There are many truths about the game of poker. Poker is truly a game of strategy and mathematics. It is truly a game of lying and deceit. It is absolutely, fundamentally a game of perfect discipline and of wild chance. All of these are things you’ll have to acknowledge when you sit down at the poker tables and decide you want to be really good at Texas Hold’em games.
The other thing that’s true, though, is that the poker rules are complicated by the fact that there are just so many types of poker games out there.
There are so many different types of poker games out there that it’s hard to learn the poker rules for everything. Instead, you want to do your very best to learn how to hone a poker strategy for at least a few different types of games.
If you want to play in Texas Hold’em poker tournaments, for example, you’ll probably want to get familiar with various Texas Hold’em rules for the various Texas Hold’em games. You might think you know exactly how all the versions of the game are played, but you likely have a long way to go.
Variants are a valuable part of poker’s history, a way to keep the game interesting and to modify it to keep it alive. If you’re going to play, then, you need to get comfortable figuring out exactly where you stand in terms of the game and how it is played.
If we’re going to talk about variants, it’s probably a good idea to start simple. We won’t look at anything other than Texas Hold’em games, and we’ll even stick to some of the simplest formats. It’s important, though, that you start to understand the importance of knowing various poker rule sets.
What we’re going to look at now is the difference between no limit Texas hold’em and limit Texas hold’em. Once you can get past the differences in these two variants of the same game, you’ll have a better idea of how to build a strategy for each.
Texas Hold’em Games: No Limit vs Limit
Most people start their playing careers with No Limit games. If you’ve ever sat down for Texas Hold’em games in the past, it’s probably where you started as well. This is really Hold’em in its purest form, a version of the game that gives players a lot of room to grow and get creative with their betting and their hands.
Since you don’t have a limit on your bets, almost anything can happen. You can raise aggressively on absolutely nothing and take home a pot, or you can be conservative with a great hand and go home with nothing. You can pull off some serious power moves in these types of Texas Hold’em games that absolutely aren’t possible if you are playing in a game that has limits.
There’s a reason that Texas Hold’em games have maintained their popularity over the decades. There’s so much creativity involved with the game that it’s almost always more fun to play and that will fit with more potential players.
On a more practical note, it’s hard not to see these Texas Hold’em games like the ones that have the most potential for helping you to make money. If you can combine being creative with being good at the game, you’ll be able to win more often and walk away with some fairly big prizes.
Pressuring Your Opponents
Let’s be honest – when it comes to Texas Hold’em games, No Limit is probably the variation that requires you to do the most homework. You’ve got to know all kinds of starting statistics and how to read some pretty wide-ranging percentages just to stay in the highest-stakes games.
At some point, you’ll end up facing a table in No Limit that’s going to totally negate your skill advantage. Either you’re not as good as you thought or someone else at the table is your peer, and everything’s going to come down to luck. This is hard for skilled players to deal with and terrible when it costs you money.
Because there’s such a tremendous amount of chance involved, No Limit Texas hold’em is just a lot more fun for people who like to use pressure as a weapon. Figuring out that someone is better than you and then making them lose can be worthy of a great celebration. There’s also nothing more thrilling than winning with nothing.
If you like games of weaponized pressure, you’re going to love playing No Limit Texas hold’em games more than anything else.
The other major thing that these types of games have going for them is the sheer size of the pots. You can make a truly ridiculous amount of money when you play No Limit, if only because players really can bet just about as much as they want at any given moment.
If you’re playing Limit Texas Hold’em, pots tend to stay fairly small throughout the game. Yes, you’re going to make money at some point, but it’s going to take a lot longer and it’s going to come to you in drips. You’re not going to get that epic moment of raking in a huge pot nearly as often in those games.
Now, there’s some room to say that a good deal of the pot size comes from bad play in No Limit. Players over-bet to their detriment and good players can swoop in and pick up that money. It’s not really a bug here, though – that’s just a feature.
If you are a good poker player who wants to win a lot of money, No Limit is for you. Yes, you’re going to put yourself at more risk but you’re going to walk away with more rewards. Profits are everything when you are bankrolling yourself, so the money factor really gives No Limit an edge.
