Limit vs No Limit Poker

Why Trust Techopedia
Why Trust Techopedia

When you look at a poker tournament schedule or a list of cash games, you’ll find many different varieties of poker, each with different rules and ways to play. The contrast between no-limit vs. fixed limit poker is stark and we here at Techopedia are going to break it all down for you.

At the core of it all, limits refer to the amount of money or chips we can bet when it’s our turn to act. When that amount is capped, it greatly changes the strategy of the game and can even cap our decision-making process as well. In some instances, it will make little-to-no sense to bluff at all.

Welcome Bonus up to $5,000 + 125 Spins

Welcome Bonus up to $5,000 + 125 Spins

  • Accepts VISA, MasterCard and 15+ cryptocurrencies
  • 600+ slots from Betsoft, Nucleus, Rival and more
  • Weekly ultimate slots tournament awards $5,000 cash
9.8
5 Stars
Use bonus code
Copied
WILD250
Copy
Copy
Play Now

What’s the Difference Between Limit vs No Limit Poker?

It’s essential to know that the difference between limit vs no limit poker is the type of poker we will be playing and refers to the type of betting that can and will take place. Most, if not all, poker players agree that limit vs. no-limit texas hold’em are two different games.

Limit hold’em puts a restriction on the amount of money or chips a player can bet or raise. No-limit Texas hold’em, on the other hand, is completely uncapped, meaning a player may bet as much as they want virtually whenever they want.

What is a Limit in Poker? Rules and Explanations

Poker is generally played in three main forms: Limit (also known as Fixed Limit), No-Limit, and Pot-Limit. Let’s talk about the differences between limit vs no limit poker vs pot limit poker.

If you’re curious about playing poker for real money, you can check out the best online poker sites for cash games and tournaments.

Limit Poker

Limit was formerly the most popular poker game in most casinos in the United States and still has a very big cash game following, especially at lower stakes with the older generation. In Limit poker, you’re only allowed to bet or raise the amount of the game limits anytime the action gets to you.

For example, in a $20/$40 limit game, the small blind is $10 and the big blind is $20. The first player can decide to fold, bet $20, or raise to $40. The next player can then either fold, match your bet, or raise another $20. There’s a cap on the betting in each round, with only one big bet and three raises permitted for the entire table.

On the flop, players may check and the first person to bet must put out a $20 wager. Again, players are limited to one bet and three raises. The same rules apply for the turn and river, with players allowed to go all in if the betting eclipses the amount they have left in their stack.

No-Limit Poker

No-limit poker is now the gold standard as its popularity has skyrocketed over the past two decades, enjoying a huge boom after Chris Moneymaker’s WSOP Main Event win in 2003 and again following the peak of the Covid-19 crisis. The biggest difference when comparing limit vs no limit hold’em is that there is no ceiling on the amount you’re allowed to wager, which can cause absolutely massive pots regardless of starting stack depths.

While players are allowed to limp (call the big blind), opening raises must be at least double the big blind and further raises must at least match the size of the previous raise. For example, in a $2/$5 game, a player may call the $5 or raise it up to at least $10. For this example, Player 1 has made an opening raise of $15. Player 2 may opt to fold, call the $15, or make a re-raise to at least $25. The $25 re-raise minimum is such because the original raise to $15, which was a $10 raise from $5. Oftentimes, recreational players will assume that raises have to be at least double the previous bet or raise, which is only true for the opening raise.

Similar action is had on the flop, turn, and river, where players can risk as much as they want, check, or bet a minimum of one big blind. Players can, of course, put all their chips in the middle at any time when action is on them. The adrenaline and risk-taking are two of the biggest factors when it comes to why people prefer no limit vs fixed limit poker.

50% Welcome Bonus up to $1,000

50% Welcome Bonus up to $1,000

  • BetOnline odds boosts available every day
  • Live betting available on all major sports
  • Excellent sportsbook 101 tutorial section
9.9
5 Stars
NO CODE REQUIRED
Play Now

Pot-Limit Poker

While pot-limit Texas hold’em is a thing of the past, pot-limit Omaha (PLO) is the gold standard when it comes to four-card poker. Pot-limit poker refers to poker games where you are only allowed to bet the size of the pot when the action is on you.

Pot-limit Texas hold’em was removed from the World Series of Poker following the 2015 WSOP, largely due to the constant need to do math and the frustrating limitations of not being able to overbet or go all in whenever you wanted to.

However, PLO is one of the most popular games in the world today and is widely available if you ever want to transition out of limit or no-limit poker. The rules are somewhat simple, though require some calculations to figure out the maximum amount you’re allowed to bet.

While you are allowed to call and raise as you’d like, there’s a cap on how much you can raise. The amount you can raise is equal to what’s in the pot plus the amount if you had theoretically called. For example, if you’re playing with 100/200 blinds and face a call and a raise to 700, the maximum amount you can raise is 1,900 (100+200+200+700+700). Pots become very large, very quickly, so it’s quite easy to get all in for 50 big blinds unlike in Texas hold’em, where you usually need two big hands to collide.

50% Welcome Bonus up to $1,000

50% Welcome Bonus up to $1,000

  • BetOnline odds boosts available every day
  • Live betting available on all major sports
  • Excellent sportsbook 101 tutorial section
9.9
5 Stars
NO CODE REQUIRED
Play Now

Is it Better to Play Limit vs No Limit Hold’em?

