“Overlimping,” also known as limping behind, refers to limping after at least one other player has already limped ahead of the flop. This is not open-limping (which is what you do if you are the first to enter a pot before the flop by limping in). Overlimping can bring some significant advantages if you do it right. Check out this article to learn more about how you can work this strategy into your poker game.
One trend in poker in recent years has been an elevation in the aggressive nature of play. As a result, a lot of players believe that it is always better to raise or isolate limpers, but there are a lot of situations when overlimping pays off more handsomely.
Most players think that if you have limpers ahead of you, you should either fold or raise so that you punish the limpers and grab control of the situation. There is a lot of validity to this approach, but if you can take advantage of a situation where everyone seems to believe this, overlimping can catch people napping and end up giving you the pot.
When is Overlimping correct?
Here’s a situation in which overlimping is the right idea. You notice that a lot of the other players are limping and people just won’t fold when raises come. You’ll see this a lot in live poker games where the stakes are low, but that also happens a lot when you play online poker. If you have a good hand, raising should pay off nicely for you. However, if your hands are mediocre, raising doesn’t do much for you other than making the pot unnecessarily large and shrinking your edge postflop by making the stack to pot ratio smaller.
If you have small pocket pairs (22 to 66), overlimping is a great idea most of the time. Let’s say that you have two people in early position who limp in, and you are sitting there holding 33. When you have a deep stack, limping with them is the best way to go here. If you make a standard raise, you’re fattening the pot – and it’s a pot that’s not likely to be yours given what you’re holding.
When you are in a game where people limp a lot and do not fold, a raise doesn’t make sense because you can’t expect a fold, which means that you will most likely have to look at the flop multi-way. If you raise people who are limping with a small pocket pair, you are at risk of a 3bet coming from later positions, or even a raise or limp, and you would have to fold most of the time, which is not what you are looking for right after a raise.
You could, of course, fold instead, but you have an edge here that you can exploit, so why give it away? If you flop a set, you should get paid more often than not. However, if you don’t get your set on the flop, you should get out, because you’re most likely just wasting money guessing if you have a winning hand or not on the turn or river.
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