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When to raise a limp


I am beginning to raise limps but have questions. How strong a hand do I need to raise a limper. This of course will change depending on the position of the limper but should you ever raise an UTG limper? Also I'm sure my position matters as well. I would appreciate some guidance here. Thanks.


  • gjp101g

    Hi, first time poster on any kind of forum, so taking the leap....

    I have been on and off playing free chip and micro stakes, so not sure how much weight you will give my answer, however I find those games especially tricky as raising to thin the herd and gain fold equity doesn't work half the time!

    You're right, position does play an important part, however with the UTG situation there are several considations -
    a) the type of player the limper is and their tendancies (Loose/Tight, Passive/Aggressive). Use their previous hands that have been showndown or what boards they have bet on, should give an indication of what type of player they are. Do they regularly limp-call or limp-raise? Simply increases the risk that you maybe behind if they are Tight.

    b) you're own table image - as before Loose vs Tight, Passive vs Aggressive, if you appear Loose-Aggressive (LAG) your raise will not be believed by the limper and (my next point) the people to follow.

    c) Types of players and Effective Stack Size i.e their stack sizes - again if they can be gauged to be loose aggressive, marginal hands may do well, but you are gambling a little (pair to overcards kinda situation. Conversely, if they are tight, they are more likely to have a had that would be folded, but that one time you face a big re-raise from a tight player....panic, and best to fold. Which leads to stack size, ask yourself would you want to risk your entire stack if you got re-raised by the big stack to your left? The anser to this can be helped with the previous couple of factors - if their are loose and you have a tight table image, chances are maniacs will call with something like K9o (Bad) and tight players will simply fold because they don't like their hand (unless they hold a monster - that's the risk), therefore you have a chance to triple,quadruple up if youre against a loose limper and a loose re-raiser.

    and d) Your own Cards - some may consider this most important point, but if you only ever raised with AA, KK, AKs and AKo you'll scare yourself into submission. Poker is a game of information and representation - from the information you have about betting patterns, stack sizes, equities, player types and tendencies, and ofcourse position - you will make some raises and re-raise with lesser holdings more profitable in certain situations.

    Ultimately, try to get a feel for your opponents, how they play, what hands they value. Sometimes the probability of winning a point is based on Pot, Bet, Stack sizes and odds isn't all there is.

  • nytider

    Playing against early position open limpers is tricky. A good few players will limp UTG to trap with a big hand. I usually figure I am beat if someone limps and then re-raises me. And my suspicion is aroused if they limp and then call my raise. But lots and lots of players at low stakes will take the limp-call line, and I find that it is hard to get players to fold anything for any amount if that is their inclination. I often opt to just fold. If it is at a low blind-level in a tournament, I might limp behind with something like a small pair, just to set mine and fold if I don't hit. If I do have a strong value hand though, I will raise. And depending on the opponents, I will probably make a sizable raise. I would normally start with something like 3X plus 1 BB for each player in the hand.

    If you observe that someone has the nuts every single time they limp in early position, just fold when they do that, or limp behind and fold if you don't smash the flop.

    If you discover that someone is limping a lot and then calling often, be relentless in raising for value.

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