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No Limit Poker

No Limit Poker - All In - Full TiltThe betting structure is one of the most basic poker rules that you must have in any game, and no limit is the structure that is most often used at this point in time. No limit Texas holdem is the most popular style played today with no limit betting, but there are other styles of poker that use the same betting structure.

This article is a general overview of how no limit structures work, where you can play no limit poker and what you need to do to make sure that you play it well.

Where to Play No Limit Poker

If you want to play no limit poker online, then you have a few major choices. Below is a chart of six of the most popular Internet poker rooms along with the average number of players and tables you can expect. We have also pointed out whether these rooms are individual sites or a network of skins.

Name Players Tables Notes
PokerStars 30,000 6,000 Single Site
iPoker 3,400 700 Network - e.g. Paddy Power Poker
Full Tilt Poker 2,500 550 Single Site
Merge 1,000 250 Network - e.g. Carbon Poker
Microgaming 1,000 250 Network - e.g. PokerHeaven
Winning 750 200 Network - e.g. Americas Cardroom


Software and Site Selection

When it comes to playing no limit games, it's really important for you to be comfortable with the software you're using. In particular, you want to be able to quickly and easily choose and manipulate bet sizes. There are third-party programs out there which can help you to create shortcuts to make bets of certain sizes, but it works out best if the site's software itself makes this simple to do.

The Different Types of No Limit Poker

Because no limit is a betting structure, it can be used with a wide range of actual games. The most popular is no limit Texas holdem, but other games have their fair share of players. This particular game structure can have a different type of influence on how a game flows depending on which specific type of poker you're playing, and we're going to cover a number of popular games that can be played with a no limit structure and how the game is affected as a result.

No Limit Texas Holdem

The most popular form of poker on the planet is the no limit format for Texas holdem, but this game was almost always played with a fixed-limit format before poker's popularity exploded back around 2003 or 2004. There is more flexibility and freedom with betting in the no limit version, especially before the flop where the 3-betting and 4-betting game is extremely important.

However, the bigger bets on later streets means that the game has a lot more depth and a lot more potential for big losses over short periods of time. In poker, no limit vs limit basically boils down to this one difference.

If you get involved with poker these days, you almost have to learn to play this game. The simple fact of the matter is that in poker, no limit hold em rules the roost.

No Limit Omaha

People who are familiar with poker will notice that Omaha is almost always played in a pot-limit format. The reason for that is that post-flop play is so important with Omaha since the pre-flop values of the hands aren't as different as they are in other forms of poker.

The very best hand in Omaha is Aces and Kings double suited e.g. A♥ A♠ K♥ K♠, and it's only going to win 70 percent of the time against a random hand. Compare this to A♥ A♠ in Holdem that wins 85 percent of the time against a random hand.

You can check out the following chart for more examples of these differences with the top five hands from each of these types of poker if played against a random hand.

Rank Omaha Hand Equity Holdem Hand Equity
1 AAKK 70.6% AA 85.2%
2 AAJT 70.5% KK 82.4%
3 AAQQ 71.0% QQ 79.9%
4 AAJJ 71.2% JJ 77.5%
5 AATT 71.5% AKs 67.0%

No limit Omaha, in both the high and high/low split formats, simply does not work out very well because of the way pre-flop hand equities are bunched together so closely since it gives players an incentive to just put in a lot of raises and re-raises pre-flop without allowing as much post-flop play. It can be a fun game to play with friends, but if any serious money is on the line, then pot-limit is where it's at for this particular game.

No Limit 2-7 Single Draw

Also known as "deuce" for short, 2-7 lowball to a single draw is usually played with a no limit format because there are only two betting streets, and this is the only way a significant amount of money can be put into the pot. As far as the blinds go, it's the same type of poker no limit hold em rules dictate with a small blind and a big blind being dealt to the left of the button.

The key to no limit 2-7 single draw is understanding that position is much more important than in any other form of poker.

Position is so critical in this game for two reasons. First, because there are just two betting streets, the power of position is magnified since the pots don't usually get particularly large. Second, position allows you to see how many cards your opponents will be discarding. This is particularly important in draw games, and it's incredibly important in lowball.

Something that a lot of new players forget is that the ace is always counted as a high in 2-7 lowball games, and it can never be counted as a low. So if you happen to be dealt something like A♠ 2♥ 3♣ 4♦ 5♠, you need to remember that it does not count as a straight. Instead, it's just ace-high.

 Play every available type of no limit poker at PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

General Tips for No Limit Poker

The no limit betting structure lends itself to certain planning and stack management issues no matter what specific type of poker you're playing. We want to offer you some general tips on what to look for and what to avoid if you're using this type of betting.

  • In poker, no limit rules create situations where a small stack can get an advantage with mediocre hands against two or more larger stacks.
  • Remember that the pot can get big very quickly with no limit betting. Always think ahead to what's going to happen on future streets.
  • If you make a bet with cards left to come, before you make your play, consider what you will do if an opponent raises you. This is the most important thing to plan ahead for.

Games with no limit betting also mean that you're going to have a lot of small pots and a relatively small number of large pots. The larger the pot, the better the hand you need to have if you expect to come out on top. This is also related to the stack sizes left behind.

A great example of this is pre-flop hand selection in no-limit Texas holdem. If the stacks are fairly small in the range of 30 to 50 big blinds, then it's almost never going to be a mistake to get all-in pre-flop with pocket queens. However, doing so with much larger stacks in the range of 300 to 400 big blinds is often going to be a big mistake unless you're dealing with a really loose and aggressive player.