Players that limp strong hands UTG

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tzuriel

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What is the strategy to play against this?

For example, someone who limps UTG. UTG1 limps along and you have A6o on the BTN. Raise? Limp? Fold?

If you raise 5 bb to fold out the limpers but get called by the UTG limper, where do you think you are at in the hand? Does that mean UTG limped a big hand and you have to check when the flop comes
5 A 9
Or is he just messing around? No history with this particular player so didn't know what he might do.

I don't know what to do in this spot and I am losing a lot of chips because of it. Villain had AJo and stacked me. I know I played it wrong but I don't think I even know how to play it right!
 
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Recreationalplayer

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I generally raise linear range against limpers, High card hands and high pairs. Call with speculative hands like small pairs and suited connectors.
 
Phoenix Wright

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If you raise bigger to punish the limper, then you are pricing them into a mistake by them calling usually. Furthermore, you can also choose to just limp/call with potential hands yourself to see a cheap flop.

It all depends on context and playstyle, but what I would avoid is just allowing them to consistently limp. I'd open-raise bigger with my best hands and decent hands with good postflop playability - while folding the regular trash hands. Since their opening range would be wider than usual, we are justified in calling/continuing with wider than usual. Remember, we are getting a "good price" on pot odds when they just limp :)

I wouldn't raise with only premium hands in a linear fashion though - this would make us too tight (premium hands are not that frequent to come by) and we would also signal to our opponent that we are strong if we only raise with a linear range.
 
puzzlefish

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You can limp along and play from the flop if you have position, or you can raise and then re-evaluate whether to bet for value on the flop. Top pair weak kicker hands can sometimes turn into flush draws or you may hit a second pair. I wouldn't try to stack off with just the one top pair though.
 
nuttea

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What is the strategy to play against this?

For example, someone who limps UTG. UTG1 limps along and you have A6o on the BTN. Raise? Limp? Fold?

If you raise 5 bb to fold out the limpers but get called by the UTG limper, where do you think you are at in the hand? Does that mean UTG limped a big hand and you have to check when the flop comes
5 A 9
Or is he just messing around? No history with this particular player so didn't know what he might do.

I don't know what to do in this spot and I am losing a lot of chips because of it. Villain had AJo and stacked me. I know I played it wrong but I don't think I even know how to play it right!
In rare cases, with UTG, you can profitably limp into trades with very strong hole cards, for example, two Aces or Kings. In this case, it is necessary to fulfill a number of favorable conditions. It is important to make sure that opponents after you will raise, for example, if the turn to make decisions goes to one or more aggressive opponents who are actively involved in the hands and punish opponents for limping. Having received a raise from them, the owner of a pocket pair makes an even larger raise in order to take the pot right away or form a large pot before the flop.
 
NWPatriot

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I have struggled here as well. There seems to be a lot more limping lately, with premium hands from early position. It is very deceptive, until it is no longer deceptive.

I do believe the UTG limper is making a mistake. We like it when our opponents make mistakes. They are encouraging multi-way pots that they can abuse post-flop with their strong hand. The problem is, that every multi-way pot directly reduces their equity. They need 3 over-limps in order to have the same size pot on the flop as a single 3bb open call, while their equity is now 25% of what it was if they had bet and gotten heads up. They are essentially playing an implied odds strategy, when they actually have sufficient equity to not do so. They take the risk of someone (1 in 3 players) catching a real hand.

Since they are hoping to win a bigger pot by limping than they are by betting, our strategy should be to not help them succeed. If we know they have strength, and we know what their post-flop strategy is, then we need to not cooperate. Limp behind and see the cheap flop that can ruin their day. Don't invest a bunch of chips when we know we are behind. We know we are playing the implied odds strategy and that strategy says that the more we invest now, the more we need to win later to make up for it.

Just one way to look at it.

Good Luck and God Bless.
 
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Cinhos_2000

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With position and with a hand like A6o I'd probably just call (depends on chipstack, ICM, stage of the tournament, etc). I think a lot of players that limp UTG have small pairs, suited connectors and small suited aces. If you were on bb or sb it'd be more reasonable to raise, but in position I think it's better to slowplay and then figure out what his limping range consists of. Some players I already have notes on that limp any crap are raised often by me, but if I don't have anything on them I just call with marginal hands.
 
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tzuriel

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Very thoughtful response. Thank you!
I have struggled here as well. There seems to be a lot more limping lately, with premium hands from early position. It is very deceptive, until it is no longer deceptive.

I do believe the UTG limper is making a mistake. We like it when our opponents make mistakes. They are encouraging multi-way pots that they can abuse post-flop with their strong hand. The problem is, that every multi-way pot directly reduces their equity. They need 3 over-limps in order to have the same size pot on the flop as a single 3bb open call, while their equity is now 25% of what it was if they had bet and gotten heads up. They are essentially playing an implied odds strategy, when they actually have sufficient equity to not do so. They take the risk of someone (1 in 3 players) catching a real hand.

Since they are hoping to win a bigger pot by limping than they are by betting, our strategy should be to not help them succeed. If we know they have strength, and we know what their post-flop strategy is, then we need to not cooperate. Limp behind and see the cheap flop that can ruin their day. Don't invest a bunch of chips when we know we are behind. We know we are playing the implied odds strategy and that strategy says that the more we invest now, the more we need to win later to make up for it.

Just one way to look at it.

Good Luck and God Bless.
 
rabman50

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On the button I would raise my normal range and add a BB to account for the limper. After the flop I would play a pot control game. In other words, without TPTK or better I would be reluctant to inflate the pot. Over time we will get a better idea of the UTG limping range and be able to act accordingly.
 
daddybrooks

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with no history with that player, it's hard. You have to either raise or fold in that situation for sure. That's really the nightmare though when playing a weak A like that, you're really hoping he has low pockets that don't hit, because if an A hits like it did, you're in a bad spot. If they play back strong on that flop, you gotta at least consider letting it go sometimes or just not get yourself in that position until you have an idea of the players ranges you're up against.
 
JordanH

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Limping, slow playing, trapping - seems to be everybody's go to strategy these days. AJ - not really what I would call a "strong" hand UTG. More often than not I see people doing that with AA. It's VERY FRUSTRATING to the "trapper" when you just limp along with him till your 72 flops a full house and he is now way behind with 2 pair. That's typically when the "trapper' decides to show his (previous) strength and shove.
 
Baldy86

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i would just look at the aggression level of him / her . and would try to trap him / her . for example if i notice that he/she limped with AA-QQ ....but i hit lets say a set ...then you can bet aggressively and will get called for sure much of the time
 
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1nsomn1a

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From time to time, everyone sets traps with strong hands, and everyone will fall for this at least once, but do not be afraid of it too seriously, since a constant limp with strong hands leads to problems for limpers themselves, a thinking player tries to raise more often with strong hands.
 
Zapahlohotrona

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If your opponent is limping with a strong range, narrow down your isolating range and play appropriately against tight limpers.
 
JordanH

JordanH

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i would just look at the aggression level of him / her . and would try to trap him / her . for example if i notice that he/she limped with AA-QQ ....but i hit lets say a set ...then you can bet aggressively and will get called for sure much of the time
I did that yesterday. There were three of us left at the final table. I limped UTG with AA. Was raised a large amount, which was expected and hoped for. I shoved, was called, and lost to a smaller pair that flopped a set. I think that was one of the few situations where it was correct to limp UTG with AA. Didn't work out that time but would definitely do it again against this particular player type in this particular situation.
 
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