Online Poker

Limited Poker

When wetting your feet with poker, a great place to get started is limit poker. In limit you are protected from losing your whole stack in one hand by the fixed betting structure.

The first thing to take into consideration is the limit you want to play at, good general guide is to have 250 times the big blind. This gives you plenty of chips to work with, and allows you to take a hit to your stack but stay in the game. A common error is for a player to play too high a stake too soon and run out of chips very quickly.

At the lower limits there can often be a lot of reckless play, to be successful at limited poker it is important to not get drawn into the loose play. Winning poker is based on playing tight poker, only getting involved in hands when you have premium starting hands, and when you are in the right position.

Depending on the action ahead of you, you should raise with the following hands in these positions.

Early Position.
In early position you have a lot of people still to act so you only want to lead out with absolute premium hands, AA, KK, QQ and sometime AK. Anything less from this position and you are playing too loose with your chips.

Mid Position
Middle position you can loosen up a little, with less people to act after you, there are a few more hands you can bet out with. From here you can look to play pocket pairs from AA to TT, as well as the entire slick family - Big Slick: AK, Mrs Slick AQ and Jnr Slick AJ as well as KQ. Again anything less than these hands and you are playing with fire.

Late Position
Position is everything in poker, late position means you have seen everyone else act, so with no raises before you you can be fairly confident your big hand is in a good spot. From late position you can play aggressively with pocket pairs from AA to 88, the slick family (AK AQ AJ) as well as their close cousins AT & A9, you can also look to make moves with the other 'all paint' hands, KQ and KJ. Anything less than these hands is a risk you don't need to take.

Position should always play a huge role in your decisions, and you have to factor in the action around you. For instance in late position if you have several players already in the pot you don't want to raise, to do so means each one of those players is more pot committed, and less likely to fold a drawing hand after the flop. The same principle can be applied to the lesser of the hands mentioned when playing from Mid Position.

In late position there are other hands that can be good limping hands, hands that can play well against a lot of other limpers. Following the other limpers in with low pairs can pay great dividends if you catch a 3rd card to make a set, low sets are great for betting and raising unless you are up against a possible flush or a straight. That leads directly to the other good hand against several limpers, suited connectors, hands especially like JT suited can land you big pots if they can hit straights or flushes.

Once the flop comes down its important to look at the available cards from both sides of the equation. If you just look at what you have then you are only seeing half of the situation, you also need to see what can beat you. For instance, if you have a pocket pair you want to see only cards lower than yours on the board, higher cards and someone betting should sound the alarm bells. So if you have pocket Jacks and there is a king on the flop and someone before you bets, the you can safely assume that your jacks are beat. Multiple bets ahead of you after the flop should really raise red flags, lots of action should tell you that even pocket aces are in trouble.

Your post flop action should be based on weather you think you have the best hand at that point, if you do (Say KK with a 2Q7 rainbow flop) then you should bet or raise. If you have a drawing hand you only look to stay in the hand after the flop if you catch 2 cards on the flop. With straights and flushes you should always keep an eye out for a people with a higher end of a straight or a higher flush. For instance if you have KJ with QT9 on the board to make your straight, you need to be sure there isn't someone holding AJ. The other trick with straights is if one of your cards is duplicated on the board. For instance if you have 89 and the flop comes down TJQ you have a nice hand, but if a 9 comes on the turn then your hand is less valuable, and you have a greater chance to be beaten by a higher straight.

Something important to remember with limit poker is that the bets double after the turn, so you might get better value for your hand by checking at the flop and betting after the turn where you can get more money in the pot and where drawing hands might be more inclined to lay down. The other side of this is if you hit a good draw on the flop you might bet or raise here to put fear into your opponents so that your opponents might check around to you on the turn.

When following a tight strategy like this, it is important to evaluate your opponents. If someone is playing tight like yourself you can start to get a better idea of what cards they might have, because you will recognize some of there actions from your play.