Texas Hold’em Games: Rules of the Game
Whether you are playing limit or no limit, you’re going to see the same kind of basic play rules. Whenever there’s a hand in play, you’re either going to keep things the same (check or call), increase the stakes (raise or bet) or you’re going to fold out.
The first choice is what you do when you’re just watching what’s going on. Checking indicates that you’re not interested in putting in more money, but you’re also confident enough that you’re not quite ready to go out.
Betting, on the other hand, indicates that you’re going to put more money into the pot. Betting rules tend to be those that vary the most based on the particular variant of poker that’s being played. Raising is simply the process of acknowledging the previous bet and adding more money to the pot.
Folding is the same across all variants. You don’t think you can win, so you’re going to wait until the next hand. You won’t make money, but you won’t lose any more money either.
If you really want to see the difference between Limit and No Limit, it’s important to look at where their rules on betting differ.
No Limit Betting Rules
No Limit is the most popular type of poker game, and it’s the one that has the fewest safeguards to stop you from losing all of your money in a single hand. This is the game where you can go all in and chase glory, or you can stay out and be smart. This is the game for people who don’t just like poker, but who want to get rich and famous when they play.
No Limit has a minimum bet. This bet is typically equal to the big blind – if the big blind is twenty dollars, for example, the minimum bet is twenty dollars. The maximum bet is simply however many chips the player happens to still have in his or her stack.
When you raise, you also have to raise as much as the last bet or raise put down. If someone raises you ten dollars, then you have to see that raise and then put down the minimum bet again. This means that the numbers can start to add up really fast as betting goes on.
Limit Betting Rules
If you’re playing Limit Texas hold’em poker, you’re really only going to deal with two bet sizes. The first is the small bet, which is what you can bet during the first two rounds of play. The second is the big bet, which can only be done on the last two rounds.
In Limit, the small bet is the same as the big blind. Again, that means that if the big blind is two dollars, the small bet is two dollars. In the second round, the big bet is two times the big blind.
Betting is limited to four rounds in limit poker. Every raise is one small or big bet, and you can only go around four times. On the fourth turn, the bet is capped and betting ends.
Strictly speaking, this means you’re going to do with both smaller and more standardized bets during a Limit Texas hold’em poker game. You already know that you can’t raise a bet more than four times its initial value, so you will always know the maximum amount of money that you can lose or win on any given hand.
So, what’s your goal when you play poker? The universal answer tends to be to make money, but there’s not an awful lot of agreement on how you get there.
If you prefer No Limit, you’re looking to grab the money as fast as possible in a way that might put you in just as much danger as your opponent. You never know exactly where you’re going to end up in one of these games, but you know that you have a chance of doing something spectacular.
If Limit is your game, you feel like slow and steady is the right pace, you are a grinder. You can chart exactly how much you’re going to make on any given hand, and then you can make your choices based on your needs at that time. It’s a valid, if less popular, way to do business.
Honestly, most players don’t tend to bounce between these two variations very often. Most start with one type of poker and just stick their due to familiarity. Some might try to learn the other version and get quite good, but they’re a rarity.
What you need to be is a player who can excel at any type of poker. If you can do this, you’ll be more than just a threat when it comes to one variation of poker – you’ll be the kind of well-rounded player who is going to give anyone pause whenever you take a seat at the table. See you at the WSOP!
Texas Hold’em Games – FAQs
A: No limit poker means there is no limit to how much you can bet at any time. This is why “All-in” is a common phrase used in the poker world.
A: This likely refers to Fixed Limit poker, which isn’t as popular as in the past, but it can still be found. It means the betting is capped on each round of betting.
A: You can only go all-in if it’s heads-up. Technically, it must be done one raise at a time, but the dealer will usually let it go if both agree to be all-in. This save time.
A: I think you’re asking how to win in limit poker. The answer there is simple: Keep putting yourself in mathematically advantageous situations and only bluff when heads-up.
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