A case for limping pre-flop.

C

chattin35

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Total posts
73
I’m writing to present an alternative to the conventional wisdom so widely permeated throughout the internet poker community about limping pre-flop, and attempt to make an argument in its favor. Please tear this post apart if you have a counter-argument. Contrasting perspectives are extremely benficial and productive.

My poker experience is mostly full ring 10nl with occasional ventures up to 50nl online and a couple live tourney‘s and cash games. So, consider the sourse. It may be a micro-stakes specific.

Like so many other poker players, I learned the basics playing tournaments and then migrated to cash games after winning a few freerolls. I am just beginning to open my eyes to just how different cash games really are (took me 60k hands, haha). At it’s most basic a tournament is a battle for the blinds, with survival correlating to (real money) profit rather than chip accumulation. One of the main reasons for raising in tournament poker is to protect a strong hand. By raising, you simultaneously lower the risk of a speculative hand (smaller pocket pairs, suited connectors, Axs, etc) busting you, when they hit a set or draw, by pricing them out while simultaneously getting value in the form of blinds or a few chips on a street or two of betting - thus ensuring your survival.

However, this is not necessarily true in a cash game. In cash poker, you make money by well, winning pots. The bigger the pot the better. You might make the money in a tournament and double up, but you can double up in one hand in a cash game, even triple up! The initial investment of a couple bucks for a small raise or limp is fairly insignificant compared to the potential reward, where in a tournament, you need to conserve your life. This reality changes significantly the value of certain starting hands from cash to tournament poker as well.

The downside to raising pre-flop... so much is talked about the benefits of raising pre-flop and taking the initiative. Here’s a different way to look at it. Raising makes it extremely easy for your opponents to put you on a hand. If a standard 14/10 player opens to 3x bb UTG+1, it’s probably safe to assume he’s got 99+ AQ+ give or take a little based on how tight/loose/positional aware he is. This allows you to play almost perfect poker against him and take virtually ATC and make them profitable. Also, when a standard TAG raises, he’s usually raising with a TPTK hand. I’ve learned the hard way, that you don‘t want to play big pots with these types of hands. Good opponents won’t give your AK on a Kxx board much value unless they’ve got you beat. So, why would you want to clearly define your hand, and start building a big pot pre-flop with a small pot hand? I always found myself raising AK, flopping TPTK and then trying to pot control it to showdown. Why not start the pot small and maybe the guy with K10 will come along cause nobody limps AK? You want to win stacks off the ex-tourney player (me) who falls in love with his AK or AA not be the guy who is suddenly facing a river shove on a suspect board with just TPTK. I argue that you can maximize the value of a hand like AK by limping early position. More to follow on that…

You can take advantage of the fact that limping is considered “whimpy” and stereotypical of weak-tight or calling station type opponents. There are hundreds of players that aggressively iso-raise a limper assuming limp=weakness with a much wider range than they would normally open. This makes them extremely exploitable. Some will raise big in position with ATC when there are several limpers in the pot. When you’re at a table with one of these agro-tards, or especially a short-stack, you can limp behind with a decent hand like AK. Sure enough he sticks in that big 4bb+1 raise from the button and then, if it’s folded back to me, I just move all-in (depending on stack size of course) knowing that he’s likely raising with a wide range, to pick up dead money, and you’re mostly ahead. He’ll be hard pressed to call with anything less than AA or KK, given the standard perception that a limp re-raise is usually AA/KK. He is unlikely to actually have AA//KK himself (based on your read) and two blockers cards. At that point, you just took your TPTK type hand and made a decent little profit from dead money rather than having to play cautiously with a small pot hand OOP against an agressive player post-flop. Another thing you can do is limp with AK and when the lobotomized agro-monkey raises, flat call. He’ll put you on a small pp most likely - hardly ever AK - when the flop comes A-x-x. You can safely check-call three streets of value from his AQ. That same player might fold AJo to an UTG raise from you, but now you’re playing a pot with him in a very profitable dominating situation.

