The trouble with limit texas hold’em poker

It seems absolutely ages ago now that I started my poker career playing limit hold’em. This is a highly demanding form of poker and in many ways the toughest form in which to make money at. However for novice players and even intermediate players limit hold’em can be immensely frustrating to play. There are numerous reasons for this but the primary reason is that the structure of the game means that you will encounter more flop, turns, rivers and showdowns. This is because of the structured nature of the betting.

The knock on from this is that the variance within this form of poker tends to feel more extreme than at no-limit hold’em. I do not always feel though that this is the case in monetary terms. For example if you had a $5000 bankroll in both no-limit and limit then the respective stakes that you could play at would be quite different. With $5000 in no-limit then that would be 50 buy-ins at NL100 or twenty five buy-ins at NL200. In general then if you played less than NL100 then you would more than likely be over bankrolled and also under bankrolled for NL400.

At NL100 and NL200 swings of twenty buy-ins are common and so this means $2000-$4000. However in limit hold’em a $5000 bankroll would mean that you shouldn’t really play more than $10-$20 which is 250 big bets and ideally you should probably play lower at $5-$10. The monetary swings would be comparable but the number of beats that you have to endure in limit hold’em during your negative run for comparable money would be far greater.

So this is one of the biggest obstacles for players who turn to this form of poker. There are various reasons for why players turn to each form. Some players prefer limit over no-limit for the simple reason being that they feel far more comfortable when they think that only a tiny amount of money is at risk in each pot. However this is somewhat of an illusion as the variance in limit is steeper and so even though the individual losses are smaller, they can come with greater frequency.

This is where I feel that novice players need to make a big decision with their poker because different personality types prefer different forms of poker. You need to ask yourself some serious questions here at the beginning of your poker career so to speak. I always feel that in order to succeed at poker that you must identify the form of poker where you feel the most comfortable. I also feel that if you have issues with tilt then limit hold’em may not be the most appropriate form of poker. The losses and the beats come thick and fast in limit and that can be a terrible hurdle to overcome mentally for many people and is why no-limit suits only specific personality types.