During a round of poker, if there has been no raise before the action reaches you, you may “limp in” by simply calling the blind. Typically, this term is used on poker broadcasts to describe a player with a decent starting hand that instead of raising, simply calls or “limps in”. There are many reasons you would want to limp in during poker and we’ll discuss a few scenarios below.
Limping With A Big Hand Like Aces Or Kings
A newer US online poker player may read this and say, “Why would I limp with a premium hand like Aces or Kings? The answer is that if you have a good read on the style of the player(s) to your left, this move can pay dividends. Let’s assume that there are two players to your left that have demonstrated a fair level of aggressiveness. They raise many pots pre-flop with mediocre hands and tend to get a lot of money in on the flop if they hit. In this case, limping with Aces gives you the opportunity to re-raise the action if one of these players does indeed raise after you limp. If they do call your re-raise, based on the flop you may win all or a big chunk of their chip stack.
Limping In With Middle Connectors
A very popular poker strategy is to limp in middle position with hands like Jack Ten or suited connectors. In most cases you don’t want to get into a pot that’s being contested pre-flop with lots of action if you’re holding this hand. The logic here is that unless you get very lucky and flop a straight or three of a kind, you may be in big trouble. The other players that raised pre-flop could have a big hand like QQ or KK, in which case you’re way behind with Jack Ten. Even if you hit a straight draw, the odds are the betting will price you out of a call to chase that draw. This strategy could prove costly in the long run. The better long term play is to be able to limp with these hands and throw them away if there’s too much raising action pre or on the flop.
Limping In With Pocket Pairs
Another popular strategy is to limp with small or medium pocket pairs in the hopes of hitting a set. Most players have a tough time playing small or medium pocket pairs if the flop is all over-cards. Indeed, it’s difficult if you’ve limped with pocket fours and the board comes A J 8. If there are 3-4 players in the hand, the odds are very high that you’re already beat. Hence, you should use this strategy wisely and be prepared to toss those low pocket pairs in the muck if you miss your set on the flop.
General Limping In Strategy
In general, you should use the strategy of limping with any two cards as just another tool in your bag. Assuming you have become efficient with your reads and actions of the other players, limping with any two cards can prove as lucrative as coming with a premium hand. For example, if you know you have an aggressive poker opponent to your left, you could limp with garbage (any two cards). Assuming he raises for the 18th time in that session, you may want to a bluff re-raise. This signals that you limped with a monster hand like Aces and may cause him to fold his perceived weaker hand. This play, like most bluffs must be used sparingly. When timed properly, this can be a great long term +EV move. Now its your turn to try limping in.