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Gaming Guru

 

Know Your Limits

15 January 2010

There are several variations of Texas Hold'em and they are determined by the betting structure. Limit and No Limit games are the two most popular but you can also find the game played with Pot limits and Spread limits. These betting structures are also used in Omaha, Seven Card Stud or any other type of poker. These can be a little confusing if you have never played them before. Here is a look at the differences between the games.

Fixed Limit

Fixed limit games have structured betting limits for each round with a minimum and maximum bet. You cannot vary your bet from the amount of the structure and you must bet in multiples of the amount for the limit you are playing. The limits vary with the round of play. In Hold'em and Omaha the amount of the blinds is based on the limit of the game. Let's look a typical $4/8 fixed limit game.

The $4 denotes the betting limits for the first two betting rounds. The big blind would be $4 and the small blind, which is half of the big blind, would be $2. During the betting for the pre-flop and flop betting rounds, the players must bet and raise in multiples of $4. After the flop the betting limits are increased to $8 and all bets and raises must be in multiples of $8. In most casinos the lowest limit Texas Hold'em game you can find in most casinos will be $2/4 but the limits can go up to any amount.

Limit Hold'em and Omaha games are listed with the numbers reflecting the amount of the big blind and the amount of the bet after the Turn, such as: $4/8, $5/10, $10/20, etc.

Spread Limit

A game with a spread limit allows the player to bet any amount within a certain range. Spread limit games are most common in Stud games but have been used in Texas Hold'em.

Spread limit games are similar to fixed limit games except that the players are allowed to bet within a range. You may see a game listed as $2-$10 which means that players can bet any amount within the range at any time. The lowest number represents the amount of the big blind. Spread limit Texas Hold'em games are not very common these days. However many seven card stud games use a spread betting structure.

No Limit

In no limit games you can bet any amount at any time. This format is the most popular for tournaments, however given the demand for no limit cash games, many casinos are offering more of these games.

When the betting structures of no limit games are listed, the figures usually represent the amount of the small blind and the amount of the big blind. For example, a $5/10 no limit game means the small blind is $5 and the big blind is $10.

No Limit Texas Hold'em is, of course, the most popular no limit game in the card room but any other poker game can be played using this format as well.

Pot Limit

Pot limit games are similar to no limit games in that there is no fixed betting amount. However the size of your bet cannot exceed the size of the pot. For example, if there is $400 in the po,t your bet cannot exceed $400.

In most games before the flop they treat the little blind as if it were the same size of the big blind in computing pot size. A player can open for a maximum of four times the size of the big blind. For example, if the blinds are $5 and $10, a player may open with a raise to $40. (The range of options is to either open with a call of $10, or raise in increments of $5 to any amount from $20 to $40.) Subsequent players also treat the $5 as if it were $10 in computing the pot size, until the big blind is through acting on the first betting round. The betting structure of pot limit games are listed the same way as no limit games with the denomination being the amount of the small and big blinds.

Until Next time remember:
Luck comes and goes.....Knowledge Stays Forever.

Bill Burton
Bill Burton is a gambling expert and best-selling author of Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold'em and 1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets. He is the former Casino Gambling columnist for About.com.

Burton's Texas Holdem book was published in 2002 long before the game became a national phenomenon. The producers of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown used his book during the first season to teach the game to the participants.

He writes for several national gaming magazines and newsletters. These publications include: Casino Player, Strictly Slots, The Southern California Gaming Guide, Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine, Southern Gaming and Destinations magazine, Midwest Player and Blackjack Insider.

Burton is an instructor for the Golden Touch Craps dice control seminars teaching players how to gain the advantage in craps. He is an expert at all casino games and can teach players how to play any casino game as well as offering them advice to get the most out of their casino visits.

Bill Burton Websites:

www.billburton.com
www.goldentouchcraps.com

Books by Bill Burton:

> More Books By Bill Burton

Bill Burton
Bill Burton is a gambling expert and best-selling author of Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold'em and 1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets. He is the former Casino Gambling columnist for About.com.

Burton's Texas Holdem book was published in 2002 long before the game became a national phenomenon. The producers of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown used his book during the first season to teach the game to the participants.

He writes for several national gaming magazines and newsletters. These publications include: Casino Player, Strictly Slots, The Southern California Gaming Guide, Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine, Southern Gaming and Destinations magazine, Midwest Player and Blackjack Insider.

Burton is an instructor for the Golden Touch Craps dice control seminars teaching players how to gain the advantage in craps. He is an expert at all casino games and can teach players how to play any casino game as well as offering them advice to get the most out of their casino visits.

Bill Burton Websites:

www.billburton.com
www.goldentouchcraps.com

Books by Bill Burton:

> More Books By Bill Burton