Home > The Betting Limits

The first thing to consider about the betting limits is whether you can afford them. Even if you think you have much the best of it, you should not play in a game whose limits are so high in
relation to your bankroll that you cannot play your hands correctly because you don't want to risk going broke. At the same time, when you think you have the best of it, you should play at the highest limits you can afford whenever possible.

The excellent nonprofessional player Jay Heimowitz, from Monticello, New York, tells the story of how he started playing in a 25-50-cent poker game in the early 1960s. "I noticed I was
winning about $20 a week, and that $20 a week was the difference between my wife Carol and I going out to dinner," Heimowitz says. "Then I got the brainstorm that if I played in a $1 limit game, maybe I'd win $40 a week, and we could go out to dinner twice." Today Heimowitz, a successful Budweiser beer distributor, plays no-limit hold 'em for tens of thousands of dollars against the very best hold 'em players in the world, but the point of his story is that, everything else being equal, when you have the best of it, the higher you play, the more you will average winning.

Obviously, the more opponents you have left, the greater the chances that a scare card will beat you. Say you are under the gun and hold top pair on the turn. You bet and are called by one loose opponent. If a card comes on the river that completes a possible flush, you should usually bet anyway. Sometimes your opponent will have a flush and raise. More often, he will have been calling with a weaker pair and pay off.

If instead three opponents call your turn bet, you should probably check the same river card. It is now much more likely that you have been outdrawn. Checking may save you a bet, as it might get bet and raised, allowing you to throw your hand away.

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