Playing in other Non-Standard Games

Playing in Spread Limit Games

Most small limit games in Nevada and elsewhere are spread lmit games. A typical spread limit game is $1- $4, and $1-$3and to a lesser extent $1- $ 5 are also popular.

In the $1-$4 game, there generally is no antre, but the low card has to bring it in for 50 cents. Any bets or raises on all betting round can be as little as $1, as much as $4, or any (practical) amount in between. For instance, after the low card brings it in for 50 cents, the next player has the option to either throw the hand away, call the 50 cents, raise as much as $4 (in some games $3.50 to make the total bet $4.00 even), or raise a lesser amount. The other two games mentioned are structured similarly.

The main reason we are discussing these games is simply for completeness. The fact is that anyone who reads and studies this book should be able to quickly advance from the low-limit games. But if you are on a very small bankrll, these games should be able to “pump you up” (in spite of the high rake) if played properly.

The basic change in a game like $1-$4 is that since the bring-in is just 50 cents and you probably are the best player at the table, you should come in for 50 cents with a fair number of hands. Even though you are not getting very good pot odds, your iplied odds should be excellent, especially against bad players.

If you have a decent hand on third street you probably should raise, but not necessarily the full amount, especially if you are the first one in. You want to raise an amount large enough so that the players behind you are not correct to call, but not so much that they will fold. That is, instead of being a game of knocking people out, small limit stud becomes a game of trapping your opponent.

For instance, in the $1-$4 game, if you have


and the person on your right comes in for 50 cents, you should probably make it $2. People still will call with poker hands that they shouldn’t, but if you make it the maximum immediately, many of the same people will correctly foold these hands. Give them a chance to make a mistake.

If a lot of players have already come in for 50 cents and you have two kings, you now should go ahead and raise the maximum amount. Remember, you are holding a hand that plays best against a small number of oppodents. Raise to get a few of them out of the pot.

Other than this, there are not too many changes, except to realize that you are in a game against bad players who typically play too many hands and go too far with their hands. So on the later poker streets, if you have a hand that you are going to bet, always bet the maximum. Also, don’t semi-blluff as often in these games since your opponents are much less likely to fold.

Finally, if you don’t think you have the best hand, especially in a heads-up pot, you usually should just check and frequently fold on an early street if you are charged the maximum and the pot is small. You are usually not getting the right odds to chase. Stay away from fancy plays, especially the ones that assume your opponents can think.