No Limit Poker and Pot Limit Poker

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No Limit and Pot Limit – The Player’s Guide

888poker players are privy to No Limit Poker Games and Pot Limit Poker Games. These are known as betting structures. Each of these betting structures determines the limits that you can bet when it is your time to act.

Besides for No Limit and Pot Limit Poker Games, there are also CAP games. These games allocate a specific bet total per hand. Several types of poker games are available in a No Limit format and a Pot Limit format. At 888poker, you can enjoy Pot Limit Texas Hold’em tourneys, and No Limit Texas Hold’em tourneys. It’s important to have a clear understanding of limit betting formats before you play No Limit or Pot Limit poker games.

There are 3 poker variants with a limited betting format, including Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, Limit Omaha Hi, and Limit Texas Hold’em Poker. A cursory reading of the rules of play for these games will serve you well in understanding how best to play No Limit and Pot Limit poker variants. It has been said that PL (Pot Limit) and NL (No Limit) poker games are the purest poker formats.

When it comes to Limited Poker Games, Pot Limit Poker Games or No Limit Poker Games, the overriding game structure is identical. There are a couple of exceptions, including no CAP during betting rounds and no lower limit/higher limit stakes at the poker table. Let’s move on with a little background of No Limit and Pot Limit Poker games!

Background on No Limit and Pot Limit Poker

Believe it or not, there is a difference between the strategic gameplay of a No Limit Hold’em player versus a Limit Holdem player. Many of the greatest limit players in the world are dead in the water when it comes to playing No Limit Poker games, and vice versa. The reasons why certain players excel at one format of poker and fail dismally in another are varied. Experts advise that it is the mindset of the poker player that determines who succeeds and who fails. For example, in NL poker games with deep stacks, it is difficult to be challenged by your opponents if you go all in with the best hand.

However, with Limit Hold’em games it is near impossible to put down a big enough bet to protect your best hand against a draw. In Limit Hold’em games, experts are typically of the mindset that it is best to place as few chips as possible into the pot when you have a losing hand.

With No Limit Hold’em your objective is to get as many chips as possible into the pot when you have a great hand. That’s the strategic difference between Limit and No Limit Poker Games. With Limit Poker variants, the cost of making a big mistake or a small mistake never typically goes beyond the size of a small wager. It’s also near impossible to make a significant error before the fifth and final card – the River card – is dealt in Limit Poker Games.

The trick to becoming a successful Limit Poker Player and Pot Limit Poker Player is adopting the right mindset. Each format of the game is different, and incorporating the right strategy will improve your success rate. Pot Limit betting strategies require players to understand how to calculate the pot size, and the pot-sized raise on the fly. Indeed, the world’s poker experts regard Pot Limit Poker as somewhere in between Limit Poker Games and No Limit Poker games. Any winning strategy in Pot Limit games requires maximum pot control.


Rules of these Games

There are specific rules of play with No Limit poker and Pot Limit poker. The first format we are going to discuss is No Limit poker betting. The following rules pertain to the minimal permissible bet, raise or re-raise in a round. Assuming a betting round of poker has commenced, this is how it will unfold. The first bet is placed and all players at the table have the option to raise or re-raise accordingly. This must be done in accordance with the rules of play. For example, any raise or re-raise must be equivalent to the initial bet in No Limit Poker. Consider the following:

  • The first player at the table bets a total of $20.
  • The second player raises the stakes by $20, meaning that the total bet is now $40.
  • The third player decides to call, with a total bet of $40.
  • The fourth player re-raises $20 for a total wager of $60.
  • The fifth player calls for a total wager of $60.
  • The sixth player at the table decides to re-raise $20 for a total wager of $80.
  • This process continues until the betting round has been completed.

With NL (No Limit) Poker, the maximum permissible bet, raise or re-raise is as much as the player has available in his/her stack. Whatever is available at the table can be used to bet, raise or re-raise against other players. Additionally, there are no limits on betting amounts during each of the rounds. A round of betting will conclude once every active player at the table has either checked, folded or called the latest raise, re-raise in the pot. Players with deep pockets and the right poker strategy can perform well in No Limit Poker games.

The rules of play for PL (Pot Limit) poker games are somewhat different for the minimum permissible bets, raises or re-raises. Once a betting round has commenced, players must raise or re-raise no less than the initial bet in the round. Consider the following:

  • The first player at the table bets a total of $20.
  • The second player raises the stakes by $20, meaning that the total wager in play is now $40.
  • The third player decides to call, with a total wager of $40.
  • The fourth player re-raises by $20, meaning that the total wager is $60.
  • The fifth player calls as well, for a total wager of $60.
  • The sixth player re-raises by $20 for a total wager of $80.
  • This process continues until the betting round has completed.

