Limit, No limit & Pot limit

Ace of diamondsTexas hold’em and other poker games are played with different kinds of betting structures. There are three types of categories in cash game: fixed limit, pot limit and no limit.

Fixed limit

In fixed limit, or just limit, the sizes of the bets are fixed. In a game with the limit 1/2 the amounts of the bets are consequent 1 and 2 units (dollars, euros and so on). Before the flop and in the first betting round 1 unit in this case is the allowed bet size and in the next two rounds 2 units are the bet size. Besides these options, raises and re-raises of the same sizes can be done. There’s usually a limit of how many re-raises that can be done in one betting round.

What characterizes limit from the other two categories is that a limit games are more mathematical. The simple reason is that the sizes of the bets are fixed and therefore can be closely calculated. Pot odds are consequently very important here. You must be able to calculate the odds if you going to be successful in limit cash games. However, that's not something that all players do, so if you become well on the odds, you can be profitable in limit games by mathematically outplay your opponents.

Another important thing that differs from no limit is the values of starting hands. As mention in the article about shorthanded & longhanded you know that starting hands are presupposed by the situation.

In limit games, the fixed bets give special conditions for which cards you should play. You can’t force the opponents out from the pot with a big bet when you get 8-8 for example, which you may prefer in no limit games. In limit games, the low and middle pairs become in some way speculative hands – you want to make a set. In other words play them if it’s not too costly and don’t automatically make raises with them, according to the fact that it’s cheap to call you.

I think you can tell me which starting hands getting better in these conditions ... The connectors and suited hands as they can’t be bought out. It doesn't necessary mean you want to call three bets with a 5-6 off suited. Like always, play sound and solid.

No limit

In no limit you’re allowed to bet or raise in any size orders. If a player wants to bet all his chips before the flop, this is possible. You are always allowed to call a bet even if the size of the previous bet is bigger than your total amount of chips.

If a limit game could be characterized by the influence of mathematics, no limit holds more psychological aspects. Pot odds are still critical knowledge, but the frequency of bluffing and often extravagant bluffing give the game extra dimensions.

No limit is in a way more free than limit because you can choose exactly how much you want to bet all the time. This fact results in a faster game since the hand is already decided before the flop or just after the flop more often. Starting hands that need few cards to develop into strong hands consequently will become more valuable. These are pocket pairs and hands that contain high cards.

Pot limit

In pot limit, the highest allowed bet is always the same as all the chips in the pot. That means that the maximum bet will increase as the pot grows.

It can be said that the weaker player should choose pot limit instead of no limit because of the reason that he risk less money, at least in one hand. You could, on the other hand, argue that he should choose no limit because here he can make big bets in fewer pots that bring more influence of luck to the game.

A last word

My advice is that you remember these distinctions when you play and adjust most properly to each structure and try out for yourself that form you feel most comfortable with.

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