You are playing in a darn good game if you’re often facing multiple limps.
To help you maximize your winnings in these juicy games, I am going to shed light on how you should adjust your preflop strategy when more than one player has limped in front of you.
Table of Contents:
- Raising Over Multiple Limpers
- When You Should Limp Behind
- 5 Tips for Postflop Play Versus Multiple Limpers
Let’s jump in!
Raising Over Multiple Limpers
When it comes to preflop play, there is one main rule you must keep in mind:
The more limpers there are in front of you, the tighter you should iso-raise.
Iso-raising (short for isolation raise) is when you raise preflop after one or more players limp. The name comes from the main goals of the play, which is to isolate one limper in a heads-up pot postflop.
You simply will not have as much fold equity versus multiple limpers than you would against a single limper. This means that you will need to compensate by playing a tighter range, thus giving you a larger equity advantage, in order to keep your raises profitable.
You also have to play tighter because the pot will be bloated postflop. This leads to a smaller stack-to-pot ratio on the flop, which makes hands like top pair good kicker more valuable.
If you play too loose, you will too often flop a medium-strength pair or drawing hand, which perform poorly when the stack-to-pot ratio decreases. Medium-strength pairs will often be second best if money starts piling in, and draws are less valuable if you don't have enough money behind to win when you hit. It's better to avoid these murky postflop situations by simply playing tighter preflop.
Another important factor to consider here is your position.
The closer you are to the button, the more you will want to isolate and vice-versa. This factor, however, is less important than the number of limpers in front of you.
Let's look at a baseline range which you can adjust depending on other factors. This range assumes you are on the button against 2 limpers:
This is a very tight range indeed but, as you will see in the next section, these will not be the only hands that you will be playing.
Raise to 3bb plus 1bb per limper when playing online, and 4bb plus 1bb per limper when playing live. For example, if you're playing live and 3 players limp, you would raise to 7bb (4bb plus 3bb).
These sizes have proven over time to be the best. They are big enough to discourage players behind from cold-calling (because they'll have bad pot odds), but small enough for the limper to call happily with a wide range.
You should, however, be prepared to make adjustments that will maximize value against the weaker players.
For example, if you are playing a live game and the limpers seem to snap-call your 5bb raise, you should try 6bb, then 7bb, etc., until those players start folding. At that point, you should revert to the previous size.
This adjustment allows you to see the flop with the stronger range in the biggest pot possible.
When You Should Limp Behind
Although limping behind (aka over-limping) is not a strategy that's often discussed, it’s certainly one you should use.
There are some hands that are too weak to raise, but also too strong to fold. Luckily, these hands do have a place in your strategy: as an over-limp.
Now, what kind of hands should you look to over-limp with?
You will generally want to over-limp with these hand types:
- Hands that can flop top pairs with medium kickers (such as AT offsuit, KJ offsuit, etc.).
- Suited connectors (such as 54, 65, 76, 98, etc.).
- Suited one-gappers (64, 75, 86, etc.).
- Suited Ax hands (A2, A3, A4, etc.).
- Pocket pairs that are not strong enough to raise (22-99).
Here's what that range of hands looks like:
Editor's note: Keep in mind that this is just an example range to show you the hand types that tend to perform well as limps. You should look to adjust this range based on the skill-level of the limpers, the players behind, each players' position, and any other relevant factors. For example, 99-88 will oftentimes be strong enough to iso-raise if the limpers are particularly weak players.
Now that you know which types of hands you should be limping with, let’s discuss when you should be doing it. We have some factors to consider:
- How many players are behind you? -> the more there are, the tighter you limp.
- How many limpers are there in the pot? -> the more there are, the more you want to limp.
- How close are we to the Button? -> the closer you are, the more you want to limp.
- How aggressive are the players behind? -> the more aggressive they are, the less you want to limp.
If you want a cheet sheet with these rules (and a few others), right click/hold down on the button below and select "Save Link As..." to save the rules to your device.
Postflop Multiway Tips
Tip #1: Play your draws more passively
When you're facing off against more than one player, there is a higher chance that someone has a hand strong enough with which to call or raise your bet. This lowers your fold equity and forces you to play more passively.
Tip #2: Bet for protection with very strong hands on drawy boards
When the board has a lot of draws and you have a very strong hand (such as two-pair or better), it’s best that you fast-play to charge draws right away.
Not only are there more players who can potentially have a draw, they are also less likely to semi-bluff with multiple players in the hand, which makes trapping less effective.
Tip #3: Play tight against bets, especially with a caller in front of you or a player behind you
It comes pretty naturally for most players to play more passively with both draws and made hands in multiway pots. For this reason, you have to be extra selective when calling bets. This is especially important to keep in mind when there is a caller in front of you or a player behind.
Tip #4: Play extremely tight against raises
This tip goes hand in hand with the rest. Multiway raises tend to be extremely strong because players tend to play their draws passively. Just frown and make a good fold.
Tip #5: Don’t over-value your top pairs
Top pairs are strong hands in heads-up pots. In multiway situations, however, they are often worth only one-street of value. If there is a big bet and a call or raise in front of you, your top pair may be worth mucking.
When it comes to facing multiple limpers, just keep in mind that you shouldn’t go berserk and start iso-raising them with weak hands that have poor playability in multiway pots.
You need to remind yourself that you make the most money from these types of opponents by hitting good hands and getting paid off handsomely for it, or by beating them in small to medium sized pots from time to time.
That’s a wrap on this article guy. Take care and good luck crushing!