise If First In, If Not: Call||C2|
The second table lists Group D starting hands, which are often considered marginal hands. In a handful of cases (88, 77, QJ), you'll want to raise the pot if you're in late position and no one else has raised it. This helps you steal the pot when no one else is showing strength. Otherwise, players should call -- and only call when enough other players have called that it makes it worth the risk to win a bigger pot.
Limit Texas Hold'em Cheat Sheet: Marginal Hands
|HAND||UNRAISED POT||RAISED POT|
|88||Late Position: Raise If First In, If Not: C3||C4|
|77||Late Position: Raise If First In, If Not: C3||C4|
|66 to 22||C3||C4|
|QJ||Late Position: Raise If First In, If Not: C2||C4|
As you can see, with the marginal hands at the bottom of the second Limit Texas Hold'em cheat sheet, you won't be calling very often. The pot odds are worth the risk only if 3 or 4 players contribute to the pot. Otherwise, it's best to fold. This seems counter-intuititive to many beginners, because intuition would suggest your odds with a marginal hand are better with fewer opponents in the pot.
Pocket Pairs Strategy Overview: Limit Texas Hold'em
Take a look at the chart below to see how strong different types of pocket pairs are. It shows the odds of pocket pairs standing up to other pairs throughout a hand.
Keep in mind that any of the hands in the chart will lose to a flush or a straight. When you play pocket aces, the biggest danger is seeing a flush draw or a straight draw on the flop. If you play pocket kings, take caution when you see an ace on the flop.
Chances You Won't Flop a Set and an Overcard Hits the Board
|HOLE CARDS||ODDS vs OTHER PAIRS|
|Pair of 10's||62.94%|
|Pair of 9's||71.53%|
|Pair of 8's||77.92%|
|Pair of 7's||82.43%|
|Pair of 6's||85.39%|
|Pair of 5's||87.12%|
|Pair of 4's||87.96%|
|Pair of 3's||88.22%|
|Pair of 2's||88.24%|
Players also should have a general idea of the strength of hands preflop. Based on a 9-player table, these are the odds that someone else has a better hand than you when you hold the starting hands below.
Pay close attention to the starting hands at the bottom of the table. These hands are not as strong as a new player's intuition might tell them, so again be cautious.
Preflop Odds That Someone Has a Better Hand Than You
|AK||22 to 1|
|KK||22 to 1|
|10.5 to 1|
|JJ||7 to 1|
|10-10||5 to 1|
|AQ||4 to 1|
|99||4 to 1|
|KQ||3 to 1|
|AJ||2.5 to 1|
|KJ||2 to 1|
|A10||1.7 to 1|
|QJ||1.5 to 1|
|K10||1.5 to 1|
How to Play a Hand of Limit Texas Hold'em
Previously, we've discussed Limit Texas Hold'em strategy in the most general sense. For those wanting tips for specific stages of a hand, here is our advanced Limit Texas Hold'em strategy.
Pre-Flop Strategy in Limit Hold'em
Strategy on the Turn and River
Limit Texas Hold'em Strategy FAQ
How do you win at Limit Holdem?
Patience, caution, skill, and targeted aggression. To win, you must improve at the game. Learn basic Limit Hold'em strategies and play many hands to improve your poker skills. Read advice on Limit Holdem strategy or take an online course from one of the top poker schools.
What is 4/8 Limit Hold em?
4/8 limit holdem means the game has a small blind of $4 and a bid blind of $8. In most limit poker games, the minimum bet allowed equals the size of the bid blind. The biggest single bet allowed in Limit Hold'em therefore would be $8. Most players buying in to a 4/8 Limit Hold'em game buys $200 or so in chips.
Is No-Limit Hold'em strategy solved?
If by solved you mean that there's a rigid system that assures winning, then No-Limit Hold'em isn't solved. Even the best players have rough patches where they lose cash. Players of all sorts run hot and cold, however skillful they are. No-limit Hold'em includes a fair amount of reading players (psychology) and game theory, meaning a key part of the game is more art than science.
If you want to put it in academic terms, you could say that No-Limit Hold'em is more of a soft science than a hard science -- there's guesswork involved even for the masters.
What's the difference between Limit Hold'em and No-Limit Holdem?
Limit Hold'em has a set limit to the amount a player can bet at any one time. The pot increases incrementally, so limit Hold'em players must be more patient and calculating in their strategy. When considering implied odds while betting on the river, you're only considering the size of another big bet by your opponent.
No-Limit Hold'em bets are limited only by the size of a player's chip stack or their opponent's chip stack (whichever is smaller). At any time, either opponent can go "all-in" -- betting their entire chip stack. This causes much wilder swings in chip stacks (and fortune), which players must keep in mind. In NLTE, when considering implied odds on the river bet, you're considering your opponent's entire chip stack if you have him/her covered. If not, you're considering the fact you might bust out of the game.
Should I play Limit or No-Limit Texas Holdem?
It's a matter of preference. If you prefer bigger swings of fortune, then play No-Limit Texas Hold'em. If you prefer a game which requires more patience and doesn't have an immediate risk of busting out, then consider Limit Hold'em.
Whichever you play, new players who are still learning the game should become penny players. Once you increase your bankroll at one level, move up to the next blind level and so on.
Is Limit Hold'em Poker profitable?
Absolutely, but only if you're skillful at Limit Hold'em poker. Like other variants, Limit Hold'em has elements of chance, but it's also a game of skill. Even if you play well, you might lose. Over time, poker is one of the few games that a gambler can expect to win money playing.
As the old saying goes-- if you don't know who the worst player at the table is, you're the worst player. To master Limit Hold'em poker, you must combine several types of expertise: mastery of Limit Hold'em strategy, math skills for pot odds, insight into human psychology, and experience at the game.
What is the best Limit Hold'em Strategy?
Read through the Limit Hold'em strategy tips above for the best Limit Hold'em advice. Read the Limit Hold'em section of David Sklansky's The Theory of Poker for more tips. Try Jared Tendler's The Mental Game of Poker if you want insight into the psychology of poker.
Each skill should be perfected by reading specific books, such as Essential Poker Math by Alton Hardin. Hardin's book provides advice on expected value, implied odds, pot odds, and how to calculate your outs on the go.