The beauty of this is, after people see you make these plays, it adds an incredible mix of deception to your game while playing OOP. You can effectively take the initiative away from the raiser making him guess - and thereby much more likely to make costly mistakes. A limp-call from you could now mean pocket pair, big ace, suited connector, basically, your entire range. This indecision from villain will slow down his aggression, force him to play more straight-up, which thereby allows you to play more correctly according to ole Sklansy’s fundamental theory of poker.

However, the number-one most valuable reason to limp is… it invites more people into the pot. This is something you want. It creates more chances to play post flop with several people who might decide to come along for the ride with two-pair or a goofy draw when you have the nuts. It gives you better odds, both pot and implied, to play your speculative big pot hands when there are more people in the mix. Monster hands only get paid when there is someone to call you down. Don't scare everyone away with a raise - more people in the flop the better your chances there will be someone around to pay you off when you do hit.

There is also the cost-benefit analysis to limping. If you miss the flop, no pressure to continue as your investment was only 1bb. In theory, you could limp-fold 99 times and if you take a 100bb stack from someone once, it is profitable. Realistically however, you can steal a lot of the limped pots fairly cheaply and bet for thin value, relying on your skills and playing small pot poker with draws and when you semi-hit the flop. The potential for profit is very good from a risk/reward standpoint. Of course, your opponents can pick up monsters as well, so it takes as certain element of caution to step through the “set” mine field you created (har har).

Plus, yeah, the fish like to limp. Might as well put them all in a barrel while you do your thing.

All said, I think limping pre-flop can be a powerful tool to add deception, exploit opponents, and maximize your profits if used correctly.

Anyway, feel free to tear my arguments up. Please do, in fact. I’m still an infant in my knowledge of the game and always trying to learn more.

:beer:
 
thepokerkid123

thepokerkid123

Visionary
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Total posts
917
First off, I've got nothing against limping. There are no doubt situations where it is the best possible line, I however limp maybe once every few thousand hands. Usually when situations come up in which limping may be the best choice raising or folding is very close in terms of EV, so I default to taking those lines because creative plays result in much more frequent big miscalculations. This is why I don't limp.

However, this is not necessarily true in a cash game. In cash poker, you make money by well, winning pots. The bigger the pot the better. You might make the money in a tournament and double up, but you can double up in one hand in a cash game, even triple up! The initial investment of a couple bucks for a small raise or limp is fairly insignificant compared to the potential reward, where in a tournament, you need to conserve your life. This reality changes significantly the value of certain starting hands from cash to tournament poker as well.

You can double up, but when you enter a pot the frequency with which you will double up is very low. It can lead to a big pot but the frequency with which it wont will multiply the cost of the attempt.

The downside to raising pre-flop... so much is talked about the benefits of raising pre-flop and taking the initiative. Here’s a different way to look at it. Raising makes it extremely easy for your opponents to put you on a hand. If a standard 14/10 player opens to 3x bb UTG+1, it’s probably safe to assume he’s got 99+ AQ+ give or take a little based on how tight/loose/positional aware he is. This allows you to play almost perfect poker against him and take virtually ATC and make them profitable. Also, when a standard TAG raises, he’s usually raising with a TPTK hand. I’ve learned the hard way, that you don‘t want to play big pots with these types of hands. Good opponents won’t give your AK on a Kxx board much value unless they’ve got you beat. So, why would you want to clearly define your hand, and start building a big pot pre-flop with a small pot hand? I always found myself raising AK, flopping TPTK and then trying to pot control it to showdown. Why not start the pot small and maybe the guy with K10 will come along cause nobody limps AK? You want to win stacks off the ex-tourney player (me) who falls in love with his AK or AA not be the guy who is suddenly facing a river shove on a suspect board with just TPTK. I argue that you can maximize the value of a hand like AK by limping early position.

