No-Limit - A betting structure which allows you to
bet any amount, up to everything that you have in
front of you, so long as the minimum wager requirement is fulfilled.
Poker games typically have a system of rules which govern the betting. This is referred to as the game’s
“structure” or “betting structure.”
Games with specific requirements about how much each player must bet, like limit games, are referred to as being “structured” games.
Games without many rules relating to bet amounts, like no-limit games, are called “unstructured.” Games that have both some rule and
some freedom regarding bet amounts, like pot limit and
spread limit games, are sometimes called
semi-structured. In this context, the word structure refers to the amount of restrictions placed on the betting.
Having the best hand is obviously important to your bottom line. What may not be so obvious is the importance of how and when the
money goes into the pot. A good place to start from is
with an assumption that each time that you act also represents an opportunity to invest or to refrain from investing. If you think
that you are in a situation that is profitable over the long run, you will want to invest, which you can do by putting chips into the
pot. If you think that your position is disadvantageous, you will not want to invest, and therefore will not give action. Here is the
rub. There is a direct link between how much it costs to
call, relative to the size of the pot, and whether or not
a call is worth it at that point. If the pot is big enough, compared to the cost of the call, you have pot odds and a worthy investment.
If the cost of the call is too large compared to the size of the pot, you do not have
pot odds or a good investment. Since players have the
freedom to adjust the size of their bets in both structured and semi-structured games, they have the ability to actually change whether
or not their opponents have pot odds by simply adjusting their bet amount. Nowhere does a player have more freedom to do this than in the
unstructured format of a no limit game. Giving a player the freedom to bet different amounts adds layers of strategy and complexity to the game.
Many different styles of poker can be played with a no-limit structure, but far and away the most popular no-limit game is No-Limit
Hold’em. Because of its high stakes, fast paced action,
and layered complexity, No Limit Holdem has been called “The Cadillac of poker games.” It is the most frequently chosen game for
tournament play, and it is the game played during the main event at the World Series of Poker, which crowns a new world champion every
year. In addition to being far and away the most popular choice for
tournament play, No-Limit Hold’em is also a commonly played
ring game in most poker rooms.
Texas Hold’em is easy to learn, has basic, simple rules, and has a fairly strong luck component, making it attractive to new or
inexperienced players. Because the luck component is naturally so strong in a Limit Hold’em game, good players are forced to extract
profit where they can, through superior hand selection,
reads, and betting strategies. The ability to adjust bet
size is what separates structured betting from semi structured and unstructured betting. It is also the most effective tool for extracting
maximum profit from a less skilled opponent. This is why so many excellent players prefer to play No-Limit Hold’em over Limit Hold’em.
One of the best teachings about No-Limit poker can be found in
Doyle Brunson's book, “Super/System”.
Usage: No Limit Omaha High/Low, No Limit Tourney, No Limit Games
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