LIMIT Hold'em AK unimproved

grebe

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So this is an online 1/2 limit game....the play is pretty bad. I have seen some crazy stupid play here since I started, it's like jumping back in time to 2003.

Anyways, I am piecing this hand back up, so it's not exact. Nobody is going allin, so stack sizes are irrelevent.

UTG: call
UTG+1: call
CO: call
Button: call
SB (Hero) AsKs: Raise
BB: call
Calls all around.
Pot is $12 -rake

FLOP: :2h: :8s::jc:
SB (Hero): bet 1
BB: fold
UTG: call
UTG+1: call
CO: fold
Pot: $15 -rake

TURN: :2d:
SB (Hero): Bet 2
UTG: fold
UTG+1: call
Pot: $19 - rake

RIVER: :8c:
SB (hero): check
UTG+1: bet 2
SB (hero): ?

So, I dont think I am good very often here, but at 11:1, I have found myself in a must call position....I actually told myself NO HERO FOLDS after I had folded 2 pair to significant action and obvious straight on the board, only to watch top pair beat out second pair in this game. I could have gotten passive along the way, and folded earlier as well. Would love to hear insight on how I played this overall.


 

kmccormick100

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To preface, I don’t play limit Holdem, but I don’t think I’m betting into 5 players on that flop. I’m especially not continuing to bet into 2 players on that turn with almost no equity. While you’re getting laid odds on the river what does villain have that you’re possibly beating? 9T was the only draw on the flop.
 

Jimulacrum

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Not an easy spot, but I'm likely calling here against some opponents and folding to others. Really depends on whether I've seen Villain routinely make steal bets on the river when checked to.

Best not to post your results prematurely, even if they're spoiler-tagged.
 

Legend5555

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You have 2 overs and backdoor flush for decent equity, but you are up against 5 players. At low stakes limit multi way action I'm not sure I just fire this into 5 players. No one is folding any pair here at these stakes even with players behind them.

Now you got a decent result by not getting raised. The turn is a mixed blessing. You are still beating 9T and the gutters, but you still lose to pairs and you didn't pick up equity. And all those hands are still calling and you aren't in position so you can't even hope for a check down. I honestly think I just give up on the turn. And would only bet river if an A or K came.

Given the river, I think it a pretty mandatory call with the pot odds and everything missing.
 

grebe

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Not an easy spot, but I'm likely calling here against some opponents and folding to others. Really depends on whether I've seen Villain routinely make steal bets on the river when checked to.

Best not to post your results prematurely, even if they're spoiler-tagged.
As far as the spoiler goes, I didnt want to have to come back and update later.
 

Outkicked

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Few keys notes from what I’ve experienced in limit holdem, I don’t play much limit anymore because the advantage for a better player will be much bigger in NL games where you can get stacks in and put pressure on opponents.

pot odds in limit holdem are almost always going to warrant a call but don’t let that fool you

big pots in limit holdem will involve 3-5 players where NL is usually heads up

when out of position in limit holdem you need a made hand to lead out into the field people don’t fold for the pot odds as stated above
 

moose

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Shorthanded limit holdem, overcards to the board

100% bet any raggedy flop like this. regardless of opponents
Turn: 100% bet 3 handed or less, otherwise check
River: 100% bet heads up
 

Jimulacrum

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Seeing a lot of replies saying OP shouldn't have bet out the flop. I'm not 100% sure that would be my play, but I can see a case for it, and it highlights a major difference between LHE and NLHE. Mainly, in NLHE, implied odds and reverse implied odds tend to make your decisions for you, especially in single-raised pots. Direct pot odds matter less than how much you can make in later rounds. In LHE, it's often the opposite. As the pot gets larger in LHE, you have to get stickier, and sometimes it makes sense to invest those bets as the aggressor.

The pot on the flop is $12. This is versus a price of $1 to bet out, with a hand that can still improve to TPTK (6 outs) and will sometimes be ahead on the high card alone.

It's not really value town or anything, but betting here to thin the field improves your chances of winning the $12 that's out there by chasing out weak unpaired hands that could check their way into a free pair. It may also chase out some small pairs that went in looking for a set and whiffed, or some 2s and 8s that felt priced in preflop but don't like their hands now. Every hand you get to fold improves your chances of winning what's out there. Once in a great while, you'll even fold out the whole field and scoop the $12 right there. That $1 bet can be a really good value in the right spots.