That TAG is probably highly exploitable because you're right, he probably does have TPTK type hands. You're describing a TAGfish. Forget about your cards for a minute and take a look at the table, who's folding too easily, who's calling too lightly, bluff the nits, value town the loose players, bluff the semi-thinking LAGs. Play a different range against all of them. Understand how your range is perceived (if it's perceived) and manipulate it. It is entirely possible to run 14/10 and be playing tricky as hell. Keep the top of your range, ditch the dominated portion of it (22-77 because your implied odds are stuffed against most players) and include good barrelling
cards like SCers.
The point is, most 14/10 "TAGs" are TAGfish, they're doing it badly. The answer you're looking for isn't in adopting a completely different stragety, it's learning to play this one well. If it takes losses with the limping approach for you to realise that then so be it.

Some will raise big in position with ATC when there are several limpers in the pot. When you’re at a table with one of these agro-tards, or especially a short-stack, you can limp behind with a decent hand like AK. Sure enough he sticks in that big 4bb+1 raise from the button and then, if it’s folded back to me, I just move all-in (depending on stack size of course) knowing that he’s likely raising with a wide range, to pick up dead money, and you’re mostly ahead. He’ll be hard pressed to call with anything less than AA or KK, given the standard perception that a limp re-raise is usually AA/KK. He is unlikely to actually have AA//KK himself (based on your read) and two blockers cards. At that point, you just took your TPTK type hand and made a decent little profit from dead money rather than having to play cautiously with a small pot hand OOP against an agressive player post-flop

You're giving him 20:1 odds. The all in shove is spewy, at best. If you have to do this, limp-raise his 5bb to 20bb and cbet 10-15bb on the flop. The pre-flop raise will have only slightly less fold equity (but it's 5x smaller so you save a lot when it goes bad) and you gain some equity when he calls and gives you a highly profitable cbet opportunity.

FWIW, you shouldn't be playing a TPTK hand passively OOP. If you're playing it then you should be the pre-flop aggressor (open raise, 3bet, 4bet, 5bet, if none of those sounds like a good idea, fold) because you're OOP, this means you're continuing with the betting post-flop until the point where it's no longer profitable against his range. Playing passively OOP is throwing money away, I'll agree with that.

Another thing you can do is limp with AK and when the lobotomized agro-monkey raises, flat call. He’ll put you on a small pp most likely - hardly ever AK - when the flop comes A-x-x. You can safely check-call three streets of value from his AQ. That same player might fold AJo to an UTG raise from you, but now you’re playing a pot with him in a very profitable dominating situation.
I don't like this because you're OOP. You're calling hoping to hit top pair, what's your plan if you miss? You're calling an extra 4bb pre-flop to hit 1/3 flops, that means you need to win an extra 2.6bb post-flop every hand to break even (doesn't sound like a lot, but giving up 2.6bb more than you have to every time you have AK is huge).
Also what happens when you do catch your or A or K and an obvious draw completes, what about when you lose value when he checks back turns to draw to hands and folds on the river (costing you equity), what about when you hit your A or K and the board pairs? Hand over hand situations greatly favour the guy in position, and it's either going to cost you a lot or you're going to have to avoid that by playing way too passively and losing value.
Remember also that you have a big hand, you want to win a lot, not a little. If you get AK vs AQ and flop an A, you want to win a really big pot.

However, the number-one most valuable reason to limp is… it invites more people into the pot. This is something you want. It creates more chances to play post flop with several people who might decide to come along for the ride with two-pair or a goofy draw when you have the nuts. It gives you better odds, both pot and implied, to play your speculative big pot hands when there are more people in the mix. Monster hands only get paid when there is someone to call you down. Don't scare everyone away with a raise - more people in the flop the better your chances there will be someone around to pay you off when you do hit.
Why do you want them to play speculative hands that they can fold if they miss? The only style of play that likes this is LAG, and I can see limping being part of a very creative overall LAG strategy but for the non-genius majority of us, LAG play relies heavily on stealing pots. Lots of pots. You can't get in there with rags and try to hit big and win big, you don't hit big often enough. You need to win lots of small pots to play such a wide range.
If you're not playing an extremely wide range, and it doesn't sound like you are, then raising is good, you want them to make the mistake of calling because their range is weaker than yours. Build a pot, let them call with speculative and dominated hands, fold a lot and pay you off a lot.

