I play a lot of Limit Hold Em poker and I have had a couple of interesting hands come up in the last seven days, once during an online session and once during a live session. In both cases, I was dealt a pocket pair of threes.
In the live poker room game I raised and was called by only one player so two of us were going to the flop heads up. The pot contained 4 small bets. The flop came down Q 7 3. This gave me a set of threes (3 threes) and I led out and bet one small bet and was called. The turn card was a seven giving me a full house. I bet one large bet, was raised one large, I re-raised and we continued this back and forth betting until we had 5 large bets in the pot. Besides getting more money in the pot, I had hoped he would fold. Unless he had a pocket pair, he was beat, so he was probably trying to catch a card which would beat me. The river card was a queen, making the board Q 7 3 7 Q. I checked, he bet, I called. He turned over his cards, a Q 10, giving him a full house of Queens and 7’s while I had a full house of 3’s and 7’s. My hand had his beat right up until the river. He had only a pair of Queens to my trips at the flop, and only two pair after the turn to my full house, and finally catching a four outer at the river to bust me with a full house.
In the online game I also raised pre-flop with my pocket 3’s. I was called by only one player and we went heads up to the flop. This flop was 10 5 3, giving me a set of threes again. I bet one small bet and was called. The turn card was a 10, giving me a full house. I bet, was raised, re-raised, until we had the maximum allowed four big bets in the pot along with our six small bets from the pre-flop and flop betting. The river card was a 10, making the board 10 5 3 10 10. I checked, was raised and called. My opponent turned over a Q 10, giving him quad 10’s (four tens). I mucked my full house.
In both the online and live poker room game, my hand was the best hand right up until the river card. In both games, I tried to bet the person out of the pot but was called and raised each time. At least in the second hand the player had a set that was high and I could understand his calling and raising. In the live game, the player only had the top pair with the common pair of 7’s. Because this was a limit game my betting would not stop either player from calling and betting and seeing the river.
If this was a No limit game, I could have put in a large enough bet to make both opponents think first before calling. The bet size could have been a pot size bet or even an all-in bet. In the live game, the player would probably have folded. In the online game, I am not so sure the player would fold, having top set. But in any case, the difference between the betting of Limit and No Limit can make a difference between winning and losing a pot. Both type of betting games have a slightly different strategy to accomplish the same goal of winning pots.
Do you play in both Limit, No Limit, and Pot Limit games? Have you ever been in a Limit game and wished you could go all in, either to protect your hand or to get more chips in the pot?