Granted, it's a low-percentage play. Often, you'll bet that $1 and have to fold to a raise, or someone will bet out the turn and you'll have to fold then. But when you've created a large preflop pot in limit, you should seldom go fit-or-fold and abandon it if you don't improve on the flop. You often have to take a stab at it on the flop. It's a little like the principle of c-betting in NLHE, except that it costs a lot less to try. In limit, when you fold the best hand in a big pot, it's an EV disaster; similarly, when you get opponents to fold better hands, it's an EV disaster for them, to your benefit.

Not sure how I feel about betting out the turn, though. Two opponents calling the flop makes it much more likely at least one of them hit a made hand. Happened to work out this time, but the pot is significantly smaller relative to the bet size on this round, so thinning the field has less value compared to the $2 you're paying.
 

Jimulacrum

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Shorthanded limit holdem, overcards to the board

100% bet any raggedy flop like this. regardless of opponents
Turn: 100% bet 3 handed or less, otherwise check
River: 100% bet heads up
Why bet the river totally unimproved? Very few hands that beat AK and have stuck around to the river will fold to a bet, and basically all the hands that lose to AK will fold. Best case is that Villain calls you down and chops with a bare ace.

This hand on the river is a pure bluff-catcher, so use it to catch bluffs, if anything.
 

Kain8

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Seeing a lot of replies saying OP shouldn't have bet out the flop. I'm not 100% sure that would be my play, but I can see a case for it, and it highlights a major difference between LHE and NLHE. Mainly, in NLHE, implied odds and reverse implied odds tend to make your decisions for you, especially in single-raised pots. Direct pot odds matter less than how much you can make in later rounds. In LHE, it's often the opposite. As the pot gets larger in LHE, you have to get stickier, and sometimes it makes sense to invest those bets as the aggressor.

The pot on the flop is $12. This is versus a price of $1 to bet out, with a hand that can still improve to TPTK (6 outs) and will sometimes be ahead on the high card alone.

It's not really value town or anything, but betting here to thin the field improves your chances of winning the $12 that's out there by chasing out weak unpaired hands that could check their way into a free pair. It may also chase out some small pairs that went in looking for a set and whiffed, or some 2s and 8s that felt priced in preflop but don't like their hands now. Every hand you get to fold improves your chances of winning what's out there. Once in a great while, you'll even fold out the whole field and scoop the $12 right there. That $1 bet can be a really good value in the right spots.

Granted, it's a low-percentage play. Often, you'll bet that $1 and have to fold to a raise, or someone will bet out the turn and you'll have to fold then. But when you've created a large preflop pot in limit, you should seldom go fit-or-fold and abandon it if you don't improve on the flop. You often have to take a stab at it on the flop. It's a little like the principle of c-betting in NLHE, except that it costs a lot less to try. In limit, when you fold the best hand in a big pot, it's an EV disaster; similarly, when you get opponents to fold better hands, it's an EV disaster for them, to your benefit.

Not sure how I feel about betting out the turn, though. Two opponents calling the flop makes it much more likely at least one of them hit a made hand. Happened to work out this time, but the pot is significantly smaller relative to the bet size on this round, so thinning the field has less value compared to the $2 you're paying.

This dude limits.
 

JustinInMN

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I like @grebe's line on every street.

Yes, it's hard to bet the miss into 5 players, but we have the backdoor to the nuts and two overs, we're going to continue, plus if we get an 8 or other small wired pairs to fold it's an absolute coup. Also good to get some gutters to fold where possible. The board is dry enough where there aren't any "combo" draws (pair + straight) We're going to run into a jack at times for sure and they won't fold, but we will outdraw them enough. It will cost us an extra bet on occasion when a villain finds a jack and raises.

Getting down to 3 handed on the turn. I like a bet here again, but I am planning to fold to a raise since we didn't catch a fourth spade or an A or K. Since we didn't get raised, I am having my doubts we are against a jack here, it's gonna be a draw.

River I think is close between a bet and a check-call. I like the check call because so many draws missed and may turn into bluffs they would give up if we fire 3 barrels here. But the pot size is the paradox that could justify the bet too. If we think villain is going to look at 11-1 and decide he can't fold a-hi either. That's pretty thin value targeting AQ and AT in particular, but know your game if you think that's possible.

LONG LIVE LIMIT!
 

