To Limp or not to Limp, how to handle limpers.

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To Limp or not to Limp, how to handle limpers.

Postby Deepkiller » Tue Dec 25, 2007 1:16 pm

Today let's depart from our normal discussion on Limit Hold'em and talk about whether or not to limp in when playing No-Limit Hold'em. There are basically two schools of thought on this subject and those of you who play No-Limit see players take both approaches. So which is correct? To limp or not to limp.........that is the question.

Those who like to limp feel they can see some cheap flops with marginal hands and maybe connect to a powerhouse and take down a big pot. If the flop doesn't hit them they can get away from the hand easily for a modest investment. If the flop does hit them they feel they are in position to take someone's whole stack. Of course, they may only have the flop "touch" their hands and if they don't possess the discipline to get away from the hand it is their stack that becomes vulnerable.

Those who feel strongly that, when entering a pot first, you must bring it in for a raise believe this course of action will discourage those players who are looking to get in cheap and may well hit the flop. They feel that if your holding is not worthy of a raise it should be mucked and to limp with marginal hands is just asking for trouble. Both of these mind sets seem to have their own merits and some players embrace just one of these tools and never deviate.

So again, which one is correct? Personally, I think there should be room in your arsenal of techniques for both approaches. In tournament play limping early when everyone may be playing somewhat cautiously can get you a look at some extra flops that just may connect well with marginal holdings. The main aspect to consider is how the table is playing. Once again, it's of paramount importance to learn your opponents' tendencies. If you're seated early in a tournament at a passive table then limping may hook you up with a monster. However, if one or more of your tablemates is not allowing anyone to see cheap flops then that fact must alter your play because you almost know you will be raised. In that case, raising first is usually the optimum play. Of course, another aspect of limping is when you know you have one or more aggressive players behind you and therefore can limp from early position with big hands relying on someone else to raise so you may re-raise.

Here's my favorite play when I find myself at a table full of "Fishermen" who are limping in early in a No-Limit tournament. Normally when I enter a pot I bring it in for a raise 3 or 4 times the big blind. However, when I find myself on the button with three or four limpers in front of me I figure that they are trying to see a cheap flop with marginal hands so I raise it three times the big blind plus one for each of the limpers. So, if there are three limpers I'll raise it six times the big blind and more often than not pick up the pot. Of course, I like to have some outs to go along with this move. It can accumulate some chips early on with little risk as the blinds are relatively small early on Our goal for this time together is to once again not play "formula poker" by listening to the pundits that preach you must either bring it in for a raise or to try limping in yourself. Always assess the situation and make the decision to limp or raise based upon how the table is playing.

See you next "TIME".

credits : ... hp?id=1198
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Re: To Limp or not to Limp, how to handle limpers.

Postby ohboy » Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:42 pm

Personally, I've gone through a few phases

Back when I first started out, I liked to raise preflop with marginal hands to represent strength. That didn't always work too well, so I switched to the safe method of limping in cheap.

Recently however, I've been mixing it up, occassionally raising when I'm in position with suited connectors, and sometimes limp-raising with trash.
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Re: To Limp or not to Limp, how to handle limpers.

Postby vaevictis » Tue Dec 25, 2007 5:30 pm

IMO, limping is generally regarded as a weak play and its something I seldom do, and almost all higherstakes good players online seldom do.

The only time i limp in is when i'm in late position, there are very many poor players who offer very high implied odds limping in as well (paying off hands with top pair weak kicker, going broke with top pair hands), I have a good implieds odds hand (AXs. Kxs, suited connectors, non-suited connectors), ill overlimp. Another play that I've read, but have not done is open limping with huge hands AK-QQ-KK-AA, knowing that you'd be raised by aggresive players behind you (which in today's games, its pretty common), then shoving all-in over the top with standard 100bbs stack. From what I've read, doing so with AK is +ev, thing is that you gotta balance this with your monster hands shove as well. So limp-shoving and overlimping with goodimplied odds hands are probably the only plays I'll make in 6 max NL.

For fullring though, its okay to limp and expect to call a raise from late position player with small pocket pairs 22-77s at early positions, UTG, UTG+1 UTG+2. Basically set mining, but its good to open-raise some of these hands in similar positions for balance and deception.

If I'm the first person to enter the pot, I'll always raise first in, good hands and marginal hands as well. If you limp, and call a raise behind you, it is just too hard to extract money OOP, and against a good player who raises a wide range of hands in late position, its difficult to get paid off when you hit a monster by limp calling.

Limping does not disguise your limp-calling range aganist a raiser, compared to an open-raise, which has a higher deception value. Can't emphasis anymore on the first-in vigour that harrington said. I'd rather open-raise a weak hand like 56s UTG in 6 max than limp calling a raise behind. It's obvious one is a weaker play compared to the other.

I'd often punish frequent limpers by isolation-raise against them, and would often take down the pot with a cbet (regardless of cards on suitable flops), and by doublebarreling on suitable turn cards. When cbets get called, it is often much easier to put them on a hand and play accordingly.

Also by open-raising, or playing pots with a raise, its easier to get the money in when you hit flops hard, instead by limp-calling or worse still, open-limping at very late positon such as button.
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Re: To Limp or not to Limp, how to handle limpers.

Postby felixleong » Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:57 pm

I think there's probably no right or wrong about limping or not, different people different style ba, i think thats what makes poker so interesting hehehe

For me , in cash games or early levels of tournament where the stacks are deep i usually ONLY follow limp
if 1 limper ahead, i will follow with any small or sometimes middle pairs, in rare occasionals (say 3%) of the time deep limp mid pos w AA.
with 3 or more limpers , i will follow limp w suited connectors, A/x suited and connectors to try to hit a big hand on the flop

If i decide to play a hand and is first enter, i will almost always go in with a raise because i have a chance to take down the blinds, if i face a re-raise i use the 5-10 rule(in short , call if position + stack and other factors are good if it cost less the 5-10% of my stack)

against multi limpers when i am in big blind(last to close action), i will sometimes reopen with a mega raise of 4-6 + 1 for each limper with the WORST hands (2-7 etc) to steal, usually only once per unique session (2nd time ppl get itcthy and like to call liao)

also against fishy weak limpers, i will often make preflop raises to isolate them with tier 3 hands
my normal raise for value is 3.5-4xBB + 1 for each limper
isoloation raise i usually raise 3-4x BB

good luck at the tables ^_^
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Re: To Limp or not to Limp, how to handle limpers.

Postby Heart7Club2 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:06 pm

limpers = lots of people contributing to the pot = less money committed from you to earn a higher return when you have a good hand.
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Re: To Limp or not to Limp, how to handle limpers.

Postby chenghao » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:24 pm

When in doubt , raise :mrgreen:
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Re: To Limp or not to Limp, how to handle limpers.

Postby Mydral » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:16 pm

A first in limp is an effective waste of a blind.

Lets say you limp in with AA. Most of the time you will win a small pot now or lose a big one.
If you limp with like suited connectors and call a raise you are in a bloody bad spot post-flop. You just wasted money.

Seeing cheap flops = waste of money
Good players never pay you off. Whenever someone limp/calls me I know exactly what his hand range is and there is no way I will pay him off post-flop. The other way around he has no clue what my range is because I iso-raise with like A3s+ vs limping fish and can steal post-flop so many times.

So do yourself a favour and don't limp pre-flop. Yeah the pros do it on TV, but there way of thinking is a lot higher then the average player. I always find it amusing when a player limp/min-r AA c/r flop or so.... its just pathetic, I already know before the flop comes that he has AA most of the time here.
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