The Art of Limping & winning pots

It’s not all black, limping a pot gives you a positive result sometimes. But always remember, most of the times the best way to play is always raise pre-flop, and try to win the hand before the cards come out.

The ‘Limp’ of Faith

First, we need to understand that there’s a big difference between playing a pot because it’s limped and playing a pot that might be limped. For instance, if you’re in a late position with a total trash hand and there are 4-5 limpers involved, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should be calling. There are many situations where your hand will be useless no matter what you do.

If you play a lot or tournaments, or even cash games, you’ll eventually pick up players that are action junkies and will see every flop possible, but you don’t want to be that player. Now, playing a pot that might be limped means you’re holding a mediocre hand, but still be comfortable calling a raise.  Let’s say you’re in the middle position with a hand like TJ suited. You don’t want to raise, you don’t want to muck, but if you limp and face a medium raise, you’ be happy to call.

These are the exact hands that make sense for a limp. While limping with a super strong hand means you’re selling yourself short. Limping with trashy hands is a waste of money. Limping with hands that you want to see a flop with, at a fair raise, is practical.

Post Flop Game

It goes without saying that if you miss the flop with a limped hand, there isn’t much that should worry for the post flop strategy. Since the pot is small and you have a marginal chance of winning the pot at showdown, betting or making calls is just waste of time and money.  You might be able to push a few players off their hands, but for what? The risk versus reward just doesn’t make sense. If you miss a limped pot, just move on.

The biggest mistake poker players make is slow playing a limped pot, which basically means that if you manage to hit the flop, you should be betting right away. 1) The pot is small 2) Slow playing it will make your hand strength obvious. You should avoid massive check-raises in this situation especially on a dry board when you manage to flop two pairs or a straight for that instance. You’ll either get in a cooler situation or be scaring out others out of the pot.

The goal is to win as much chips as possible. The first thing you’ll need to do is clear the field and get value from anyone who wants to continue. To do this, you’ll have to bet to make money from people chasing. Checking will do nothing but allow a free card, which might sacrifice the value of your hand. Bet and build the pot, if you’re not content with taking just the blinds.

It’s apt to say most limped pots will not go for a post flop war. With this information you know the importance of value betting. You’re trying to create as much value as possible out of something that was once nothing. String the opponents along. A proper bet will enable you to turn a limped pot into a respectable win.

Bottom Line

Always keep your play in line with the context of the hand. You should be trying to force your opponents to forget that the pot was even limped in the first place while placing a sizable bet and not showing any red flags. Limped pots allow players compile moderate wins while they wait for monster hands and they will make a big difference in your bottom line when the game is over.


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