There is also the cost-benefit analysis to limping. If you miss the flop, no pressure to continue as your investment was only 1bb. In theory, you could limp-fold 99 times and if you take a 100bb stack from someone once, it is profitable. Realistically however, you can steal a lot of the limped pots fairly cheaply and bet for thin value, relying on your skills and playing small pot poker with draws and when you semi-hit the flop. The potential for profit is very good from a risk/reward standpoint. Of course, your opponents can pick up monsters as well, so it takes as certain element of caution to step through the “set” mine field you created (har har).
If you win only one 100bb stack for every 100 times you invested 1bb, you're going to lose. You win a lot of stacks and lose a lot, that's poker, your edges (against ranges) are rarely big, sure on the river you may be pushing the nuts but the money you paid to draw to it was still paid. Sure, you called his shove with top set against his flush draw, but he had fold equity and he has outs. Edges are always thin. Remember that a good winrate is only a few bb per 100 hands, every time you limp/fold seriously hurts your winrate.

Also stealing limped pots is not an easy thing to do, the pot is so small compared to the stacks that the implied odds are huge for any kind of draw and guess what speculative hands flop a lot of. Draws.



All in all, I don't disagree. Limping is not some evil disgusting thing that we should avoid, it does have it's places. If you're on the button with a dominating hand and BB is likely to spew horribly post flop if he catches anything but not necessarily call wide pre-flop, then yeah limping is ok.
If you must do it, do it in position. Even then, don't do it.
It's not something that you must absolutely never do, it's just something that is almost always a mistake.
 
U

Ubercroz

Visionary
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Total posts
653
Here's the thing, what range are you limping with utg? Is it tight? Then limping doesn't disguise our hand if we limp what we should be raising with. Also big hands, or hands that are likely to be the best hand on the flop won't get much action unless your beat- meaning big pp or tptk type hands- at least not 3 streets of value. So if we limp preflop and connect we have a smaller pot for those couple of streets of value.
If 5 people limp with us it's a 5bb pot we bet the flop get a caller he folds the turn we have a net of 9bb. Woopee. If we bet 4bb get 1 caller pot is 9.5bb on the flop. We bet the flop he calls bet the turn he folds we net 14bbs against less competition.
Your right most of the time tptk or big pp don't get a ton of value so why short yourself preflop when 1/2 the time no one will continue with you to the turn? And sometimes you do hit a monster which makes it the much harder to get in your stack when the pot is so tiny.
I guess I could see limp raising whenyour deep to get a better SPR so that you can collect a bigger bot pstflop or at least make it easier to commit with a big hand. Which is really more the issue than anything. A smaller SPR makes it better to get it in with TPTK and costs your oppenent when they call your big raises. By limping you are allowing your oppenent the right odds to call to beat your big hand.

That was rambly and awful sorry.
 
U

Ubercroz

Visionary
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Total posts
653
Also pokerstove AK against 1 random hand and then against 5 which situation would you prefer to be in?
 
Poof

Poof

Made in the USA
Joined
May 21, 2008
Total posts
14,419
Limping pf with a good hand is dangerous and makes the baby Jesus cry.
I will however limp a small pp to see a cheap flop.
 
WVHillbilly

WVHillbilly

Legend
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Total posts
22,973
From Ed Miller's SSNL:
"an aggressive blind stealing strategy can improve a player's overall winrate by 1.5bb/100"

You may not believe that the blinds are worth much in cash games but one of the most respected poker authors today estimates stealing the blinds to be worth ~25% of what people consider a solid WR.

I love limpers. They limp, I isoraise, and they give up like 70% of the time postflop. So yes, limping can be profitable, just not for the limper.
 
WVHillbilly

WVHillbilly

Legend
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Total posts
22,973
Lol at least I am trying to play them now, I was just folding them:)

I much prefer folding small pairs in EP (UTG, UTG+1) to limping with them. Especially if they're the only thing you're limping with.
 