Note that the maximum permissible bet, maximum raise, or maximum re-raise in pot limit poker games are as follows:

  • The value of the most recent call + the raise or re-raise + the total currently in the pot.

So, if you begin with $20 in the poker pot and the first player bets $15, the pot value is $35. If player two calls the $15, the total value in the pot is now $50. If player three decides to raise the pot limit, he/she will place a wager equal to the current pot total of $50 + a $15 raise + a $15 call. That contributes $80 to the pot + the current pot total of $50 for a grand total of $130. If player four decides to call player three’s $80, the pot size increases by an additional $80 to $210. This will continue until each player in the hand has acted. Note that there are no caps in rounds of betting – each player has to either fold, call, or check the most recent raise or re-raise.


This is How You Play No Limit and Pot Limit Poker Games

For No Limit or Pot Limit poker games, simply navigate to 888poker and pick your preferred game of PL or NL Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi-Lo, or Texas Hold’em. Follow the rules listed above, using the right tactics and strategies to make your betting decisions. Typically, PL and NL games start from as little as $0.01/$0.02 per game upwards of $200/$400. Remember, in NL games of poker, your bet amount can be whatever you want it to be. It is limited only by how much money you have brought with you to the poker table. Remember though that in no limit poker games, your bet must be at least as big as the BB (Big Blind). Any additional raises that are made must equal the prior raise during the same round of betting. When it comes to PL poker games (Pot Limit) you can bet as much as the poker pot, or whatever you have with you at the poker table. During PL and NL games your betting stakes display the Small Blind (SB) and the Big Blind (BB) respectively.

Hand Rankings

In Pot Limit Omaha, the best 5 starting hands include the following:

  • Ace-Ace-King-King
  • Ace-Ace-Jack-10
  • Ace-Ace-Queen-Queen
  • Ace-Ace-Jack-Jack
  • Ace-Ace-10-10

In No Limit Hold’em, the best starting hands are as follows:

  • Ace-Ace suited and non-suited
  • King-King
  • Queen-Queen
  • Ace-King
  • Jack-Jack


Variations of NL and PL Poker Games

Poker games are made up of numerous betting variations. Most folks understand different poker games such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo and others, but there is an entirely unique subculture within each game – the betting limits. These include Fixed Limit (FL) poker games for each of these variants. There also Pot Limit (PL) betting structures for each of these games, and No Limit (NL) betting structures. The safest way to play poker for the conservative players is Fixed Limit. Pot Limit and No Limit poker games can become especially challenging as the bet sizes increase. If you’re looking for adrenaline-loaded entertainment, Pot Limit and No Limit are certainly preferable to Fixed Limit games.


Game FAQs

Is Pot Limit the same as No Limit Poker?

Pot Limit Poker Games allow the player to bet up to the size of the pot. It can get a lot more expensive than limit poker games. Consider that pot limit games continually increase, and so too do the bet sizes. In No Limit Poker the only thing that is fixed is the size of the blinds (big blind and small blind). A player can easily raise as much as the number of chips he/she has at the table. If that player has $50,000 in a $1/$2 game, it’s possible to raise the full $50,000 instead of calling the smaller amounts.

Is Pot Limit Safer for a Conservative Player Than No Limit Poker?

Generally, Pot Limit poker can be regarded as a ‘safer’ bet for conservative poker players, although as the pot size grows, so too do the bets. It is not so much the type of game as it is the betting nature of the player that determines whether he/she will risk all for maximum reward. No Limit is like no holds barred – it can be ruthless for an inexperienced player going up against poker sharks.

Is Fixed Limit the Same as Pot Limit?

In Fixed Limit poker games, the betting amount is fixed by the stakes. If a game indicates that the small blind is $5 and the big blind is $10 ($5/$10), then those are the fixed limit betting stakes in the game. The betting increments can only increase according to the blinds. Typically, FL poker games limit the number of raises to just 2 or 3, depending on the rounds. In a $5/$10 game, the total wagers during the first 2 rounds of betting would be $10. With pot limit betting, as the pot grows, so too do the bets, raises and re-raises.

Should Beginners Play No Limit or Pot Limit Poker Games?

It’s important for poker players to understand the mechanics of No Limit Poker and Pot Limit Poker games. The difference between these variants can be found in the implied odds of the games. Good players understand how to enjoy the carousel-style play of the Limit Poker Games while the adrenaline junkies typically enjoy the roller coaster play of No Limit Poker Games.