There’s no simple fix for becoming a winning poker player.
But there are a handful of simple, easy-to-execute poker moves that can make a world of difference to your bottom line.
By fine-tuning these tactics you’ll have more tools to put to work at the poker table. You’ll be able to better understand your opponents and how to manipulate them, and that will translate directly to money in your pocket.
We already wrote the book on the 10 Essential Texas Hold’em Moves and now we’re back to bring you 10 more.
Today we're talking about the limp re-raise, a move that can be used to slow-play your premium hands or bluff your opponent out of the pot preflop.
What is a Limp Re-Raise?
Most often used as a trapping play, limp re-raising is a powerful tool that will help you mix up your play and keep your opponents guessing about your cards. By learning when and where to limp in and re-raise you'll have yet another way to increase your poker profits.
The What: Limp re-raising refers to limping in pre-flop (just calling the big blind), waiting for one of your opponents to raise, and then re-raising when the action gets back to you.
The Why: By just limping in you will trap opponents who would have folded if you had raised.
The When: Limp re-raising can be used in cash games, sit and gos and tournaments.
The Where: The two places you'll be limp re-raising from most often are under-the-gun and in the small blind.
The Who: The limp re-raise works best against aggressive opponents who raise a lot when you limp in.
How to Limp Re-Raise Correctly
The limp re-raise can be used in a number of different ways, which we'll go through, but by far the most effective way for beginners to use it is for value.
In this article we'll teach you the two main ways you can limp re-raise for value:
- From under the gun with premium hands to trap your opponents.
- When it's folded to you in the small blind and you have a big hand.
And as an advanced bonus tip we'll show you how with a little bravery you can turn both those spots into bluffing opportunities.
Limp Re-Raising Aces from Under the Gun
Chances are if you've played much poker you've seen someone limp in from under the gun, only to three-bet when someone comes in for a raise. It's important to recognize this spot because nine times out of 10 that limp re-raiser will have a monster hand.
But despite the move being somewhat transparent, there are still ways to use it to get value. The best time to limp re-raise with aces is in a tournament or sit and go, when you have between 10 and 30 big blinds.
And it's especially effective at an aggressive table where you can rely on someone raising after you limp. By just limping in you're going to induce your aggressive opponents to raise in position, going after your call and the blinds and antes.
By limping you're getting them to put money into the pot with a lot of hands they would have folded if you raised. You're also giving them an opportunity to make a big mistake by calling your re-raise.
That's why it's important to make your re-raise substantial enough to make sure they're not getting correct pot-odds to call. Re-raising roughly three times the initial raise will get the job done.
This move is especially effective when you're short-stacked since you'll be able to re-raise all-in when someone raises behind you.
How to Limp Re-Raise from the Small Blind
The second most common way to use the limp re-raise to get value is when it folds to you in the small blind and you have a big hand.
You also want to make sure that the player in the big blind is aggressive and likely to raise if you open-limp.
Imagine you pick up QQ and it's folded to you in the small blind. You want to get value out of the hand but if you simply raise, your opponent will fold most of his hands.
By limping you can exploit your opponent's aggressiveness. Because he's in position and you've shown weakness by limping, he'll be inclined to raise with a lot of hands.
Now you've got the opportunity to put in another raise and either take down the pot right there or play post-flop with a far superior starting hand.
Limp Re-Raising as a Bluff
As we mentioned before, the big problem with limp re-raising is that you're basically telling the table you have pocket aces. And while for beginners that's usually true, you'll see more advanced players limp re-raising from under the gun and the small blind as a bluff.
This is effective for two reasons.
First, it will win you money straightaway because it's such a strong line to take and most people will just believe you have a monster and fold.
Secondly it will balance your limp re-raising range, that is to say it will show your opponents that just because you limp re-raised, it doesn't mean you have aces.
If you limp re-raise with 9♦ T♦ from under the gun, for example, and your opponent moves all-in you can show your bluff and laugh at how you got caught.
Then a few orbits later when you do pick up aces and limp re-raise, your opponents will be far more likely to play back at you.