Until the start of the current poker boom that dates back to 2003, you couldn’t find a No Limit Texas Hold’em cash game if you tried. Limit Hold’em ruled. But that all changed once No Limit tournaments started to air on television.
Back before the boom started, poker professionals played Limit games to pay the bills. And Hold’em wasn’t the only game they played. Stud, Omaha, Stud Hi-Lo, and Omaha Hi-Lo were also played – all of them Limit games.
Like these pro players, you can become a better overall player by investing the time and effort to learn both disciplines of the game. Playing Limit Hold’em will certainly improve your No Limit game. There are subtleties to the Limit game that will enhance your technique at the No Limit tables. Mastering these uniquely aggressive Limit tactics will enable you to steal more pots when you sit down to play No Limit Hold’em.
So, if you’re trying to make a living playing Hold’em, which is the better game to play, Limit or No Limit? Here are some factors to consider.
Inexperienced players generally flock toward the No Limit tables because it’s clearly the most popular form of the game. Having said that, where the fish go, so go the sharks! As a result, you’ll often find that Limit games are even softer because the pros are concentrating on the No Limit games, baiting their hooks and reeling in their catch.
Playing the Percentages
Your winning percentage by session will likely be higher in No Limit games than in Limit games. Winning 65% of your sessions in Limit Hold’em is excellent. In No Limit, however, it’s not uncommon to log winning sessions 80% of the time.
That’s due to the natural differences between the two games. Less control can be exerted in Limit games because it’s more difficult to force players out of pots with structured betting. In No Limit, though, hands can be protected from being outdrawn by making large bets that force opponents to fold weak draws.
Despite the fact that you’ll likely win a higher percentage of sessions in No Limit Hold’em, choosing to play Limit Hold’em is a safer decision to protect your bankroll. You won’t win as often, but you also won’t risk losing everything you have on any single hand.
Your results in Limit Hold’em will be more consistent over time, and that’s especially important if you plan to grind it out at the tables for 40 hours every week. No Limit Hold’em is simply a much more volatile game.
Level of Aggression
Contrary to popular belief, Limit Hold’em is the more aggressive form of the game. It’s characterized by constant raising and re-raising before the flop. On the other hand, No Limit Hold’em is played more carefully since any hand could cost you your entire stack.
If, for example, you flop top pair in Limit Hold’em, it’s usually correct to raise and re-raise on the flop. No Limit Hold’em should be played more cautiously. You need to be concerned about over pairs and flopped sets.
Pace of Play
Limit Hold’em is the game for you if you bore easily and crave fast action. Conversely, in No Limit, the game will often slow to a halt when someone is faced with a big decision. That’s uncommon in Limit games because all-in bets are rare.
Whatever game suits you best, learn to play both Limit and No Limit Texas Hold’em. Your overall game will definitely improve.
Visit www.cardsharkmedia.com/book.html for information about Daniel Negreanu’s new book, Hold’em Wisdom for All Players.
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