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Limit Texas Hold'em Poker

Limit Texas Hold’em
By Hank Cashman of

Most of the Texas Hold’em played today is No Limit. There is another game that is almost as popular in the casinos and that is Limit.

I first ran into Limit Hold’em on a trip to Metropolis, IL. Harrah’s has a riverboat casino there with a small poker room. When I say small I mean four tables. That’s small.

Anyway, there were no seats available for the No Limit tables so I tried Limit. The first time I played Limit I thought I was at a freeroll. Players were calling and going to the river with seemingly nothing. Half the time they were slow rolling out of embarrassment. They didn’t want everyone to see what they were playing. That confused the hell out of me.

As I was talking to the player on my right he explained it all in one sentence. He said, “They call it No Fold’em Hold’em.” Now that made since to me.

Since they have a limited amount of loss possible, they are willing to call. They know that even in the next betting round their risk has a cap on it. So, Limit hold’em lets you play with less at risk because you can only bet so much per hand. That makes sense.

When you have a good, but not great hand, don't expect to bet the other players out. If you have a drawing hand or the nuts you're still only going to bet the limit. This helps to disguise your hand strength but it keeps you from bullying players that can draw out on you. In No Limit you have to bet the big blind but can put all of your chips in at any time.

In Limit there is a set bet and/or raise that you play. For example, if you sit down at a 5/10 table, the blinds would be 2 and 5. When it is your turn to act you can call the 5 or raise 5, no more. The betting is usually capped at 4 bets so each player can only risk $20 in the first round of betting. After the flop the betting is the same. After the turn the bets are up to $10 increments. Again, you can bet or raise only $10. These are also capped at 4 bets. If the play is heads up after the river the cap can be lifted to no limit.

Let’s say you are playing and have $1,000 in front of you. In No Limit you can bet it all in one hand. In a 5/10 Limit game you can expect your risk to be about $120 per hand. It can be more but this is the average hand. That would be 4 bets per round. It would be 4 bets of $5 pre-flop, then after the flop 4 bets of $5, after the turn 4 bets of $10 and after the river 4 bets of $10.

With the diminished amount of risk you also have a lesser chance to win big. The pots are usually smaller than the no limit games. Don't get me wrong, the game is still worth playing and can be profitable. Even at a 5/10 table you can expect to win $50 an hour over the rake. That’s not too bad. Also, if you have a bad night you can keep your losses down. You can play all night and not lose $100.

Keep the cards and chips flying.

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