Limit Holdem Vs. No Limit Holdem
It’s funny how such a minor difference in the betting rules between limit and no limit Texas holdem makes such a huge difference between the two games. From a strategy perspective, limit and no limit hold ‘em are completely different games. Even though you probably aren’t learning both game types at the same time, this article will give you some insight into some of the basic principles behind whichever game you’re learning.
There are several major differences between the two games. These are a little oversimplified but I’ll address each point in more detail. You can also have a look at this page which lists the best Texas Hold’em poker sites for money. This includes both No Limit and Fixed Limir
- Limit holdem is about making consistently correct decisions in every pot. No limit is about making the correct decision in large pots.
- Limit holdem is technical, no limit is psychological.
- In limit, you cannot always protect your hand. In no limit, you can almost always make it incorrect for your opponents to chase draws.
- Limit holdem is about pot odds, no limit is about implied odds.
- Limit holdem has much higher variance than no limit.
Limit holdem is about making consistently correct decisions in every pot. No limit holdem is about making the correct decision in large pots.
The edge you have in limit is based on the total of all the decisions you make in every single pot. You can’t just play well in the occasional big pot and expect to make money – the limited betting amounts restrict the maximum pot sizes in limit.
In no limit, you can play an average game in the small pots and make a huge profit if you perform well in large pots. The big pots in no limit are so much larger than the small pots that your entire edge can be based on making correct decisions in big pots only.
Limit holdem is technical, no limit is psychological.
In limit, you have to play a more technical game than in no limit. This means you have to play every hand with precision and according to the pot odds. You can’t intimidate opponents with large bets – you just have to play a mathematically sound game.
In no limit, the goal is to get your opponents to put all their money in the pot with a weaker hand than yours. To get this to happen, you have to play a more psychological game. Your image and recent history with the opponent makes a bigger difference than mathematically sound play.
In limit, you cannot always protect your hand. In no limit, you can almost always make it incorrect for your opponents to chase draws.
This point is pretty self-explanatory. Since the betting sizes are fixed in limit, you can’t always make it incorrect for your opponents to chase draws. If you’re playing a $1/$2 limit game and find yourself in a $10 pot, you can’t even protect against flush draws.
If you found yourself in the same $10 pot in a no limit game, you could bet any amount you want to cut down the pot odds. The only exceptions would be if there were multiple opponents all in or you had too short of a stack to bet the full size of the pot.
Limit is about pot odds, no limit is about implied odds.
In limit you must pay more attention to the pot odds than the implied odds. The fixed betting sizes limit the amount of money you can expect to win if you complete a draw.
In no limit you can count more on implied odds because if you hit your draw, there’s a chance the opponent will lose his entire stack to you. Beware – it’s easy to overestimate your pot odds in a no limit game. Don’t always count on winning your opponent’s stack if you hit your draw. You know it doesn’t always work out like that.
Limit has much higher variance than no limit.
Your edges are smaller in limit games so this means you’re going to have more short term variance than in no limit. The limited betting amounts make it so that your edges will be distributed over smaller amounts of money and also make it harder to protect your draws.
The edges you have in no limit are often much more significant than they are in limit. In no limit you can wait until you have a strong hand and a very high chance to win the pot before getting it all-in for a significant amount of money.