Raising in limit hold’em and increasing your chances

Quite often in games like limit hold’em, you often need to raise in big pots to enhance your chances of winning them. This can even be correct to do so even if you are currently behind in the hand. We will look at an example here to show you what I mean. It has been called by several players and you call on the button with As-9s and the small blind completes. With six players in the pot the big blind raises and everyone calls. The game is $2-$4 and there is now $24 in the pot which is already six big bets.

Pot odds in limit hold’em poker game

In this poker strategy, the flop comes 4s-4d-2s giving you the nut flush draw, overcards and a backdoor straight draw. It is folded around to the player on your direct right who bets $2 making the pot $26. If you call then the pot is $28 and the next player is getting a huge 14/1 for their money. You probably do not have the best hand right now as you opponent likely has an overpair to the board like sevens. But this pot is huge now and you need to give yourself the maximum chance to win it. If you call and someone stays around with a hand like A-K then you cannot win by pairing your ace and in fact you will lose extra money because of it in all likelihood.

However a raise to $4 puts $30 in the pot but now it is $4 to call and so the pot odds are reduced from 14/1 to only 7.5/1 which could make a hand like A-K fold. This play buys you the outs to the ace if you hit it but the raise could also serve another objective of getting a free card if you get checked to on the turn. So not only are you enhancing your chances of winning the pot but you also get to see the river as well in all probability. When your opponents check to you on the turn then you are not strictly speaking getting a free card. If they do in fact check to you then you are getting a card at a greatly reduced cost.

Raising with a second best hand

This concept of raising with hands that you know to be second best is something that many novices in poker tournaments really struggle with but once you take that notion on board then your limit hold’em game will surely improve. In this form of poker you should be sure of what you are trying to achieve in the hand. Firstly you try and ascertain if you have the best hand or not. If you don’t then you need to try and figure out what your chances of drawing to the best hand are. If they are remote then you must explore the possibility of being able to bluff your opponent off the best hand. If this doesn’t seem possible then you need to fold.