Cap limit poker is a variant of no limit and pot limit games. It is played in the same way with one main difference: a tight rein is kept on the size of the pots. If you’re unfamiliar with NL and PL poker, read our articles on how to play no limit poker and how to play pot limit poker. In both variants, pots can become explosively large. Cap poker places a ceiling on the amount each player can bet during a single hand, thereby limiting the size of the pot.
On this page, we’ll explain how to play cap limit poker and describe some of the advantages of doing so. You’ll learn how the betting caps change the game’s dynamic and why a lot of players – newbies and veterans alike – loosen up their game. That’s important because it represents an opportunity you might be able to exploit.
Cap Limit Poker Games Explained
In a standard no limit Texas holdem game, each player can bet an amount equal to his or her entire chip stack. With cap poker, aggregate bets and raises for each player are generally limited to no more than thirty times the big blind during each hand. For some cap PL Omaha games, the ceiling might be raised to forty times the big blind.
For example, if you’re playing a $1/$2 NL holdem game, the most you can bet or raise during the hand is $60. Keep in mind, $60 is the total amount you can bet, not the amount for each round of betting. If you bet $20 pre-flop and $40 on the turn, you will have hit the cap before the river card is even dealt. That means you can’t contribute more to the pot.
The cap changes the game’s action a bit, which requires a change in strategy. We’ve put together a huge collection of online poker strategy articles that we encourage you to read. If you enjoy playing holdem, be sure to spend some time going through our Texas Holdem strategy articles. For now, we’ll quickly describe a few of the differences that cap limit poker produces.
How Cap Limit Poker Changes The Game
- First, there tends to be more action and players are more willing to stay in post-flop. That’s because players are looser during cap limit poker games than they are during NL and PL games. They realize the amount they can lose is limited. Less fear equals less caution.
- Second, the cap throws off the odds. If you’re unfamiliar with how to calculate them, read our article on texas holdem pot odds and evaluating draws. You’ll need to make a few changes for cap poker, but that article is a good foundation.
- Third, cap limit poker often draws a lot of newer players. They want to experience the excitement of playing no limit holdem without the fear of having to risk their entire stack. That can lower the average skill level on the table.
Cap Poker: Should You Play Looser Or Tighter?
It’s true that you’re risking fewer chips when you’re playing on a cap limit table. Your losses are limited to thirty times the big blind. But, does that mean you should open up your game?
Not necessarily. In fact, while your opponents are playing more aggressively, you might want to tighten up. Again, read our articles on poker strategy to improve your skills. You’ll start to notice how playing a tighter game in cap limit can help you swipe pots away from the looser players.