There are many players that choose to open limp in games like no limit Texas hold’em but on the whole then I believe this to be a weaker strategy than raising.

Firstly if you open limp with a wide range then you are basically telling your opponents that you have a weak hand in all likelihood. While you may have slow played a monster, the chances are that you are simply limping with a speculative hand.

Many people say that they don’t want to only raise with big hands and want to see a cheap flop with speculative hands. Let me tell you why seeing a “cheap flop” with hands like suited connectors is vulnerable against better opponents.

Higher Stakes No Limit Texas Hold’em

Firstly when you move up in stakes then more players will raise and especially from position. This means that you will be forced to play a pot out of position to an opponent that holds the initiative. This is not a good situation to be in and especially if you intend to only continue should you connect with the board in some way.

The problem is when you do connect like if you make second pair. A player with the initiative can decide if you have something mediocre and really put some serious pressure onto you with more bets and bigger bets.

Also if they feel that you have something that you will not fold then they have the option to back off and check simply because they have seen you act first. This is the power of having position because you get to see what your opponents have done before you get to act which is a real bonus.

However when you raise then you make it much more difficult for your opponents to raise and take the initiative away from you. The average range of a re-raiser will be much smaller than the average range of a raiser and so you can fold against a re-raise most of the time.

Bigger No Limit Texas Hold’em Pots

Also when you raise then it becomes much easier to stack a weaker opponent than if you had only limped. Let us say that it is folded around to you on the button and you limp. The small blind folds and the big blind checks meaning that only two and a half big blinds are in the pot less the rake!

If you make a huge hand and your opponent makes a decent hand that they may want to bet all three streets with then you will not extract all that much money. A pot sized bet on the flop and turn only places around 22bb in the pot by the river and so with one betting round to go then your opponent has only committed 11bb or so.

To get them all in would mean that you would have to massively over bet the pot which would almost certainly induce a lot of folds. However if you had open raised to say 3.5bb then there are more than three times the number of big blinds in the pot before we have even seen a flop.