Strategy: Playing in Longhanded Limit Poker Games
by Deke Marston
|When you start playing in
real-money games for the first time, you're going to see a lot of other players on the
felt, especially at lower-stakes limit poker tables where the betting is capped. It can
seem challenging to play so many other people at once, but you might be surprised how well
a simple, easy-to-manage strategy can work and help you make a profit, even at aggressive
tables with large groups seeing every stage of a hand.
Firstly, you have to be brutal when it comes to what hands you're playing and which ones
you're throwing back ad keep your position in mind at all times. The easiest thing to
remember is that if you're holding face card pairs or AK, you should go ahead and play and
play aggressively. These have a positive expected value under any circumstances and are
the very definition of a "no-brainer" at the tables. Stuff the pot as much as
you can and don't fall back unless the board features multiple pairs that could give your
opponent a shot at a better set or full house.
Unfortunately, pocket rockets and their brethren just aren't as common as we want them to
be. You're more likely to hold hands like TT, 99, AQ or KQ, which are definitely playable
but require a bit more finesse from the player. You should work to knock outliers out of
the pot as quickly as you can and instead focus on those who aren't going to play every
hand they come across and fumble their way into trips. If you're late in the rotation and
there has been a lot of action before you, you can feel okay folding if the value for
money just isn't going to be there for you.
The final category of hands that you can feel good about playing in a longhanded limit
pork game includes 88, AJ, AT, KJ, QJ, JT and QT. You should definitely look at playing
these, but with some caution. Even if you pair up with your higher card, there's the
possibility that someone with a better kicker can take you down. For instance, if you end
up with AJ pairing up with a board that features an ace, look out for the possibility that
someone else may have AK and thus be able to beat you handily. I've found that being more
aggressive with hands like this when they're suited helps a lot to reduce your field,
especially when you've got late position on your side.
To make it easy on you, I'm going to recommend just leaving pairs below 88 out of your
game entirely. There's the chance that your smaller pocket pair or suited connectors can
hit a set or make a straight or flush, but that requires a bit more luck than can be
profitable when you're playing in aggressive games where many players are seeing each
stage of the hand. Of course if the field is a bit more passive and you've got a good read
on your opponents, you might well find that being aggressive with those hands pays off.
Every table is different.
The single best piece of advice I can offer when you're playing in longhanded limit poker
games is that you need to be patient. That patience allows you to build your bankroll and
if you're playing in multiple hands in an online poker site like Bovada, you're not going
to get bored and start making silly decisions. Let the opposition make the mistakes that
will help you make more money as you sharpen your skills.
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