OK, we admit that sometimes we’re biased: we really love Hold’Em. However, not just any Hold’Em will do: we love no-limit Texas Hold’Em. That’s the best type around as far as we’re concerned, but we’re trying to turn over a new leaf. Develop new habits if you will. We want to make sure that you understand that there really is another world out there besides just no-limit. Pot limit poker is something that takes a bit of a different strategy but it’s still worth checking out if you really want to get things done in the world of poker.
What do we mean by “getting things done”? Well, it’s really straightforward — in order to jump in and become a truly great poker player, you will want to make sure that you actually get experience in many different variations of poker. The last thing that you want to do is just stick to one and think that that’s all you can expect from the poker world. Every variation will give your strategy a little something extra. When you start talking about high stakes poker tournaments like the WSOP, this varied background in poker will end up giving you the extra edge that you need in order to get all of your goals achieved. You want to make lots of money playing poker? Then adjusting your strategy and your thinking is definitely the best way to go.
The confines of pot-limit Hold’Em are actually pretty straightforward. You can bet the size of the pot, which includes the amount of the call at any time. You don’t have to bet that much, but that’s really the maximum. Notice the lack of all-in potential — you cannot dump all of your chips on the table as an intimidation factor. This also eliminates the super aggressive raises that no-limit Hold’Em is actually known for.
It can be harder to nudge the pot along in pot-limit poker, because you basically have to trick your opponents without giving them any advance warning that this is what you’re going to do. You never want to reveal your hand at any point. Remember that online poker can still reveal tells about your opponents as well as yourself. If you end up not being able to work around this it could end up costing you a lot in terms of poker play — and chips!
For you math poker fans, you have to realize that your implied odds as well as straight pot odds are going to change. But that’s okay — pot control is your friend.
You still want to push your opponents into making mistakes. In a way, a lot of poker players like to train with pot-limit because it focuses more on the psychological parts of the game more than a straight math problem. Hardcore limit-poker doesn’t really allow you to do this the way that pot-limit does.
Remember that small bets can really make the difference when you’re playing in this style. Let’s take an example for a spin, shall we?
On the flop, the pot is $10. You’re going against just one other poker player. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast.
Your first options here are to bet, or check. If you just go ahead and check, your opponent can only bet a max of $10 — that’s what’s in the pot at the moment. If you go ahead and bet $5 (which would be half the pot), your opponent can raise all the way up to $25 — yikes! Every time you bet, you’re basically increasing the amount that you have to pay in order to another card. If you don’t have a strong hand, this can get costly very quickly!
Of course, you aren’t always going to be heads up either — there will be other players, and they will all be betting and/or raising accordingly. This can make a pot skyrocket really fast in pot-limit poker, especially if you don’t take into account what pot-limit actually does to the betting.
Don’t think that just because you can’t go all in that you can’t intimidate a player across from you in terms of action. They are still going to be looking at the number of cards that you play and the number of cards that you fold. If you are rising heavy, they could get intimidated all the same. The key is to look at the timing and then strike while the iron is hot.
Naturally, you don’t want to think that you’ll be a pot-limit master in a short amount of time. You may have to play a lot of hands before you really understand the differences between strategies. It’s not the end of the world to be good at only no-limit and struggle with pot-limit — some poker players are just like that.
However, if you really do take the time to get good at both styles of poker, you’ll find small insights along the way that can really help you build a bigger bankroll over time!