Daniel Negreanu teaches his YouTube followers the finer points of Limit Hold’em poker

  • Negreanu teaches the main differences between Limit and No Limit Texas Hold’em
  • Useful tips and advice for those looking to get involved or improve their Limit Hold’em game

Texas Hold’em is one of many poker variations, and it’s been around for a while. Although today the no limit format is easily the most popular game in town, back in the day, hold’em was actually usually played in the limit format, with a significantly different betting structure.

Continuing his video series on how to play other poker variations, Daniel Negreanu took up Limit Hold’em. Although the game is rarely played on its own these days, limit still has its place as a part of mixed game tournaments and cash games, and, as Negreanu explains, some of the strategies and approaches can even help you improve your no limit game.

Not the game for bluffers

The game of Limit Hold’em features exactly the same rules as No Limit in terms of hand strengths and general gameplay. If you know how to play No Limit, you’ll have no problems with Limit in this regard. Where the game really starts to differ is the betting structure.

In No Limit, you can bet any amount of chips at any point in the hand. You can bet a small fraction of your stack or put all your chips on the line whenever you feel like it. While it may or may not be sound from the strategic point of view, there is nothing in the game rules that would prevent you from going all in every hand before the flop if you wanted to do this.

In Limit, however, your bet sizes are fixed. If blinds are 25/50, for example, you can raise to 100, and 100 only. The next person to speak can either call or raise to 150 only, etc. Additionally, raising is usually capped to either three or four raises per round, which means the amount you can risk in any particular hand is limited.

For this reason, Limit Hold’em, as Negreanu emphasizes, might not be a great choice for those who enjoy big bluffs and making huge hero calls. Limit is much more about numbers and making a lot of small correct decisions as you play.

Adjusting your strategy

This difference in betting rules greatly influences your playing strategy. Some things you’d never do in No Limit become viable and correct options in Limit. While there is much that could be said about this fairly complex game, Negreanu brings some quick pointers that should help everyone wanting to try their hand at this variation.

  • 3-bet more preflop: Essentially, if you have a hand you want to play, you should almost never just call in Limit. Raise and make it difficult for the players behind you to get involved.
  • If you hit a top pair on the flop, play it aggressively: Don’t be afraid to raise, re-raise, and cap the betting. Since you can’t be put to a decision for your entire stack, you should always look for value with your decent hands.
  • Do the same with your big draws: Play them aggressively to balance it out with your strong made hands. Since your opponents’ decisions are limited, they can’t push you out of the pot.
  • In general: Don’t be afraid to raise some of your weaker hands like a second or third pair. Limit Hold’em is all about getting thin value.
  • Avoid making hero folds on the river: In most instances, by the time you get to the river, you’ll be getting correct odds to make the call if you have anything. Against most opponents, if you’re getting 10-1 on your money, you’ll pretty much never go wrong if you call with your second pair.

Use this new knowledge in No Limit

Although Limit and No Limit Hold’em are two different games, a lot of what you learn about Limit will help your No Limit play, says Negreanu. The game will teach players to play more aggressively and look for value in some spots where you’d never think there is value before.

Of course, players need to be careful not to overdo it, as being overly aggressive or calling down too much in No Limit Hold’em can become very expensive. If, however, you can apply some of these strategic principles correctly, you’ll see your No Limit game thrive as well.

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