Rakeback.com - Don't play poker without it
 

Limit vs No-Limit: Three Strategic Differences

By , Rakeback.com Staff Writer

How well do you know your Limit Hold-em? With No Limit still the most widely-played form of poker out there, its fixed limit cousin often gets a bad rep, seen as ‘boring’, simple, overly mathematical, the list goes on… ‘a dead game’ where you can’t bluff or ‘protect your hand’.

In LHE your bets can feel like a feeble fraction of the pot, laying your opponent excellent odds on a call and leaving you tearing your hair out over river suckouts.

 

Each to their own, but hear us out – the three slices of statistical study below might just raise your opinion of LHE a unit or two.

Shown below are the Holdem Manager stats, filtered for 6max $10/$20 LHE, of world-class online midstakes grinder and Drag The Bar coach Paul ‘GiantBuddha’ Hoppe*. 

 

Fixed Limit Holdem Manager Stats

Cross check these with your own for NLHE, and let’s make some comparisons.

 

1. You Can Play More Hands

As a Rakeback.com reader, you probably play a solid, tight-aggressive NLHE 6max game, with a VPIP/PFR of around 23/20, 20/18, 18/15… somewhere in that area. In LHE, the same TAG villain, the kind of player you don’t want at your tables, is playing between 30/20 or looser.

In high-stakes, low rake environments, where LAG players are actively trying to exploit each others’ tendencies, a 40/30 style is not uncommon. 6 Max LHE is like combat; a fast and action-packed battle for the blinds.

The wider gap between VPIP and PFR stems from having a much lower Fold BB To Steal %. Given the importance of taking down the blinds to your winrate, steal attempts in LHE are very frequent – online legend Bryce ‘Freedom25’ Paradis famously proved using a large HEM database that you can steal from the button over 50% of the time and still turn a profit.

As a result, you’re forced to defend your BB much more often. Players of Bryce’s calibre will fold their big blind to a small blind raise approximately zero percent of the time.

Facing a small blind steal range of 65%, for example, you’re up against the following myriad of hands:

 

 

LHE Small Blind Opening Range

SB opening standards

 

For just 0.5BB more to call pre, having position postflop, and with a flop c-bet guaranteed almost 100% of the time, it becomes +EV to defend virtually any two cards and peel all but the worst flops. You’ll find yourself in some tough turn and river spots – but that’s part of the fun.

2. You Can Showdown More

A complex ‘levelling game’ arises in Limit Hold-em: players’ raising ranges are wider, therefore your calling range opens up in response. If it’s standard for opponents to call down with Ace high on dry boards heads-up, given pot odds and your perceived range, then by extension it becomes standard to value bet the strongest Ace high hands yourself… soon King high becomes ‘the nut bluff-catcher’, and so on.

A WTSD of 40% or more in LHE is the result – much higher than the 25-30% standard in NLHE, where an incorrect river call can cost you your entire stack, so you need to be correct a much higher percentage of the time.

It follows of course that you can bet more thinly for value on rivers – whereas in NLHE it’d be considered quite ‘sick’ to value-bet 22 on all three streets on a 445AK board and get called down by QJ, no-one bats an eyelid seeing the same hand play out in LHE.

 

TexasLimitKing LHE Hand

One of the most famous nosebleed limit call downs

 

3. Short Term Swings Are Smaller

A standard deviation of 18BB/100 in LHE means that for every 100 hands you play, there’s a 66% chance you’ll end up within 18 Big Bets of the amount you ‘should’ win (your expected winrate of 1 or 2BB/100). To get within twice that, 36BB, you have a 95% shot. You’re a pretty dead-lock, at 99%, to end up somewhere plus or minus 54BB.

The standard deviation in NLHE is around twice that of LHE, meaning fixed-limit players have a much easier life. What’s more, of course, there’s no chance of getting stacked in one hand, and tilting off a few buy-ins as a result.

Factor in rakeback to your LHE winrate, and your results can show a pretty consistent upward trend. Rakeback deals are of paramount importance to LHE grinders, since rake works out as about ~3BB/100 on most sites. Find yourself a good deal here and you can add a decent chunk of that back onto your winrate, and only experience large (500BB+) downswings very rarely.

If you like to get stuck-in and play more hands, see more showdowns, make more thin value bets without needing to ‘pot-control’ and protect your stack… why not give poo-flinging a try today. There are plenty of fish in the fixed-limit seas.

________________

* If you’re sufficiently moved by this article to follow in GiantBuddha’s footsteps, you can grab free access to hundreds of coaching videos via several great deals right here on Rakeback.com.

Top Rakeback Offers

View all rakeback offers

How Much Cash Back Will I Earn?

Rakeback increases your winnings from online poker as you continually earn money back from every raked hand or tournament you play.

Many players earn a living wage from rakeback alone. Use the calculator below to estimate the size of payments you’ll get over a given period of time. The calculator will compute your expected daily, weekly, and monthly cash back depending on the stakes and tables you input.

Calculate Your Rakeback
$125
Hourly
$998
Daily
$17,472
Monthly
$174,720
Yearly

Top Poker Room Recommendation

Black Chip Poker

  • 27% Rakeback
  • $1000 Sign-up Bonus
  • Bonus Code: RBCOM

Download

Read more...