Limit Hold'em: An Introduction old

Limit Hold'em: Introduction

Poker is a game, where you are either lose money or you constantly try to study further and accordingly make profit. This is exactly the same in fixed-limit hold'em (short: limit hold'em).

In order to develop a comprehensive poker knowledge it is therefore important to make yourself familiar with this type of poker. At IntelliPoker we explain step by step which ways and means are necessary to become successful. We make the first step with limit hold'em. 

Limit hold'em is a very popular type of poker. In the past, casinos offered practically only limit hold'em or Stud. Although nowadays a lot of no-limit hold'em is played, limit hold'em remains a widespread game. At any time you can find dozens of tables at PokerStars where games are being played at various limits.

Limit Hold'em is the ideal game for beginners

The reason for this is simply that you can only bet a fixed amount. You therefore don't have to make the decision how much to bet. Moreover, you can only lose a relatively small amount of chips in a single hand.

Despite that, Limit Hold'em is also suitable for advanced players

In limit hold'em you often have to make very complex decisions. Thus, every right decision gives you a small advantage over your opponent. Since you have to make numerous decisions you can gain a considerable advantage by this means.

First of all we once again explain the basics in this article before going on to deal with topics that are specific to limit.

The blinds

Blinds in limit games are considerably bigger than in comparable no-limit games. In a $1/$2 limit game the blinds are $0.50 and $1. On the one hand, bigger blinds make playing from the blinds and defending them more important, while on the other hand, stealing the blinds becomes more profitable as well. We speak of attacking the blinds when a player in late position raises with the intention of winning the blinds straight away. Defending the blinds means that a player calls or reraises a bet, because he doesn't want to give up his blinds uncontested.

Draws in Limit Hold'em

Strong draws such as open-ended straight draws and flush draws can almost always be played profitably in limit hold'em. This is due to the fact that you can only bet a fixed amount which mostly is relatively small compared to the pot. If there are e.g. $20 in the pot and your opponent bets $4, then you only have to risk $4 in order to win $24. Thus, you don't often have to hit your draw in order to be able to take the risk. This is what makes limit hold'em frustrating from one point of view, namely when you can't protect your strong hands sufficiently against draws. However, from the other point of view you can of course call profitably against strong hands with four cards to a straight or flush and win big pots if your draw arrives.

The tight-aggressive style

The tight-aggressive style can only be introduced briefly at this point. The following articles on limit hold'em will explain exactly what playing tight-aggressive is all about. In limit hold'em it is generally important to play only profitable starting hands and fold unprofitable ones. When you play only a small number of very good hands, you are playing "tight".
For beginners it may seem boring to play only about every fifth starting hand, but this is one of the biggest advantages that a good limit hold'em player has.
Aggression is another of the keys to success in poker, especially in limit. If we can accomplish to force all of our opponents to fold by playing aggressively, although we don't have the best hand, this is of great benefit. Since we win a pot that we otherwise would probably have lost. As a rule, draws in particular are played aggressively.

How many tables should I play?

This is a difficult question and there isn't a blanket answer to it. Beginners should only play at one table so that they can concentrate fully on the game and familiarize themselves with the software. More experienced players can add one or more tables. However, you shouldn't play too many tables, so that you are still able too make the best-possible decisions. In the course of time you will automatically acquire the ability to play several tables simultaneously.

What else do I have to note?

  • Waiting for the big blind saves money! It can sometimes mean waiting for several hands until you are the big blind and able to enter the game, but it's worth waiting to pay only when you have to. It makes no sense to pay the amount of the big blind if you are subsequently going to fold most of the time. Anyone who really can't wait to finally get into the game can pay the blinds blind in the cut-off.
  • You should buy in for a minimum of 25 big bets. The idea behind this is that you should have at least 12 big bets before the start of a hand (at a $0.02/$0.04 table that equals one dollar). In case you hit a monster hand you should be able to raise up to the maximum (cap) in all four rounds of betting to achieve maximum profit. In order to do this you need 12 BBs. If you buy in for less than 25 BBs you will have to buy more chips as soon as you lose a hand.