When to Limp In Poker

As a poker player, one of the biggest sins you can commit is limping into pots. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “limping in,” it refers to calling the minimum bet to stay in a pot. In any case, limping in indicates to other players that your hand is weak, and you’re just hoping to see more cards. Even worse, you’re susceptible to being raised and knocked out of the hand when you limp in. With all that can go wrong with limping, some people suggest that you should never do it. However, there are a few times when limping in can be profitable such as the following situations:

There are Several Calling Stations at your Table

One time where limping in can be effective is when there are several calling stations at your table. The purpose of making a pre-flop raise is to limit the number of people in the pot so there are less drawing hands out there. But when you have two or three people calling every time you make a pre-flop raise, it becomes pretty pointless to raise pre-flop. Now you could increase your raise size to make it less profitable for people to call, but you won’t always have hands that make this worth doing so. In short, it’s sometimes better to call with certain hands, and see cards for cheap with calling stations around.

You want to trap an Opponent

One of the best ways to take an aggressive player’s stack is by limping in before them, then calling when they raise; this is especially effective if their raise isolates the two of you. For example, if you’re holding pocket kings pre-flop and you know that a certain player is going to raise, you can limp in to show weakness, then surprise the opponent after the flop. Another thing you can do is re-raise your opponent after limping in; the only catch is that if they fold, you don’t extract maximum value from your great hand.

You want to see Cards for Cheap in Late Position

Assuming you’re in the cut-off or on the button, you can often see cards for cheap after limping in. For instance, if you hold 5-6 on the button and nobody has raised the hand, you can limp in and not have to worry as much about being raised. Just keep in mind that you need to be fairly certain that you’re not going to be called.