Aggressive players are unlikely to limp. But for those happy to bet with lower stakes, well they may prefer to err on the side of caution, especially if they want to avoid getting into tough spots. This guide will look at all aspects of limping in poker, including open limping, and we have also suggested some strategies later on that could be useful.
WHAT DOES LIMP MEAN IN POKER?
A limp is widely considered to be a passive play on the board. This is typically the reserve of recreational players who may bet the minimum in a poker game so they can stay in a hand while playing. This shouldn’t be confused with limping behind limpers which is legitimate and can help players win more money.
As you will see, the limp is often used when the small blind calls the big blind instead of raising. It can be a strange strategy when games unfold. However, you are unlikely to see professional players follow suit.
TYPES OF POKER LIMPS
Not all limpers are created equally, but let’s run through the two types of limps you can use for playing poker:
SMALL BLIND LIMP
Here, you can place the minimum bet into the pot preflop in the hope that you will catch out a more aggressive player. Although there is a risk that when betting in from the small blind the big blind could fold and you could cash in on a cheap flop.
If you have a very strong hand, then limping could be a cardinal error as other players will be able to capitalise. With weak plays, you could find yourself playing catch-up and you will be less likely to get your hands on the pot.
However, a small blind with a strong hand is a good tactic to use against the big blind. As the action folds on the table, you will be able to see the flop more clearly or raise if you have a solid hand.
From any position, limping is considered to be weak. The open limp in the game will see a player thrust into the spotlight and have the first action raising preflop. So, for example, the big blind minimum bet to put into the pot might be $10, so you wager that amount. However, a recreational player might choose to fold early on.
So, if everyone else around you has weaker hands and chooses to fold, then there might just be two players competing for the pot plus any additional money from the small blind. If you decide to protect your hand and call the raise, then limping will only affect your position in the game.
IS LIMPING BAD IN POKER?
In short, friends shouldn’t let friends over-limp in poker. You can win money from the pre flop, but you should always remember that good players will avoid trying to limp as it is commonly perceived as weak play.
For a casino or an online poker site, they will be delighted when they see players limp as it gives them a chance to reclaim the entire stack. Sites will therefore seek to pounce on those players who show trashy hands.
WHEN TO LIMP IN POKER?
This is generally seen as a big no-no in poker, especially if you are a fully-fledged poker pro. That is how conventional logic works anyway. However, we have provided an example of when you should do so.
- Splitting a strong range – The first player on the table may choose to raise and by utilising a robust strategy, you can make 70% or more of your holdings profitable.
- Make your move in the fold – If you can snuff out a weak hand early on, then you can also raise bigger and vice-versa.
LIMP POKER TIPS
It’s time to run through some key strategies you can draw upon if you wish to try out limping while playing poker.
- Don’t raise with small pocket pairs – You can usually limp behind with small pocket pairs, but consider folding when you find an aggressive player behind.
- Identify value – While some novice players might not grasp pot odds and overvalue their implied odds, it is best to go for thinner value than you normally would and you can make more profit to the turn.
To summarise, poker games have plenty of nuances, but limping shouldn’t be your first port of call. Instead, you should apply logic before diving in and applying this strategy.
The content in this guide should act as a warning that limping is risky especially if you are playing against those boasting a lot of experience as you could find yourself exposed.