This past weekend I went to a charity game in Columbus, OH. I played in a $3/$6 short handed limit hold ‘em game. I haven’t played limit hold ‘em seriously since early June when I played a $2/$4 game with some friends. Predictably, I made some mistakes, but I was still profitable (earning about 1.5BB an hour).


I think my biggest mistake was that I called way too much when I was behind with very few outs. Limit hold ‘em is all about playing the odds and making profitable plays – that means focusing on pot odds, drawing odds, and most importantly: folding when you’re way behind. Several times I knew I played to the river with 5 outs (or less) but for some reason I found myself calling people down, expecting them to turn over nothing. More times than not they flipped over top pair top kicker and raked in the chips.


When I played pots aggressively, raising every chance I got, I usually took down the pot. A lot of people who started out playing no limit hold ‘em think limit hold ‘em is a game that doesn’t lend itself to making plays at pots or doesn’t allow for a lot of bluffing. I disagree – and I’ll explain 2 plays I used that won me 10-15 big bets.


  1. Call on the flop, raise on the turn This play is very effective when you have an opponent heads up and suspect they may have a weak middle pair or maybe a top pair with a bad kicker. A raise on the flop isn’t very intimidating, and it almost certainly won’t get a top pair to fold. If you 2 bet the turn and force your opponent to put in another big bet they are more likely to fold a mediocre hand.


  1. Raising on the flop with a draw. This can help force your opponent to check down the hand with a top or middle pair and allow you to see 2 free cards, if you complete your draw it’s up to you to decide how to play it. You can play aggressively or hope your opponent bets again on the river.


Limit hold ‘em is not a boring game as so many people seem to think. It can be very exciting and very profitable for someone with a solid understanding of the odds. Capitalizing on bad players mistakes in low limit games can be some of the most profitable poker available to someone who doesn’t have a big bankroll.