Low Limit Strategy

by Greg Cavouras

Now that weíve discussed what NOT to do in a low limit online game, letís look at what a winning approach to this type of game looks like. As Iíve already mentioned the futility of a bluff in a multi-handed low limit game, we should discuss the flip side of that play, and that is when you have a very strong hand, it can often pay off to play it hard. Because you canít make a large raise that would be indicative of a monster hand, by making the upper limit raise, your hand could be almost anything. This will frequently provoke action, and because it usually isnít a huge raise, you can get a few loose players to donate to your pot. The other advantage to making a play when you do have a strong hand is that if youíre playing a skilled opponent, they will likely fold a nightmare long shot hand. An example that happened to me recently:

I held A(H) K(H)- a very strong hand.

My opponent held 3(S) 9(S)

The flop came:

10 (C) 4(D) A(C), a flop I was extremely happy to see. I felt confident I had the best possible hand at the time, so I bet the limit. I was raised by an opponent, and I re-raised.
The action had eventually put my shortstacked opponent all-in, and being a poor player, with no draw and no pair, he called with an atrocious 3-9, as the action had forced him to go all in if he wished to stay in the hand.

The turn came 9(D)

And tragically, the river came 9(H)

You can see how a terrible call ended up costing me a few chips. I had the strongest hand all the way until the end, and an experienced player would not have made an all-in call with this laughable 9-3. This turned into a disaster for me, but I feel I played it properly, as a skilled opponent would have quickly folded. Conversely, if I had checked this, itís possible a good player would have stayed in, and caught trips.

The lesson is that you should play a very strong hand hard in a limit game. Remember that your game needs to be dynamic to the situation, but you can still work on your fundamentals; practicing pot odds, reading the strength of your hand, and knowing when to fold are skills that transcend to any game or structure and are readily practiced in low limit games at a relatively cheap price.

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