Limping into an Unraised Pot

One thing that many online poker players preach against is limping into an unraised pot – especially from early position. The reason why limping (calling the big blind) is highly frowned upon is because you are not only showing total weakness in your hand, but you’re most likely going to be raised by at least one other player. So if you’re limping with A-T from under the gun, just don’t bother.

Back to the original point, many online poker players wonder if there is ever a situation where it’s okay to limp into an unraised pot from early position. And the answer is ‘yes’, there are some rare instances where limping into an unraised pot can be profitable. But before we continue with the reasoning behind this thought, keep in mind that, as a beginning player, you should stick to raising or folding from early position until you’re more experienced.

One situation where profitable open limping arises is on tables full of calling stations who build great pot odds for suited connectors and other drawing hands. For example, let’s say that you’re holding QsJs under the gun, which is a fold for most players in this spot. However, you’re on a micro stakes table where everybody’s calling preflop just to see some cards; in this instance, you can open limp and hope that the table dynamic continues. Even if somebody does raise, there would be enough calling stations who’ll stay in the hand and give you solid pot odds on future streets.

One more scenario where open limping could work is if you’re holding a premium hand, and there’s a very aggressive player to your left who might shove just to steal the blinds and your open limp bet. Obviously this is a very specific scenario, but it’s another instance where open limping could work.

Looking at things from an overall perspective, it’s very rare that open limping is a good idea, and only experienced players will be able to spot these situations with consistency.

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