What is ‘Speed Limit’?
Speed limit is a poker term that is used to describe a starting hand of two fives or ‘pocket fives’. It is an American term that hasn’t caught on in European casinos simply because it refers to the speed limit of 55 miles per hour on most American highways.
If a player is dealt a speed limit hand at the start of play, you can expect them to want to stay involved for at least the flop in the hope that the dealer turns over another five, upgrading their hand from two fives to three fives.
‘Speed Limit’ Explained
When it comes to pocket pairs such as ‘speed limit’, experienced players will know that they are going to have to improve their hand with the community cards if they are going to stand a good chance of taking home the pot. Even though having pocket pairs is a good start, more experienced players tend to advise caution when it comes to progressing with the hand.
For a speed limit hand to win a player the pot, they’re going to need a fair amount of good fortune to go their way. This includes having enough opponents at the table, which will make sure the pot odds are correct. They will also have to hit their set, and not only that, but it will have to hold up. This kind of good fortune is rare, and whether or not a player will be successful with a speed limit hand will rest on their style of play.
One style of play that is often associated with pocket pair hands such as speed limit is betting early. Players who bet early will pretty much guarantee they will be able to see the flop. If another five is dealt, they’re able to go into the turn and the river safe in the knowledge they have a hand that’s going to be hard to beat. If however, a five doesn’t appear, then it’s all about the discipline of the player. They may find themselves faced with a bunch of over-cards, if this is the case, it’s generally not advised to keep betting in the hope of hitting a card on either the turn or the river as, more often than not, they will simply end up losing their money.