Is Limping a Good Poker Strategy?
A lot of poker players have moved away from limping when they play Texas Hold’em. It’s true that putting together intricate bluffs that cross several streets or putting down a three-bet is trendier, and limping has become a lot less popular than it once was. However, just because it isn’t popular doesn’t make it a good strategy.
Using Limping as a Poker Strategy
Some players say that if you never limp preflop, you’ll be a tougher opponent. However, when you take any weapons out of your arsenal, you make yourself easier to fight. Basically, you’re reducing your opponent’s worry down to the opening range.
Why have so many people come out against limping?
Well, the objectors talk about how limping represents a passive sort of play. They assume that limping before the flop means that the action after the flop will also be passive. However, if you use the “aggressive limp,” you can solve some of the other issues that may come up as you move through the streets and end up on top.
What is an “aggressive limp”?
It happens when you limp with the expectation that your opponent will do something in response, especially something aggressive. Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a skilled opponent directly on your left. He keeps there-betting you over and over. Most of the time, people will tighten their opening range to fight off these three-bets, pushing him into some four-bets that will either close him down for the night or make him a lot less aggressive.
Here’s the point, though. When you refuse to limp in this situation, you have to focus on that player to your left, so you can’t isolate any of your other opponents and steal pots before the flop. If you do limp, you can expect isolation from that opponent, but your opponent’s isolating range is going to make that three-bet range look pretty small. So if you can limp a range that is stronger that what that opponent has as his isolating range, you’ll be able to attack when the board is in your favor. So you’re not going to do some of the passive steps that people associate with limping, such as check-calling down to the river, or keeping lines consistent with the amount of risk and. Instead, you’re going to sprinkle some check-raises to your game and really shake the table up. This is one of the most aggressive defenses you can use in any hand, either live or when playing online poker.
Hold’em poker is one of the most sophisticated games in the world, and the deep stacks involved with live poker make it even more complex. Instead of trying to find ways to simplify this game, it is going to be more profitable for you over time to push the envelope and defy expectations. When you go against the grain you surprise your opponents and make an impact that will last for several hands, if not the entire night. So keep focused on evolving your game and keeping your opponents a step behind – and taking aggressive limps is a terrific way to do that.