JustinInMN

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Limit poker is my regular thing these days. Far superior to big-bet poker, IMO.
When I play live, it's always 8/16 half-kill or 20/40 in my neck of the woods. I've been playign 8/16 on the regular for over 10 years. (Though my playing time has dropped off once these kids started showing up :p.)
 

grebe

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My stance has always been LIMIT is highly under rated as a home poker format.
1. It's a more friendly format.
2. It's more digestible for the recreational player (check bet or fold).
3. Easier to mix in other games
4. it's MUCH faster to play per hand

That being said, I will play any game/stakes that I can afford to play that have clear and concise rules. I prefer limit, but do pretty well at NL cash and am a decent tourney player. I still prefer limit above all because I consider myself a "card player" moreso than a "gambler".


Thanks to those that have made thoughtful posts to the above. This hand, although I did win s sizable pot, has been stuck in my head as troublesome....and has changed the way I have been playing a bit. Just wanted to make sure I wasnt way out of line. Like I said, the player pool is really atrocious, so I can get away with making some big mistakes and still be clearing a profit. Sounds like any possible mistakes were small though.
 

JustinInMN

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4. it's MUCH faster to play per hand
This is my favorite feature of limit games by far :)!

Thanks to those that have made thoughtful posts to the above. This hand, although I did win s sizable pot, has been stuck in my head as troublesome....and has changed the way I have been playing a bit.
It is troublesome, I wouldn't just bet all of my AK misses into four opponents. This particular board had a lot going for it, even if you didn't think about it in the moment. If the board were more connected, you aren't going to thin the field very much at all. Same as if there were a two-flush present. If you didn't have the backdoor flush draw, there are far fewer cards that will come on the turn that help you continue to the river.

If those factors are in play, I will usually just quietly give up an AK miss here.

But a bet accomplishes two good things here.
1) Folds out the set miners, and maybe even the 8x-ers
2) Isolates us against the straight draws or overcard draws.

It's like the perfect sort. Better hands can fold and worse hands can call. The obvious downside is a jack will at least call and beat us. Though it's almost impossible for me to think a Jack would flat this flop and allow cheap draws to overcards, but those players exist. Straight draws that can call will call and want as many overcalls as possible.

I do like the bet on the turn because I think gutshots are the most common flop calling hand and they will have to give up here. Yes they are a dog to get there, but not as much of a dog as they think because their pair draws are live against us as well.
 

Jimulacrum

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My stance has always been LIMIT is highly under rated as a home poker format.
1. It's a more friendly format.
2. It's more digestible for the recreational player (check bet or fold).
3. Easier to mix in other games
4. it's MUCH faster to play per hand
5. Weak players don't get wiped out as fast.
6. Players are more free to socialize while in a hand.
7. Fields are typically softer.
8. Players are much less likely to suspect cheating.
9. Structure is more welcoming to new players.
10. Strategic mistakes aren't as devastating.
11. Dealer errors aren't as big of a problem (because people don't lose their shit, mainly).
12. Less competitive than NL/PL.
13. Frequent large pots relative to the stakes.
14. Virtually no toxic hoodie / sunglasses / throat-covering culture.
15. MOAR CHIPES.
 

moose

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Why bet the river totally unimproved? Very few hands that beat AK and have stuck around to the river will fold to a bet, and basically all the hands that lose to AK will fold. Best case is that Villain calls you down and chops with a bare ace.

This hand on the river is a pure bluff-catcher, so use it to catch bluffs, if anything.
Aggression is everything in limit. If you develop a pattern of check calling on the river unimproved then you become exploitable. If you are going to check call then it is better to bet.

The total number of times you get the best hand to fold is going to be higher than the number of times check/calling with air will be the best hand. You make the same money as when you check and the opponent checks behind with the worse hand but your opponents get to see what you were playing. You win the entire pot when the best hand folds and you only lose a single bet when you get called by a better hand, and you still lose that same bet if you check/call a better hand. If you bet there are 10.5 big bets in the pot so you show a profit if the best hand folds less than 1:10 times.
 

Outkicked

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Shorthanded limit holdem, overcards to the board

100% bet any raggedy flop like this. regardless of opponents
Turn: 100% bet 3 handed or less, otherwise check
River: 100% bet heads up
So this is an online 1/2 limit game....the play is pretty bad. I have seen some crazy stupid play here since I started, it's like jumping back in time to 2003.

