One weird trick that can instantly improve your poker game

Stop limping

Preflop if no one has raised yet, and your hand isn’t good enough for you to raise with, don’t limp, just fold.

Don’t complete the small blind either if the action limps to you. Just raise or let it go.

Bonus tip
Be careful flat-calling raises preflop if you’re not closing the action (ie, last to act)


I think “stop limping” is generally good advice.

But there are times where limping is fine. For one example, I’ll limp hands like small pairs, smallish connectors, or small/medium suited one-gappers, especially in multi-way pots when I’m deep. It’s just a low-risk, high potential reward situation sometimes.

I think there are valid limp strategies down to maybe 15BBs or so.

I should mention that I’m a tournament player.


Need to differentiate between open limp and limp. Open limp would be first to enter the pot and that is not standard play. Typically you would enter with a raise. You are not only getting money in the pot but you have fold equity and you get information. If you open limp with AA to slow play the problem is if the board comes up 667 you have done nothing to get players off that range. Most sources advised to open for the same raise - you might vary based on position and table but don’t vary by hand.

Now limp call. Say you have blinds / table that does not raise pre flop, will call post flop, and have trouble noticing a straight or flush. I would call 89, 78, 67, 56 suited from mid or late. Pretty much only if you are playing fish. A table of play money that does not raise pre flop. And if you are on that table and get a real hand punish with a pot size raise.

Even on a good table with a couple in the pot and stacks behind on the button and not too expensive I would call mid suited connector or a mid pair. They are the type of hands you need to hit but could get a big payoff. You are not looking to push players off the pot.


Agree, especially about the small blind, because in tournaments as the blinds increase, you can end up losing huge pots by limping in on the SB from out of position and making second-best hand, or getting bluffed off the pot.

Many players on RP use the limp-call strategy (if you can call it that) in tournaments. I too think this is a mistake, because if you hand is not good enough to raise, then why open the pot with it? With a raise you encourage other hands to fold, which greatly increases your chances of winning a pot. Against one opponent who is out of position, you have a very good chance of winning the pot with a continuation bet, but by allowing several players and the blinds to limp in after you with fairly random hands, you greatly reduce your probability of winning the pot.

A fine strategy to use the limp Is when your are in late position and there are some short player after (20bb~) that can shove if you rise, but often will not if there are less chips in the pot. Is nice to do this with hands that can be dominated in all-in but can make top pair and win an not shoved pot post flop. This an advenced theory and i am not an expert, but Is an idea (about tournament).

The limping pandemic is the main reason this site doesn’t feel like real poker. People just don’t seem to internalize that seeing flops with less people is more desirable than having everyone see them.
Even players who show late in tournaments that they know that stealing blinds is good don’t seem eager to do it earlier on when the blinds are low or in ring games.


This is all good and well sage views, from all of you. But it is not real poker. Even in actual money tournaments now, people try to play like online to minimise the pressure. Not matter what you say about strategy, on this site there is always an extra unknown factor in the weird card draws and performance issues. This adds another dimension to the game.

As for limping, one thing seems to be forgotten. If I have a big stack and playing against small stacks, I can insulate against any strategy and use whatever pattern I want until it starts to hurt. I can limp and then compensate in alternate hands. It’s not real poker.