When To Limp and When not to in Poker?
Limping is often liked by some players so that they can see cheap flops, particularly when they are having speculative hands, like small pairs or suited connectors. There are some players you believe one should not limp ever as this way you are inviting other players into multi-way pots, which results in reducing your chances to win the hand.
Let’s try to understand first why players limp? Often limping is all about turning your cards face up to your opponents, which you really need to try hard not to do in poker.
Why you Should not limp?
Apart from the above reason, another reason players usually limp is to “trap.” That means instead of limping with a speculative hand, players give it a big hand, like Aces or Kings, and are expecting to win a big pot while they either flop a set, or they over-pair holds up, and the opponents don’t put them on that.
When you re-raise your opponent, it becomes easy for them to fold a hand like Ace-Jack or two nines. On the other hand, if you open the pot for a raise with your aces, those hands would probably re-raise you.
The second issue with limping is often people raise behind you! By limping with your Aces, you’re offering the opponents behind you to come along with a range of hands having a potential to beat you after the flop.
This way, limping can not only put you into uncomfortable post-flop situations, but it also reduces the opportunity for you to proceed and with the pot pre-flop. Although limping is not always wrong! There are times when you should try it, but only under very specific circumstances.
When to Limp?
The first condition when you can opt to limp is in a game when you raise, you always get (say) five callers. In this game, raising isn’t doing much for you! If you raise, you’re still getting five callers. Here you can limp as it makes sense.
Another condition where it can make sense is when you’re playing with very aggressive players, and you saw whenever you open for a pot, players are re-raising you with pretty weak hands, or there’s one player who is continuously punishing limpers by raising every hand making it tough for you to play the game. Under these circumstances, you can limp in with a massive hand, like Aces or Kings, to exploit and punish your opponents over aggressiveness by re-raising them. For this, you need to be very confident that at least one player behind you will be willing to put in a preflop raise. Otherwise, you may get into trouble.
Limping is not indicative of the weakness of the player’s hand. There are reasons and circumstance when you need to limp and often you should not. In case you don’t let the opponent know your play and you’ve developed a decent image of yourself for the other players, still, you can benefit a lot from limping.