No Limit Poker has become increasingly popular, not only for its exciting popularity but the potential for large profits. It’s also been highly publicized because of the World Poker Tour and ESPN. However, there are fundamental differences between No Limit and standard Hold ‘Em. It’s important to study these differences and incorporate changes into your game.
Limit Hold ‘Em uses a fixed betting amount. For a $5/10 limit hold’em game you bet and raise in increments of $5 for pre-flop, after the flop, and the turn. No Limit Hold ‘Em, on the other hand, does not handle bet sizes. You are limited to whatever the amount is in the middle. Pot Limit Hold ‘Em, on the other hand, is whenever the amount in the pot is raised, you must either bet an amount that’s been set before your turn or fold.
Differences between Limit and No Limit
These differences essentially boil down to the fact that you are not forced to invest an increasing amount of money each time you increase the betting amount. This makes the game much less of a gamble for you. You don’t have to gamble with your winnings and your losses are minimal.
For this reason, No Limit is actually considered to be a much better game than Limit Hold ‘Em for players because:
- You don’t have to bet the house on a constant basis in order to profit.
- When you make a mistake, there is plenty of time to recover and the stakes are raised relatively less. So even if you lose, you only lose a set amount. And you can always raise the stakes again.
One of the most important things to learn in order to win No Limit is to be able to read your opponents. Since you are up against them for a large portion of the game, your hand strength is a very important factor. You should be able to tell general things about a opponents hand, like whether or not they are a beginner or musical. You should be able to tell if the player is more aggressive than others or more passive.
For example, if the player is more aggressive, you can guess more easily what cards the player will be holding. If the player is holding a strong hand, you can’t always guess, since the player could make all kinds of unpredictable moves.
The player’s style of play can also be indication of things to watch out for. If they are playing more conservatively then they will more likely try to keep as many opponents in the 7meter as possible. The players that are most aggressive are the ones you should be focusing more on.
There are also other factors involved, such as the position you are at in the game. If you are in early position then you aren’t at as much of a disadvantage as you would be in a later position. If you are in late position then you may be at even more of a disadvantage.
Although, as I mentioned earlier, most of the skills you would learn would be in the card counting, there are some other skills that you may decide to learn for some extra moments of opportunity. Fundamentals of Texas Hold ‘Em include:
- Hand Value
- Pot Value
- Different Hold ‘Em starting hands
- How to play after the flop
- How to play heads up poker
- The most common mistakes made at the poker table
- How to win at poker quickly
If you are a more advanced player then you may want to spend some time working on these skills. Practice playing against beginner players first, then with some real live experience, work on the more advanced techniques like bluffing, slow playing, trapping, signals and so on.