* If you feel like getting into No-Limit mode whilst reading this strategy article, be sure to start the song at the bottom of this article first.
Since the turn of the century, No Limit Holdem has grown to become the most popular form of poker worldwide. The ‘No-Limit‘ aspect of the game indicates that a player can bet his entire stack at any point during a hand, which, on the one hand, makes it a very risky game to play, but at the same time provides a thrill-factor unmatched by any other poker variation.
As with any other form of poker, having the right strategy is the key to success, and what better place to start than the hand selection. Because a pot in No-Limit poker can easily get out of hand, having a strong hand with a high success rate is vital. For beginning poker players, it is therefore recommended to adopt a tight-aggressive strategy. This implies that you fold the great majority of your hands preflop, but once you get dealt a strong hand, you play it very aggressively.
Your position during a hand is also a very important aspect in No-limit poker. The earlier you have to act in a hand, the worse your position is for that hand, because you don’t know what the players behind you are going to do. When in late position, you have the advantage of being able to see what your opponents decide to do and can then base your action on this information.
Your position in a hand also affects your pre-flop hand selection. Here is a general overview of the hands with which you can raise pre-flop in different positions:
Early position: JJ+, AK
Middle Position: TT+, AQ+, AJs+
Late position: 99+, AQ+, AJs+
Small pocket pairs from 22 – 99 can also be very profitable in No-Limit poker cash games. These are great hands to call with pre-flop in every position, even when a player raises (although I would refrain from calling too big a raise with these hands). Your goal is to hit a set (three of a kind, or trips) on the flop, and hopefully you will be up against a strong hand} like AA or KK, in which case it is very likely that you will win a big pot. The important thing to remember with these hands is to fold them should you not improve on the flop and wait for the next opportunity.
While pre-flop play is relatively straightforward when adopting a tight-aggressive strategy, post-flop is where things can get a little bit more complicated. If you stick to the aforementioned hand selection, you will often find yourself in a dominant position after the flop, especially if you hit top-pair, two-pair or even a set. Unfortunately, this won’t always be the case, but even missing the flop doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up your hand straight away. Seeing as you showed a lot of strength before the flop, you can fire out another bet on the flop if all of your opponents checked their hands and hope to pick up the pot with a bluff. If, however, you encounter a lot of resistance, it is important to realize when you’re beat and give up your hand. A deciding factor for playing successful No-Limit Hold’em poker is not only to maximize your winnings when you have the best hand, but also to minimize your losses in case your hand is beat.
Get into No-Limit mode with this song: