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Limit Texas Hold'em >> Small Stakes Shorthanded

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sweetjazz
journeyman


Reged: 08/03/03
Posts: 95
Loc: Rhode Island
When to limp pre-flop in a shorthanded Hold Em game
      #341799 - 09/14/03 12:16 PM

I was playing a shorthanded (5 player) home game of Hold 'Em the other night, and not counting the blinds I found that I almost never was limping pre-flop. The game was not too tight, with an average of about 3 to see a flop.

Now I know that it can be a mistake to limp too much pre-flop (either you're not folding hands all your bad hands or you're not raising all your good hands), but I came away wondering if I had taken this advice to the extreme. So I am wondering -- what kind of hands should one limp in with when not in the blinds in a shorthanded game? My list would be two high cards that don't include an ace or king (i.e QT, QJ, JT). My logic is that people usually defend raises with an ace or king, but sometimes will limp in with junk, so I limp with my QT for example, planning to bet aggressively if I flop top pair (assuming I'm not raised preflop after I limp) and bet at the pot if I catch second pair but being willing to lay down to a raise.

Is this the right way to play QT? What other hands do I want to limp with? When I'm on the button and have already gotten two limpers, do I always limp with a suited connectors (in my case, the blinds were not raising except in rare instances)?

Here's another example of a hand that came up and I wasn't sure how to play it preflop: I get dealt A 2 on the button. UTG calls, UTG+1 folds. I decided to raise to try to get it heads up with the limper. The SB folds, BB and UTG call my raise. I ended up spliting the pot with UTG who had A2 offsuit.

Was my pre-flop play correct on this hand? What about UTG? Should he have limped in with A2 offsuit, or was that a hand that he should either fold or raise with?


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stripsqueez
old hand


Reged: 05/29/03
Posts: 1055
Loc: Adelaide , South Australia
Re: When to limp pre-flop in a shorthanded Hold Em game [Re: sweetjazz]
      #342187 - 09/15/03 02:04 AM

i'm interested in the answer to the question as well

i think only playing if you are going to raise before the blinds with 5 or fewer players is (with a few exceptions) clearly right - i would be interested in what the exceptions might be - i will limp on the button with 2 runners before me with small pairs or suited connectors - and i will occasionally limp if its obvious that no-one respects my raises anymore - but that is about all that i limp

i think you and the BB did the right thing with A2 although i sometimes fold A2 with 2 runners playing for a raise before me as the big blind (i would of folded if i didnt have A2s)


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RiverMel
addict


Reged: 02/10/03
Posts: 552
Short answer: Never. [Re: sweetjazz]
      #342934 - 09/15/03 07:25 PM

Long answer: very close to never. Both assuming you are not playing in a super LL game, and you have a reasonable chance of taking down the blinds once in a while.

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soda
addict


Reged: 09/30/02
Posts: 542
Loc: Los Angeles, California
Re: When to limp pre-flop in a shorthanded Hold Em game [Re: sweetjazz]
      #343087 - 09/15/03 11:41 PM

What???

Never limping?

Can this possibly be right?

What about limping with a small pocket pair? Or a KTs on the button with 2 or 3 limpers already? Maybe a T9s in a similar situation. Or you find yourself in a real passive game with tons of calling stations, they always call your raises and all your other bets (Party Poker Baby!). Is there much/any value in raising marginal hands here?

Hmm, I was limping lots today at Party in the $5 - 6 handed game and it seemed to work well. In fact, I only raised my very good hands or when I wanted to make a play with weird stuff.

Am I a n00b for thinking that limping is ok?



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ScottC
stranger


Reged: 09/16/03
Posts: 5
Re: When to limp pre-flop in a shorthanded Hold Em game [Re: soda]
      #343130 - 09/16/03 01:09 AM

Quote:

I was limping lots today at Party in the $5 - 6 handed game and it seemed to work well. In fact, I only raised my very good hands or when I wanted to make a play with weird stuff.

Am I a n00b for thinking that limping is ok?




You can't argue with success. If a strategy works for you at a given table with all of its variables (limits, players, environment, etc.), then it works.

(woo hoo, my first post!)


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sam h
old hand


Reged: 09/02/02
Posts: 742
There's a big difference... [Re: sweetjazz]
      #343228 - 09/16/03 03:54 AM

...between openlimping and limping along after a couple callers.

I will basically never open-limp, but if a couple people have called already then I will just call with hands like JTs, KTs, KJo, A5s, and 88. Although if only one has limped and the blinds are tight, I will raise to isolate with these hands.

In general, I will just fold smaller pairs or low suited connectors in this situation.


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soda
addict


Reged: 09/30/02
Posts: 542
Loc: Los Angeles, California
Re: There's a big difference... [Re: sam h]
      #343232 - 09/16/03 04:08 AM

Here's another time I'll limp. I've been aggressively stealing the blinds and I'm getting the feeling that they're going to start playing back at me very soon. You know the feeling.

So, instead of open raising from the button, I'll open limp. I do this with a medium strength hand - let's say A9s for example. This usually throws them a little off guard and takes off the "heat".

This is only if they've starting calling - if they're folding, I'm raising.

Flame away!



soda


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tewall
veteran


Reged: 01/02/03
Posts: 1206
Loc: midwest
Re: When to limp pre-flop in a shorthanded Hold Em game [Re: sweetjazz]
      #343679 - 09/16/03 03:49 PM

If you choose to limp with hands such as QT, you also have to limp with other types of hands so as not to give away your hand.

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sweetjazz
journeyman


Reged: 08/03/03
Posts: 95
Loc: Rhode Island
Re: When to limp pre-flop in a shorthanded Hold Em game [Re: tewall]
      #343778 - 09/16/03 05:46 PM

Quote:

If you choose to limp with hands such as QT, you also have to limp with other types of hands so as not to give away your hand.




I am concerned about this and a more general problem. Even if I limp with a fair number of hands, I still advertise weakness when I limp. I can mix my play up a bit once others start to pick up on this, occassionally limping with relatively big hands (A or K with decent kicker). I don't want to have the opps always making a move on me when an A or K flops after I have limped -- but so far the people I am playing against haven't picked up on this, as far as I can tell.


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RiverMel
addict


Reged: 02/10/03
Posts: 552
Clarification [Re: RiverMel]
      #343800 - 09/16/03 06:13 PM

I (perhaps mistakenly) assumed the OP was talking about open-limping.

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