Isolating limpers is important to extract chips from weaker opponents. However, as with any poker strategy, it’s important to find a balance and not get caught out with a bad beat. Here is how to recognize limpers and execute a strategy to gain their chips.
What is a Limp?
A limp is any occasion when a player enters the pot by calling instead of raising. This play makes post flop betting difficult, especially against experienced players who will bet aggressively assuming that the limper has got weak cards. It’s almost always unwise to limp in when you have average cards, as the chances of you being forced to fold by aggressive play is very high.
How to Isolate Limpers
Recognizing a limper is the first step in taking chips from them. Limpers will play passively, often entering into the pot but rarely raising pre-flop. It’s easier to isolate limpers once you’ve seen some hands and you have identified the stronger players on the table. With that in mind, the first tip for isolating limpers is to take your time and get a good read on your opponents before betting against them as there are a few occasions when good players will limp in. Some opponents will 3-bet after limping in, so keep this in mind early on when you are still getting a feel for the table.
When to limp yourself
As we have already established, limping tends to be the play of weaker players who will regularly be exposed with a raise. That being said there are some occasions when you might want to limp in yourself. Hands such as low pairs or 4,5 can be good to limp behind with. If you don’t hit with the flop these hands are easy to get away from without surrendering more chips but can also produce big hands with the right flop.
Playing tight or loose
Generally speaking, its important to show aggression when an opponent limps in, however, there are occasions when playing tight is more suitable. If you have a read on the player who is limping and they tend to 3-bet pre flop then you should play tightly in order to not get caught out. You should also be careful if you have a short stack as you leave yourself susceptible to a trap. Also consider the opponents who are yet to play behind you, the more players behind you the tighter you should raise.
More often than not you should play loose against limpers, particularly if you have a good read on them and have them marked as an inexperienced player. If you have a large stack you are also in a strong position to play more aggressively with a greater margin for error. Consider also your position, if there are no players behind you, you can bet more loosely with the confidence you can get limpers off the hand.
Isolating limpers is an essential strategy to take advantage of weaker players at the table. By using the strategies above you can consistently win dead money to supplement your stack.