C

chattin35

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Total posts
73
Thanks for the responses. Good stuff to think about.

Also pokerstove AK against 1 random hand and then against 5 which situation would you prefer to be in?

True, it's not good. However, the value comes in the deceptive aspect of playing it that way. If you limp, it invites other AXs type hands into the pot which might give you an extra street or two of value thinking that their top pair is good on a ragged board. They will have a hard time putting you on a big A in a limped pot.

Do you really want to play a big pot with a one pair hand anyway? Usually, if you're barrelling and someone is still around by the river they have TPTK beat. The goal isn't to get worse hands to fold, it's to get them to call.

Say you limp EP and get two callers, the SB completes and BB checks. You're now getting 4:1 pot odds as a ~33% favorite against 4 limping type hands, 35% vs random hands. This is profitable. Moreso in fact than if you raise 4bb with AK vs typical calling ranges (~52% vs small pairs and suited connectors) with only 1.38:1 pot odds. So, your equity edge is actually greater in the limped pot by a couple percent in relation to your $ invested.

Looking at it from a purely risk/reward point of view, if you make a PSB on an A or K high flop, your total investment in the hand is now 1bb + 5bb to win a 5bb pot. Contrasted with a 4bb PFR and one caller (blinds foldind), the pot is now 9.5bb and you make a standard continuation bet of 7bb you're risking a total of 11bb to win that same 5.5bb pot. Plus, you're playing your cards pretty much face up at this point and a missed sets/dominated aces will fold and the hand is over, you won 5.5bbs. Consider if one of the players behind limped with AX(s) and calls. Now you're risking 6bb total to win a 15bb pot against someone who is calling in a dominated position (and probably even more importantly, thinks they still might be good) with potential for more value on later streets. Conversely, you can get away from the hand cheaply facing a raise from an obvious made draw, set, etc.

Plus, if you get raised holding AK, it's definetly not the end of the world as most players will raise limpers with a pretty wide range of hands that are dominated by AK, and he will rarely put you on that hand. So, you retain the deceptive advantage.

I guess I just don't like playing out of position because it makes it so easy to read your hand and I'm searching for ways to extract value, and make myself less exploitable, with a positional disadvantage.

Does this make sense or am I missing something obvious here?

Thepokerkid123 brought up some interesting points as well. I'll try to get back with a response to some of those in the next day or so.
 
U

Ubercroz

Visionary
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Total posts
653
The reason AK is profitable is because you have a good amount of fold equity.

Your right if people are calling you down they often have TPTK beat, most of the time people don't call you down. Most of the time you pick up the blinds. Most of the time you get a little profit out of this hand and sometimes more, but it is consistent BECAUSE of folds- not in spite of them.

If you limp and wiff you cant really cbet, more people are in the pot so you probably are way behind and you probably lose this pot. you could have earned 1.5bb, instead you lose 1bb. That may not seem like a lot but if all you ever did with AK was pick up 1.5bb it would be an AMAZINGLY profitable situation.

When you dont pick up the blinds and wiff, you STILL have fold equity and will pick up the pot even when you miss when you fire a cbet.

If you're only looking at AK as a way to try and get peoples stacks in with worse A's then your going to be losing a ton because worse A's dont often get their stacks in by the river- even when you deceive them.

If you plan on playing AK as fit or fold on the flop- which you really kind of have to when you limp- I think you will be losing $$ over the long term.

If your playing at the micros deception is useless. people are too dumb to be tricked straightforward poker is the way to go.

If your playing higher than that you will need to limp a TON of hands to be deceptive and you will get picked off most of the time unless you plan to limpraise with garbage and big hands... but thats still bad.
 
B

BenLZ

Rock Star
Joined
Dec 3, 2009
Total posts
384
True, it's not good. However, the value comes in the deceptive aspect of playing it that way. If you limp, it invites other AXs type hands into the pot which might give you an extra street or two of value thinking that their top pair is good on a ragged board. They will have a hard time putting you on a big A in a limped pot.