Anyways, I am piecing this hand back up, so it's not exact. Nobody is going allin, so stack sizes are irrelevent.

UTG: call
UTG+1: call
CO: call
Button: call
SB (Hero) AsKs: Raise
BB: call
Calls all around.
Pot is $12 -rake

FLOP: :2h: :8s::jc:
SB (Hero): bet 1
BB: fold
UTG: call
UTG+1: call
CO: fold
Pot: $15 -rake

TURN: :2d:
SB (Hero): Bet 2
UTG: fold
UTG+1: call
Pot: $19 - rake

RIVER: :8c:
SB (hero): check
UTG+1: bet 2
SB (hero): ?

So, I dont think I am good very often here, but at 11:1, I have found myself in a must call position....I actually told myself NO HERO FOLDS after I had folded 2 pair to significant action and obvious straight on the board, only to watch top pair beat out second pair in this game. I could have gotten passive along the way, and folded earlier as well. Would love to hear insight on how I played this overall.


Is this short handed? Or 9 handed?
 

Jimulacrum

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Aggression is everything in limit. If you develop a pattern of check calling on the river unimproved then you become exploitable. If you are going to check call then it is better to bet.

The total number of times you get the best hand to fold is going to be higher than the number of times check/calling with air will be the best hand. You make the same money as when you check and the opponent checks behind with the worse hand but your opponents get to see what you were playing. You win the entire pot when the best hand folds and you only lose a single bet when you get called by a better hand, and you still lose that same bet if you check/call a better hand. If you bet there are 10.5 big bets in the pot so you show a profit if the best hand folds less than 1:10 times.
My main point in check-calling is about something you haven't addressed: inducing bluffs. If you bet out here, does 9T, QT, or any other hand you beat ever call? No. With unimproved AK on the end, basically everyone you beat will fold if you bet. But some of them may bet out if you check, earning you an extra bet.

Compare this occasional extra bet to what you stand to gain by folding out hands that beat you but will fold. Which hands are those, exactly? Any 2 or J is likely calling on the end. Any 8 is likely raising. Which hands that beat AK and didn't already fold to a flop/turn bet are folding here, exactly? The vast majority of the time you bet, you're either taking down a pot you'd have won anyway, or paying an extra $2 to hands that beat you.

Due to this board texture, there's virtually no purpose in betting AK for value, and there's virtually no purpose in betting as a bluff either. The situations where you'll get value or chase out a better hand on the end are few and very far between. All this hand really has left at the end is a small amount of showdown value against whiffed draws.
 

Outkicked

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This should be way higher on the list ;).
Someone say more chips? Love this pic 6/12 limit
49D73A3A-E200-45E2-AD41-0C16142911D5.jpeg
 

JustinInMN

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Aggression is everything in limit. If you develop a pattern of check calling on the river unimproved then you become exploitable. If you are going to check call then it is better to bet.

The total number of times you get the best hand to fold is going to be higher than the number of times check/calling with air will be the best hand. You make the same money as when you check and the opponent checks behind with the worse hand but your opponents get to see what you were playing.

I think given the action, any hand that ends up better than AK here folded to the flop bet. Which is pretty much all of the limping pairs and maybe some of the 8x connectors. If a villain has a jack and decided to call with it on the flop and turn, he isn't suddenly going to make a big laydown on the river getting 10-1.

I do agree aggression is very important on the early streets, and it's important to go for thin value on this river. If as hero I instead had TT or 99, I think that's a much clearer value bet given the pot odds all other action being equal.

But @Jimulacrum is absolutely right, the check induces the bet and generates value that isn't there by betting. Check-call is a powerful and underrated tactic in hold'em, both limit and NL.
 

Jimulacrum

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I think given the action, any hand that ends up better than AK here folded to the flop bet. Which is pretty much all of the limping pairs and maybe some of the 8x connectors. If a villain has a jack and decided to call with it on the flop and turn, he isn't suddenly going to make a big laydown on the river getting 10-1.

I do agree aggression is very important on the early streets, and it's important to go for thin value on this river. If as hero I instead had TT or 99, I think that's a much clearer value bet given the pot odds all other action being equal.

But @Jimulacrum is absolutely right, the check induces the bet and generates value that isn't there by betting. Check-call is a powerful and underrated tactic in hold'em, both limit and NL.
Few things are more satisfying than a well-executed value check.
 
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