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“Limping Ain’t Easy”

Written by on October 24, 2013 in Texas Holdem Strategy with 0 Comments

When I first started playing poker, I didn’t understand the right way of betting. I basically just followed the trend. If someone were to limp in, I would limp in after them. I thought that was the norm and if someone would re-raise, then they obviously have a monster hand. After studying the game much further I realized that I was definitely not playing correctly.

To “limp” basically means to call a bet. If the blinds are 50/100 and you limp in, it means that you are calling the 100. I feel that most beginners and even intermediate players tend to limp into pots. They feel that by limping, they will not lose a lot of chips and also by limping they will be able to play more hands cheaply. If someone were to re-raise them then they can easily fold their hand and save their chips.

I have also noticed that if someone limps into a pot and if they are raised on, they will call the initial raiser. Here are my thoughts on this. Firstly, you should never, ever limp into a pot. If you decide to ever play a hand, you need to make a raise to isolate players on your table. Getting to a heads-up situation would be the best scenario. Playing against one other person is much better than you playing against 3 or more opponents.

When you limp and when everyone else limps behind, you are then giving all the players a look at the flop. If the flop is A73 and you have AK, you might be losing to someone who limped in with a 73. By raising you are getting rid of players who are playing those types of hands like 73.
Also, if you are willing to call a raise then you should be willing to make the original raise as well.

Now I know I just told you to never ever limp but there are some circumstances that limping would be acceptable. Some pros will limp with small pairs in hopes of hitting their set for cheap and some pros will raise. With small pairs, the only way you will profit is if you hit your set, therefore if you don’t hit you can easily fold your cards. With hands like AK, AQ, KQ, J10, etc., you will need to isolate by raising since there are more options for you to win based on what comes up on the flop, turn and river.

So remember, no good comes from limping. It needs to be avoided as much as possible!

Good luck and good variance to you all! : )


About the Author

About the Author: Jimmy Chang is a poker pro from Chicago, Illinois. He attended Columbia University and has been playing since 2010. Jimmy primarily focuses on Cash games, Multi Table Tournaments (MTT) and has extensive knowledge of Texas Hold’em, Omaha and other various mix games. .


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