It's a high variance play. When you have 5 people in a pot you really can't be too sure with TPTK, there's a good chance you've got several people drawing - they could have all kinds of junk. IMO, if its a small pocket pair or a suited connector and there's been a few limpers already and you're playing with 100 BB, go ahead and limp. AK is not a hand you want to play with 5 people. You can play tricky, but it's going to backfire. I've always preferred a more low variance style that involves selective aggression and relatively straight forward poker, it's worked fine for me at lower levels.

If your playing at the micros deception is useless. people are too dumb to be tricked straightforward poker is the way to go.

This, but that's not to say I won't bluff.
 
atlantafalcons0

atlantafalcons0

Legend
Joined
Mar 4, 2010
Total posts
3,713
I don't limp!

Sorry, but I just do not limp.

I'm always in for a raise.
 
B

baudib1

Legend
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Total posts
6,635
Sorry but most of these arguments sound pretty weak. There is a case for limping in some spots and in particular, I think overlimping on the button is a good play in a lot of situations -- when everyone is in,yeah, limp that 98s on the button obviously.

But your dream scenario where everyone limps and you stack their two pair with the nuts doesn't happen very often.

Instead, what happens more often is...you flop some sort of weak hand...you have 54 of diamonds in a 6-way pot and the flop is 4K7 with one diamond. Someone bets, 3 people call...you figure, hell, I'm getting 6-1, I call. The turn is the 6 of diamonds...OMFG, I have a pair + FD + inside straight draw...someone bets...there's a raise...OMG, I HAVE to call...the river is a 4 and you get stacked by 77.

you can choose to play tight and build big pots with premium hands or you can try to steal a lot of pots with a wider range of hands, but limping accomplishes neither of these things.

Big hands like AK don't come around very often and you are losing value if you don't raise/reraise with it 90% of the time. And yes, avoiding going broke with TPTK and getting value out of Ax is pretty much your standard definition of playing poker, it sounds like you are afraid to do it.
 
C

chattin35

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Total posts
73
Not talking about stacking someone. What I'm talking about is extracting extra value from hands that would normally fold to multiple streets of betting. You'll rarely stack someone with AK as a TPTK hand anyway unless you're playing against a total fish.

If AK is profitable because of the fold equity, then it really shouldn't even matter what your cards are/were. Or, am I missing something here? Isn't the point of poker to get worse hands to CALL and better hands to fold?

The equity math actually works out better for the multiway pot than a raised pot (assuming 5 way pot first case vs 4bb raise and one caller second). Investing 1bb with ~35% equity in a 5bb pot is much better than investing 4bb with ~52% equity in a 9.5bb pot. It's more bang for your buck in relative terms - .75bb/1bb invested in the first case and .24bb/1bb in the second.

I'm not advocating always limping AK, for obvious reasons. Just trying to present a different way of looking at extracting extra value from a hand that I think is trickier to play than I think most people give it credit.
 
C

chattin35

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Total posts
73
You're giving him 20:1 odds. The all in shove is spewy, at best. If you have to do this, limp-raise his 5bb to 20bb and cbet 10-15bb on the flop. The pre-flop raise will have only slightly less fold equity (but it's 5x smaller so you save a lot when it goes bad) and you gain some equity when he calls and gives you a highly profitable cbet opportunity.

After re-thinking this, I wholeheartedly agree. Limp re-raises are usually given respect and you can effect the same outcome with a standard re-raise and follow up cbet if called. Thanks.
 
Wes747

Wes747

Visionary
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Total posts
550
From Ed Miller's SSNL:
"an aggressive blind stealing strategy can improve a player's overall winrate by 1.5bb/100"

You may not believe that the blinds are worth much in cash games but one of the most respected poker authors today estimates stealing the blinds to be worth ~25% of what people consider a solid WR.

I love limpers. They limp, I isoraise, and they give up like 70% of the time postflop. So yes, limping can be profitable, just not for the limper.

I have ignored this thread until today, but I love this comment. I stated this in the cash games thread, but I'll say it again. This is how I keep my red line above 0. Iso-raise the limpers and then take it down with a cbet. If they call the cbet I then re-evaluate the situation from there. Besides 95% of the time I iso-raise them I am in position and they are trying to play the hand OOP.
 
