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BIG-BET POKER CONCEPTS

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Why Play Pot Limit
Comparing Pot-Limit
Poker's Ten
You Playing Style
How Deep Are You
Taking The Initiative
Drawing Hand's
Psychology
Reading The Opponent
The Art of Bluffing
Betting The Bully
No Limit Play
All In Coups

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SPECIFIC POKER FORMS
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Using The Material
Pot-Limit & No-Limit
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A 5-10
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A 11-20
Pot-Limit Omaha
Pot-Limit Omaha Q/A
Seven-Card Stud
Lowball Draw
Key Pot-Limit
London Lowball Q/A
High Low Split
High Low Split Q/A
Strip Deck Poker

 

 

NO-LIMIT PLAY

               

No-limit poker means just what it says; you can bet all your chips at once, if you fancy, Of course, in both pot-limit and no-limit, you may only bet what you have on the table (the Table Stakes rule.)


                No-limit poker has certain advantages over pot-limit. The most important only is no bookkeeping is necessary. You don’t have to keep track of the pot size, and police the game so the pot is not overbet. Some players prefer no-limit because they feel there is a better chance of getting the opponent’s entire stack of chips. There is also a certain macho element, as if no-limit were the ultimate test of courage.
                There are some drawbacks to no-limit play. In the early going, overbetting the pot tends to kill the action instead of promoting it. When there is $50 in the pot and someone lets fly with a $200 bet, this usually ends matters. If it doesn’t, a $1,000 reraise figures to get the job done.


               In poker, there is greater opportunity for skill in reading the opponent if we can observe him over several betting rounds. Top players prefer a pot that builds in increments  instead of one big explosion. Then you have more information in reaching a decision.
               There are major differences between the forms of poker in their suitability for no-limit betting. For example, lowball draw seems to lend itself quite well to no-limit. There are only two betting rounts, and it is most unlikely someone will have the nuts (a wheel) before the draw.
              Omaha is a good example of a game that is better played at pot-limit betting. There are four betting rounds, and as soon as the flop is spread, someone can have the (temporary) nuts. A player with that holding has a tendency to want to overbet the pot by a ton, enough to shut out the opposition. The intricate play as a pot grows with each betting round will be gone. When big-bet style Omaha poker was first introduced to Las Vegas in 1983, it was played at no-limit betting. Within a week, the better players preferred to switch to pot-limit betting. Ever since, the game form has been pot-limit Omaha.


               Hold’em is a poker form that often uses either pot-limit or no-limit betting. It is a lot harder to get the nuts at hold’em than Omaha, so that objection to no-limit is much reduced. The biggest objection to no-limit play for cash games (as opposed to tournaments) is the extra intimidation of weaker players, who don’t like to have their entire stack of chips put at risk very often. We need to keep weaker players in our game.
                 Every pot-limit player ought to learn no-limit play. First, it is an easy step. (Going from limit to pot-limit is much more difficult.) Second, the premier event at many poker tournaments is contested at that style of play.

                 There are several major differences between no-limit play and pot-limit play. First, it is common for the pot to be overbet when it is small. Second, position play is somewhat different. Third, it is important to know when to overbet the pot, whether you are drawing or have a made hand. Let’s discuss these points a bit.
                 Every no-limit game has its own tempo. But most games tend to have player lean on the antes a lot by overbetting the pot. For example, at lowball draw with a $25 ante and one $50 blind, a seven-handed game will initially have $225 in the pot. The average opening bet will usually be about $300. In a $5-10-$25 blind no-limit hold’em game, a player opening with a raise will often make the wager $150 or $200, and sometimes more. This contrasts with the maximum figure of $100 that would be allowable at pot-limit hold’em (after rounding off the pot size).


                Obviously, if the pot odds are less favorable at no-limit than pot-limit, your standards for initial involvement have to be a little higher. So in raised pots, you need quite a good hand to play.
                Since raising by overbetting the pot-size is more likely to win it right away, there is more bluffing at no-limit. Whether you yourself should do more bluffing initially depends on your style of play. But every no-limit player has to learn when to play back at a muscle-the-antes player. You need to reraise on occasion without having the values, to keep certain people from running over you.