Whether it’s better to play limit vs no limit Texas hold’em is simply a matter of personal preference. Of course, you can become a master of both games but generally players tend to go to one side or the other because of the unique characteristics of both games.

Limit vs No Limit Poker: Limit Characteristics

Limit poker takes a lot of patience and keys in on paying a huge amount of attention to your opponents. Figuring out their patterns, how much they value certain hands, how much they bet or raise in general, and how they act when in position vs out of position will lead you to success at the tables.

Patience – While you’re going to get to play far more hands than you would in a no-limit poker game, you’re going to have to find a way to fold most of the time despite getting amazing pot odds to continue on later streets. Avoid calling hoping to get lucky on the flop, turn, and river, otherwise you’ll likely bleed chips often.

Slower Game – This has to do with patience as well but the game will move at a much slower pace than no-limit poker. You’ll see far fewer hands per hour as many more hands will reach showdown than even the loosest no-limit game.

Lack of Bluffs – Because of the nature of the game, it is far more difficult to get your opponent to fold a better hand when the limits are fixed.

75% Welcome Bonus up to $750

75% Welcome Bonus up to $750

  • 25+ sports markets including niche options like chess
  • Redeem points for cash through loyalty program
  • Deposit using cards or 6 cryptocurrency options
9.8
5 Stars
NO CODE REQUIRED
Play Now

Limit vs No Limit Poker: No Limit Characteristics

One of the biggest differences between no limit vs fixed limit poker is that you can be at risk for your whole stack at any given time, no matter how deep you are. Another huge difference when it comes to limit vs no limit Texas hold’em is the atmosphere at the table. Oftentimes a limit table will be relaxed and jovial while a no limit table is serious and cutthroat in nature.

Risk-Taking – Aggressive players do far better over the long-run, so taking risks and having the courage to make a move before your opponent does is key.

Discipline – You must wait for the right hands and the right situations to play preflop and to pull off aggressive moves like triple-barrel bluffs.

Game Selection is Key – Whether you’re playing cash games or tournaments, game selection is very important. You’ll want to play when the fields are soft and, when it comes to cash, you’re able to bring in a reasonable or bigger stack than your opponents. You’ll have to have the discipline to not play when you are obviously outmatched.

Constantly Change Your Strategy – One of the biggest differences between no limit poker vs limit poker is that you always have to be adjusting due to the ever-changing table and/or tournament dynamics. You also have to adjust to far many more player types than at a limit table.

Why Choose Limit Poker?

While the majority of limit players are older and play because they’ve been playing their whole lives, there’s also a conservative nature about the game that some people enjoy. Players often do not want to constantly be at risk or be put in tough situations plus you are able to play with a smaller amount of big blinds for a much longer period of time. There’s also no hard math to be done: If you want to raise, there’s a predetermined amount you must adhere to.

Limit Losses and More Action

It’s really easy to play on for a longer time when you compare limit vs no limit poker due to the nature of the betting. You’ll get to see more flops and you’ll almost never need to bluff. Your stack will hardly be in danger and you’ll never have to worry about a stunning huge raise from your opponents. While many players buy in for the maximum in cash games, there’s a healthy amount of players who will leave after losing around half their stack or so. In no limit poker, it’s normal for this loss-limit to be around three max buy-ins.

Have a Great Time

Limit poker tournaments and cash games are often a lot more easy going and have a fun table environment. There’s a lot less thinking to do, a lot more conversation, and you can pay more attention to the game that’s on if you so please. While it’s important to pay attention to the patterns and tendencies of your opponents, you’ll almost always have a better time playing limit vs no limit poker.

Improving as a Player Overall

Even if you’re a skilled no-limit player, you can benefit from playing at a fixed-limit table. The importance of position is paramount and you’ll improve your discipline. More often than not, it’s the calling stations that suffer most at limit hold’em, even far more than in a no-limit game. Limit will teach players how to stay patient and wait for your spots rather than trying to force a win.

Welcome Bonus up to $5,000 + 125 Spins

Welcome Bonus up to $5,000 + 125 Spins

  • Accepts VISA, MasterCard and 15+ cryptocurrencies
  • 600+ slots from Betsoft, Nucleus, Rival and more
  • Weekly ultimate slots tournament awards $5,000 cash
9.8
5 Stars
Use bonus code
Copied
WILD250
Copy
Copy
Play Now

FAQs

Is it better to play limit or no limit poker?

What does no limit mean in poker?

What is a limit in poker?

Is no limit poker solved?

Can you make a living playing limit poker?

Blaise Bourgeois
Poker and Gambling Expert
Blaise Bourgeois
Poker and Gambling Expert

Blaise is an Expert Gambling Writer and a professional poker player in Brazil. He has played and traveled throughout Latin America for the last four-and-a-half years and recently won his first WSOP Circuit ring! He received his Master's in Sport Management and Sports Analytics from St. John's University. Blaise also holds a Mathematics and Computer Science degree from SUNY Purchase, where he still holds the school's Men's Soccer record for goals in a season. Blaise has worked for Catena Media, OddsSeeker, WSOP, PokerNews, and Poker.Org in various capacities. He has a passion for extensive research and aims to provide accurate…