Low-Limit Hold’Em Poker

Defining Player Style

A player’s style, or method of play, is characterized by two factors:

The strength of hand played in a given situation:

“Loose” means constantly playing weaker hands that have a lesser chance of winning, resulting in playing more hands and holding on to them longer.

“Tight” means being selective about the cards to play, resulting in playing fewer hands and folding them earlier.

How a hand is bet in a given situation.

“Passive” means a reluctance to bet-out, raise or re-raise.

“Aggressive” means frequent raising, check-raising and re-raising.

Defining a Typical Low-Limit Game Type

Tight Game – an average of four or less players see the flop. Post-flop, drawing hands are not attractive because pot odds are smaller due to fewer players in the pot. If the opponents are tight-weak and you know their betting habits, you might consider playing looser with more aggression than normal, otherwise you are probably better off playing tighter.

Loose Game – an average of five or more players see the flop. Post-flop, drawing hands are more attractive since the pot odds tend to be higher (larger pots) than in a tight game. Probably you are better off playing looser.

BETTING POSITIONS

Betting strategies are presented according to the player’s position. For a 10-player ring game, positions are defined as:

Early(E3) Middle (M1) Middle (M2)
Early(E2) Middle (M3)
UTG(E1) Late(Cutoff)
Blind(Big) Blind(Small) Late(Button)

PRE-FLOP STARTING HANDS & BETTING STRATEGIES

The pre-flop betting strategies are shown below according to betting position for both “tight play” (fewer hands played) and “loose play” (more hands played).  These starting hands are guidelines, not absolute conditions.

Legend & Color Code

XX Raise
XX Call

Early Positions (Positions E1, E2 & E3)

>> NO RAISES TO YOU YET

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK KQ QJ JT AK KQ AA AK KQ QJ JT T9 AK KQ
KK AQ KJ AQ KK AQ KJ QT J9 98 AQ KJ
QQ AJ AJ QQ AJ KT Q9 AJ
JJ AT JJ AT K9 AT
TT TT A9
99 99 to
88 88 A2
77 to
22

>> AGAINST A RAISE

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK KQ AK AA AK KQ QJ JT AK
KK AQ KK AQ KJ AQ
QQ AJ QQ AJ KT
JJ AT JJ AT
TT TT
99 99
88
to
22

>> AGAINST A RAISE AND A RERAISE

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK AA AK KQ AK
KK KK AQ
QQ QQ AJ
JJ
TT

Middle Positions (Positions M1, M2 & M3)

>> NO RAISES TO YOU YET

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK KQ QJ JT T9 AK KQ AA AK KQ QJ JT T9 AK KQ
KK AQ KJ QT J9 98 AQ KJ KK AQ KJ QT J9 98 AQ KJ
QQ AJ KT Q9 AJ QQ AJ KT Q9 AJ
JJ AT K9 AT JJ AT K9 AT
TT A9 TT A9
99 to 99 to
88 A2 88 A2
to to
22 22

>> AGAINST A RAISE

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK KQ AK AA AK KQ QJ JT AK
KK AQ KK AQ KJ AQ
QQ AJ QQ AJ KT
JJ AT JJ AT
TT TT
99 99
88
to
22

 >> AGAINST A RAISE AND A RERAISE

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK AA AK KQ AK
KK KK AQ
QQ QQ AJ
JJ
TT

Late Positions (Positions “Cutoff” & “Button”)

>> NO RAISES TO YOU YET

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK KQ QJ JT T9 AK KQ QJ JT AA AK KQ QJ JT T9 T8 AK KQ QJ JT
KK AQ KJ QT J9 98 AQ KJ QT KK AQ KJ QT J9 98 97 AQ KJ QT
QQ AJ KT 87 AJ QQ AJ KT Q9 J8 87 86 AJ KT
JJ AT K9 76 AT JJ AT K9 Q8 J7 76 75 AT
TT A9 65 TT A9 K8 65 64
99 A8 99 A8 to 54 53
88 A7 88 A7 K2 43
to to 77 to
22 A2 to 22
22

 >> AGAINST A RAISE

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK KQ QJ JT T9 AK AA AK KQ QJ JT T9 AK
KK AQ KJ QT KK AQ KJ QT AQ
QQ to KT QQ AJ KT
JJ A2 JJ AT
TT TT to
99 99 A2
*88 *Need 3 already in pot 88
to to
*22 22

 >> AGAINST A RAISE AND A RERAISE

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK AA AK KQ AK
KK KK AQ
QQ QQ AJ
JJ
TT

Small Blind

>> NO RAISES TO YOU YET

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK KQ AK KQ QJ JT AA AK KQ AK KQ QJ JT
KK AQ KJ AQ KJ QT KK AQ KJ AQ KJ QT
QQ AJ AJ KT QQ AJ AJ KT
JJ AT AT JJ AT AT
TT Call any 2-suited cards TT Call any 2-suited cards
99 99

 >> AGAINST A RAISE

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK KQ AK AA AK KQ QJ JT AK
KK AQ KK AQ KJ AQ
QQ AJ QQ AJ KT
JJ AT JJ AT
TT TT
99 99
to 88
22 to
22

 >> AGAINST A RAISE AND A RERAISE

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK AA AK KQ AK
KK KK AQ
QQ QQ AJ
JJ
TT

>> AGAINST AN ASSUMED BLIND STEAL (Raise or Fold) 

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK AK AA AK AK
to to to to to to
66 A2 A2 66 A2 A2
Also raise with any two cards higher than an 8 Also raise with any two cards higher than an 8

Big Blind

>> NO RAISES TO YOU YET (Raise or Check)

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK KQ AK AA AK KQ AK
KK AQ KJ AQ KK AQ KJ AQ
QQ AJ QQ AJ
JJ AT JJ AT
TT TT
99 99

 >> AGAINST A RAISE

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK KQ QJ JT T9 AK KQ AA AK KQ QJ JT T9 T8 AK KQ
KK AQ KJ QT J9 98 AQ KK AQ to QT J9 98 97 AQ
QQ AJ KT Q9 87 AJ QQ AJ K2 Q9 J8 87 86 AJ
JJ AT K9 76 JJ AT Q8 J7 76 75
TT 65 TT A9 65 64
99 54 99 to 54 53
88 A2 43
to
22

 >> AGAINST A RAISE AND A RERAISE

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK AA AK KQ AK
KK KK AQ
QQ QQ AJ
JJ
TT

>> AGAINST AN ASSUMED BLIND STEAL (Raise or Fold) 

TIGHT PLAY LOOSE PLAY
Pair Suited Unsuited Pair Suited Unsuited
A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s A’s K’s Q’s J’s 0-Gap 1-Gap A’s K’s Q’s J’s
AA AK AK AA AK AK
to to to to to to
66 A2 A2 66 A2 A2
Also raise with any two cards higher than an 8 Also raise with any two cards higher than an 8

 

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