                For example, at no-limit hold’em you get a hand actually worth a reraise before the flop only a few times a session. It most pots are getting bombarded, you need to do something about it. Waiting for a big pair to play back may lead to hours of frustration. So you need to put a play on those bombardiers once in while.
                At hold’em, the ante-stealer can stand to get called before the flop by your light but hopeful hand. He likely will bet the flop, and it’s about 2-to-1 you won’t have pair (unless you started with one). So the way to take the wind out of his sails is to reraise on those hands you were thinking about calling. Fight fire with fire.
                Position play at no-limit is a little different than pot-limit. The more betting rounds there are, the more important position becomes. You would rather have position on someone for each betting round, not just one or two. When out of position with a through ticket you want to get all-in as fast as possible. Having position on someone who is all-in will be absolutely worthless. When you are allowed to overbet the pot and scoot your whole stack, people will get all-in at earlier stages of the play than they would at pot-limit, so good position is not quite as valuable. (Position at no-limit is still far more important than at limit poker.)
                At pot-limit, having a drawing hand up front is very bad. The thing you want to avoid is getting a quarter or half of your money in out-of-position against an opponent who strongly suspects you are drawing. Your adversary is likely to get away from his hand if you hit and move in, and will set you all-in if you miss and check. It would be better if you had the option of moving all-in yourself before there was (for example) only one card to come. At no-limit you have that option, and should use it when holding a big draw out-of-position- and sometimes in position. So you can play potential drawing cards in no-limit more often than in pot-limit, but don’t overdo it. Only use this as a way to vary your play, not as a steady diet.

                 Knowing when to overbet the pot and move all-in is very important at no-limit. The big draw out-of-position is one common situation. Another is with a good made hand if you fear “losing your market.” For example, suppose in a no-limit hold’em game you flop a set of trips against an early raiser who usually has his values. The flop comes 10-9-3, and he bets into your three nines. This is a good spot to overbet the pot and move in. He likely has an overpair. The next card may well make a possible straight or flush, and cause him to have some doubts about the strength of his hand. Now is the time to put the question to him. Those drawing cards on the board may well cause him to misread the situation and call.
                  What if your opponent has three tens? In that case, you are almost surely going to lose all your money. But you can’t play no-limit poker by waiting for the nuts with no cards to come before committing your whole stack. As long as you are still in the game, those chips are in front of you to use for something other than a pot, it is time to cash out.
                  Finally, it is important at no-limit in certain other situations to overbet the pot and move all-in on an opponent who is drawing, when you have a made hand. This can be done, of course, when a mere pot-size bet would be giving an opponent an attractive price, but an overbet changes the odds enough to compel a fold. It is certainly not automatic to make a huge bet any time you are pretty sure he is drawing. There are times when you would prefer to leave him in the pot paying a price to continue. For example, it is possible a number of his “outs” could get him to lose a bundle because they actually make you a better hand.


                   Overbetting the pot and moving all-in against a draw has its reward even if the opponent can call. A drawing hand with money left to bet has betting leverage, which increases the opponent’s equity in the pot beyond the straight-forward odds of completing the draw. This is called his “implied odds.” We seldom can be certain whether the opponent has what he is representing. Sometimes we err and pay him off, and other times we err by folding when to play guessing games with him. For a detailed discussion of this situation-which is also relevant to pot-limit play see the “Important pot-limit Concepts,” which follows our London Lowball.


                     At pot-limit we find that a big bet does not always show a big hand. The extra money wagered over an average-size bet may be added out of fear. The bettor may be trying to shut you out or rob you. This applies even more to no-limit, which has an even stronger intimidation factor. You have got to know your situations, and especially your players. 
                     There is a lot to no-limit play, far more than can be covered in a single chapter. However, the concepts we are teaching you about pot-limit can in nearly all cases be applied to no-limit. Since you are already investing time and money to learn pot-limit play, we recommend you take that little extra step and learn no-limit as well. It’s worth your while.

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SPECIAL SITUATION
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Tournament Strategy
Shorthanded Play

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GENERAL INFORMATION
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Poker History
Business
Pot-Limit Rules
Dealing Big-Bit Poker
The House Charge
Ethics & Courtesy
Cheating
Internet Poker

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THE ODD'S
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implied-odds-probability-poker.htmlFiguring The Odd's
Percentage Table

Odd's For Hold'em
Special Odd's Table
High-Low or Better

 

 
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