Whether you are an experienced player or a beginner in the world of poker, even if you have never sat down in front of the green carpet, you know that cards are about betting.
However, like everything in poker, even the betting structure has its own rules and modalities. Limit and No Limit variants are two of the three betting structures that players encounter in games like Texas Hold’em and Omaha. The third one is known as Pot Limit.
As its name suggests, the matter is about betting limits, but not everything is as simple as it seems. Below, we tell you what each of the poker betting variants consists of so that you can enjoy your games while managing all the information.
Limit Poker: What is it?
Unlike other poker terms, such as backdoor, cold call or nuts, talking about the meaning of limit or no limit poker is not very complex. In fact, you can guess what it means.
Limit poker corresponds to those tables where a minimum limit and a maximum limit of money in chips that can be wagered have been established. Thus, the players’ bets must always be between these two limits.
Limit poker establishes fixed stakes, a preset amount that all players know before the game begins. In the poker modalities that are played with this betting structure – also known as Fixed Limit -, the bets are made in intervals, with a maximum of 3 re-raises.
It is the blinds that establish the minimum and maximum values of the bets. In the most popular variant of poker, Texas Hold’em, two groups of betting rounds can be distinguished in the limit mode: first round in preflop and flop, second round in turn and river. Let’s see each one in detail.
Limit betting on preflop and flop
In this first betting round, you can only bet the sum of the big blind, something known as small bet. You can only raise the bet a maximum of 3 or 4 times. When the maximum raises are reached, players can only call or fold.
Limit bets on turn and river
On fourth and fifth street, corresponding to the turn and river respectively, only the sum of twice the amount of the big blind can be bet.
This is known as a big bet. As in the previous round, you can only raise the bets a maximum of 3 or 4 times, taking into account that, now, the bets are the sum of the double of the big blind.
What does No Limit mean in poker?
In the betting structure in No Limit poker, you will find no limit as to the maximum amount you want to bet, beyond that imposed by the minimum mandatory raise amount in each round, that is, small blind and big blind.
What does this translate into? Big and significant pots, although it is also a riskier modality compared to the Limit variant. Therefore, this is perhaps the most complex variant, since the size of the bets must be calculated very well.
The absence of betting limits and the possibility of putting in play all the chips or money desired at any time, is what makes the No Limit mode the most exciting of the 3 betting structures.
What is Pot Limit Poker?
As its name indicates, Pot Limit Poker corresponds to that betting structure in which the limits are determined by the pot. Here is an example:
Imagine that you play Omaha Pot Limit and, after the preflop, you find yourself with a pot of $100. If there were no new bets, that $100 would determine the maximum limit to bet.
However, if a player bets $25 on the next street, i.e. on the flop, the next player could raise $125 since the total pot has now reached $125 ($100 preflop + $25 flop).
Differences between no limit and limit poker
Now that you know the 3 poker betting structures, it is easier to spot the differences between no limit vs limit poker.
One of the main differences between no limit and limit poker is that, in the first variant, there is no possibility of losing all the chips in a hand, since the raises are capped to a maximum number.
In this sense, in limit poker you will not find overbets, that is, a large bet compared to the pot.
Overbets are those that are made with the aim of obtaining the maximum return in certain situations. They are also closely related to bluffs.
In relation to the latter, in limit poker, bluffs can hardly be used, since the bets are limited and can hardly be used. Thus, different strategies are used depending on whether we play the Limit or No Limit variant.
Size of the pot
In the No Limit variant, as you can imagine, bigger pots are built compared to the Limit mode. In fact, a player could recover his bankroll in a No Limit table compared to the successive ones he would have to play in Limit Poker.
Again, the strategy changes radically in limit vs. no limit poker. Players, in the poker limit variant, are much more selective when it comes to betting on certain hands.
Since they have fewer options to cover their losses, they will only bet on a truly winning hand. That is why the Limit variant is hardly played by recreational players, who are more inclined to play No Limit.