When playing online poker, open-limpers can be valuable customers for you. You should know how to beat the limpers in online poker and avoid being the first player to limp into the pot. But before diving into the tips and tricks to crush the limpers in online poker, let’s understand what limping is and how you can spot a limper while playing poker.
Who is a Limper?
A player that calls often instead of raising bets while playing poker is called a limper. These players limp when every other player before them has folded. As a limper, you lose the number of ways you can win a hand by allowing others to see the flop.
Here are a few tendencies limpers tend to have:
- Limpers bet when they have a strong hand.
- When they have nothing, they check-fold.
- When they have a draw, they check-call.
Playing against a limper can be frustrating if you don’t know how to use their limping to your advantage, and you could end up losing. However, these tendencies make it easier to play against a limper. Open-limping shouldn’t be confused with over-limping. Open-limping is rarely a good strategy in poker, while over-limping is considered a profitable strategy. Limping is a passive game strategy that makes a player weaker and reduces the ways of winning the pot preflop or postflop.
Two approaches to play against Limpers
The approach you should use against an open-limper depends on several factors. There are mainly two contradictory approaches to play against limpers:
- Loosen Up – When you spot a player open-limping preflop, you can target that player with aggression by adopting this practical approach. It is safe to assume that players are weak and passive. The limpers will rarely put you in a difficult spot as they make regular mistakes and make it easy for you to win pots. The postflop mistake of a limper will let you over-realize your equity when you isolate him/her. One of the most profitable poker situations for you can be when you force a limper to call your raise preflop with a weak range.
- Play Tighter – The other theoretical approach to tackle limpers is playing tighter. You should use this approach when the players frequently behind 3-bet, you are playing with short stacks, and, in rare cases, when the limper is a strong player with a good strategy. This approach is not usually as profitable as the practical approach. You can read ‘How Playing Tight is Key to Winning Consistently‘ to understand this approach better.
Five tips to beat the Limpers in Online Poker
Understand the limper’s strategy
Before you plan any strategy against a limper, understand the initial strategy of the limper as every limper may not have the same strategy. To play profitably against a limper, you should first understand their strategy. Most limpers play with straightforward hand ranges; the player raises when they have a strong hand and limps when they have a weak or a pretty mediocre hand like pocket 3s. However, not every limper may play with the same hand ranges. Therefore, it’s important to understand their strategy to beat them at their own game.
Raise with strong pairs
Raise with premium hands and pairs for which you must have a strong and linear range of the best hands. You would want to raise hands such as AA, KK, QQ, or AK after others have limped and raise hands like JJ or 10,10 after a few limps. In online poker, it’s best to add a few big blinds per limper to your standard open. You should also try to isolate a single limper to play a strong starting hand. It’s easy to bluff limpers once you have identified their ranges, irrespective of what you hold. Still not sure how to go about bluffing? Read Online NLH Poker: Bluffing the Right Way to understand.
Raise occasionally with medium-hands
When you have a position, you can also raise occasionally with medium hands, depending on the situation. If you don’t have a hand that is the best for preflop and requires improvement to win at showdown, don’t worry about isolating a single opponent. You can raise and win a pot preflop with speculative hands such as J,10 and other medium hands or suited connectors. It is an aggressive strategy for weak players that limp a lot.
Limp behind with implied odd hands
Another strategy you can use is to limp behind with speculative hands – small pairs, suited connectors, ace-rag suited hands, etc. If you have good actual and implied pot odds and are facing multiple opponents, your profitability can increase if you turn a straight or flush or flop a set. You should bet or raise for value if you have a big hand. This is because limpers, as we know, are passive and tend to check and call more than raising.
Avoid raising when you suspect a trap
Always trust your gut when you suspect a trap while playing against limpers. In such cases, raise only strong hands or limp behind with implied odd hands. Understanding your opponent will help you identify whether or not he/she is a player that traps frequently. You should play normal hands if it’s not frequent and adjust accordingly. If you suspect being trapped, you can limp behind with strong hands that must be raised.
The Bottom Line
Online poker is all about adjusting your strategies to take advantage of the situation and your opponents’ mistakes to play a fundamentally sound game. The next time you play poker on MPL and find yourself on a table of limpers, observe how each player plays preflop and postflop. You may find some players playing tight while others may be playing loose, calling after the flop again and again. Irrespective of the kind of limper you are playing against, you should very much be well aware of your actions; why you should be calling, checking, folding, or raising. Always have a backup plan for the next move against the possible responses to gain an edge over the limpers.