CerberAcE

CerberAcE

Rock Star
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Total posts
204
I try not to open limp but in some micro games its not a bad play. In 2NL you often find your self in games with loads of limpers and calling stations playing over 50% of their hands- but never raise preflop. So you can be safe knowing your limp with small pair/suited ace isnt going to be raised by anyone. However if you raise they will all call anyway - so its just costing you more to see a flop.
 
U

Ubercroz

Visionary
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Total posts
653
I try not to open limp but in some micro games its not a bad play. In 2NL you often find your self in games with loads of limpers and calling stations playing over 50% of their hands- but never raise preflop. So you can be safe knowing your limp with small pair/suited ace isnt going to be raised by anyone. However if you raise they will all call anyway - so its just costing you more to see a flop.

Have you even read this thread?
 
B

bubonicplay

Rock Star
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Total posts
219
If you're playing against anyone decent the reason we play hands in cash is the blinds too. Just because we have 100 or 1,000,000 bbs doesn't change the fact that the only reason there is action is because we have to pay 1.5bb every orbit. All raises preflop are because of a combination of fold equity, hand equity, and both fold equity and hand equity on various boards later in the hand. Limping preflop just sets us up for playing a pot with high SPR multiway oop and that spot just generally sucks no matter what we have. The only exception is hands like low pairs which regardless of what wvh says if you are not being isolated is not a bad play. If there are people who will isolate you/be able to put you on a range though it's just throwing money away so you shouldn't limp.
 
WVHillbilly

WVHillbilly

Legend
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Total posts
22,973
If you're playing against anyone decent the reason we play hands in cash is the blinds too. Just because we have 100 or 1,000,000 bbs doesn't change the fact that the only reason there is action is because we have to pay 1.5bb every orbit. All raises preflop are because of a combination of fold equity, hand equity, and both fold equity and hand equity on various boards later in the hand. Limping preflop just sets us up for playing a pot with high SPR multiway oop and that spot just generally sucks no matter what we have. The only exception is hands like low pairs which regardless of what wvh says if you are not being isolated is not a bad play. If there are people who will isolate you/be able to put you on a range though it's just throwing money away so you shouldn't limp.

You can win with small pairs without making a set, unless you limp. Honestly I don't see too many tables these days where limpers are seeing the flop without calling an iso raise. Make no mistake I'm talking about open limping. Limping behind 2+ other lose..limpers with small pairs and some SCs can be ok at times.

As a genral rule though I'll stand behind the premise that "limping's for losers". :)
 
B

bubonicplay

Rock Star
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Total posts
219
Yeah but if people are calling a ton of raises preflop but limping if no one raises that's when limping small PPs seems fine. You can't really rely on looking to win when you miss sets just because most flops you're oop against someone who can own you pretty hard and you basically have no equity. On almost all flops you just cbet then have to ch/f turn. Now at least you said you fold them and I agree folding them > raising them generally in EP at FR but my point was at micros where players aren't going to isolate you light it can be open limping > folding them just because they'll see so many flops then not be able to fold top pair or any weak draw.
 
WVHillbilly

WVHillbilly

Legend
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Total posts
22,973
Yeah but if people are calling a ton of raises preflop but limping if no one raises that's when limping small PPs seems fine. You can't really rely on looking to win when you miss sets just because most flops you're oop against someone who can own you pretty hard and you basically have no equity. On almost all flops you just cbet then have to ch/f turn. Now at least you said you fold them and I agree folding them > raising them generally in EP at FR but my point was at micros where players aren't going to isolate you light it can be open limping > folding them just because they'll see so many flops then not be able to fold top pair or any weak draw.

I'll concede that it could be profitable at the lowest stakes. I have no experience playing cash below 25nl other than crazy CC tables. From 25nl through 100nl at least, I'm pretty damn certain for the average FR player it's folding > raising > limping when it comes to small pairs from EP.
 
Top