The other day we heard from Daniel Negreanu about the magic limps that brought him victory in the $300k Triton tournament. We decided to take a cue from Daniel and our favorite fish and learn how to limp like magic. To help you with this difficult task, we asked the regulars of different disciplines about how, when and against whom to start using limps. Or is it still not worth it? We also found out whether it is possible to play winningly by completely abandoning open-raises, and even found out that limps have fold equity.
I think adding limps to your strategy is not a mistake, no matter what stakes. You will learn how to play in unfamiliar situations and understand how to counter guys who often limp (most often it's fish). As a result, an increase in win rates and an increase in understanding of the game are guaranteed to you.
I would start by limping the SB vs fish and then move on to a full SB limping strategy, preferably mixed with open raises. This is the strategy I use now at my limits.
I would strongly not recommend limping anything other than the SB, I wrote about it in detail in my blog.
Recently, there has been a wave on XC and just in the poker community that poker is supposedly an unknown game and you can open limp from all positions and this is an winning strategy, Stefan's secret preparation. I want to enlighten people a little on this topic, because from the outside it may seem that this is really cool, and that before that no one in poker even knew about it.
Limping works best against nits who have a linear and narrow BB isolate range in the SB, plus they have absolutely no idea how to react to limp/3-bet with the SB and reply with folds. Well, they also work great against fish, of course.
One of the best places to limp is in zoom. A lot of guys out there play AFK poker and can fold to the BB completely trash hands despite the action before them, which means that our limps will have fold equity, which is just unbelievable! In the solver, for you to understand, 72o is winning as a SB limp if the opponent auto folds some hands, so in zoom, specifically on the SB, you can limp 70% of your range easily.
One of the main problems with limping is the rake, you pay stupidly more of it. The second is a wide range, which is hard to play out of position against a wide range in an unraised pot. But if you never try, you will never learn, so where do you start?
It is impossible to win at the game by limping from all positions like a fish while playing without open-raising. It is clear that if I went to NL2 now and started doing it, I could make a profit, but at the higher limits you definitely don’t need to do this, at all...
In heads-up play, limping is an essential part of the strategy. There are exactly zero players not limping in heads-up now. At the same time, limping from the button in 3-max, is extremely rare.
In heads-up, normal regs don't fold anything at all and try to play at 100%, trash hands as limp, so it's as wide as possible. Some of the suited trash and the nuts go to raise, offsuit trash limp, some medium hands go to limp/call, well, Ax and small pairs go to limp/shove. But a lot here depends on the depth of the stack.
In short stacks, it's normal to limp an overpair in order to trap your opponent and catch a loose iso-push or make your opponent give up post-flop. All this is balanced by garbage limps.
It’s best to ask fish or advanced dudes from the Pocarr group about limping, because I only noticed such a strategy in those two groups.
In general, limping is not necessary in MTTs, and everything plays out well through raises. An exception can be made except for the blinds. But there is such a meta right now that with the SB we play with a raise under 70+% of the range.
I won't say that I'm a big limping expert, but I can share my observations.
A limp strategy in the SB is a well-understood and time-tested phenomenon. Everyone is more or less inclined to believe that due to the rake, it makes no sense to do it before NL200.
The open-limping strategy from late positions is certainly an interesting and, possibly, promising thing. I myself tested it at suitable tables in the Chico network with premium hands, provided that an aggressive fish sat behind me. Then it's kind of a face-up against behind-the-scenes regs, and our only goal is to limp/3-bet a whale. I do not think about balance and ranges in this situation.
Completing the SB with very bad hands, provided there is a fish in the BB, and c-betting 1bb on any flop – this strategy definitely works.
I know we can limp the SB and heads up with 40bb stacks. I don't play heads-ups, but in the SB I would like to master at least the simplest strategy including raises
So I practically don't limp, only limp/raise with aces if I have an aggressive fish behind me. I don’t advise beginners to add limps to their game – there are a lot of more important spots, the study of which will bring more value than the study of limps.
Limping, like raising, is just a tool, and against whom and how it will work depends on many factors. You can add limps to your strategy at any limits, preferably in the SB. The main difficulty here is the subsequent post-flop play with wide ranges.
In poker, for a long time, many important questions are not in the category of “winning or losing”, but in the category of “winning or even more winning''. So it’s not difficult to get some non-standard limps into a winning spot, the question is in how much, considering other available alternatives that can be more profitable
There is a case from real life: many old people remember Dominic Nietsche, who used some of his unique tricky strategy, consisting of a large number of limps ( ed. – we found an analysis of his QQ limping with BTN ). Of course, he did not become a top reg, rather the opposite. But the fact is that some people are trying to build "unique" strategies).