Fixed limit poker is a simple game to learn and easy to play. In fact, its simplicity is one of the reasons that fixed limit poker so popular in both online and land-based casinos. While the pots can occasionally grow large, even on low stakes tables, they’re still small when compared to those in pot limit and no limit games.
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to read our articles on how to play pot limit poker and how to play no limit poker. You’ll quickly see how large the pots can grow when playing under those two betting structures.
When you visit the top-rated poker sites, you’ll notice that fixed limit hold’em is where a lot of players grind out their bonuses. At any given time, you’ll see plenty of traffic, especially at the low stakes tables. This page will give you everything you need to jump in and get started playing fixed limit poker. After you learn how to play the game, take some time to go through our collection of articles on Texas holdem strategy.
Basics Of Fixed Limit Poker
In fixed limit holdem, bets are capped through all four rounds of betting (i.e. pre-flop, flop, turn, and river). That means the only decision you’ll need to make whenever the action comes to you is whether or not you want to bet. During the first two rounds, bets are fixed at the small bet. During the last two rounds, bets are fixed at the big bet. Players are allowed to make no more than four bets during each round.
In Texas Holdem, each player receives two hole cards. These two cards are dealt face-down and can only be used by the player to whom they’re dealt. Five community cards are then dealt to the table in successive rounds. They’re dealt face-up and can be used by any player.
The goal of fixed limit hold em is to make the highest ranking 5-card hand possible. Each player can choose to use one, both, or neither of their respective hole cards to do so. If you’re unfamiliar with the basic poker hand hierarchy, we’ve put together a brief guide to poker hand rankings that we encourage you to review.
The best way to explain how to play fixed limit poker is to use an example hand. Let’s go through the deal, betting rounds, and the final showdown…
How Fixed Limit Holdem Is Played: Blinds And The Deal
We’ll use a $2/$4 table throughout this example. That means low bets are fixed at $2 and high bets are fixed at $4.
In fixed limit hold em, the dealer button rotates clockwise around the table. This is important because the button’s position determines who posts the blinds and where the action starts. When you’re playing Texas Holdem games online, the button still rotates even though the cards are dealt by the computer.
Before cards can be dealt, the small and big blinds must be posted. The small blind is equal to half the small bet and is posted by the player sitting to the immediate right of the dealer. The big blind is equal to twice the small blind. It’s posted by the player sitting clockwise from the small blind. On our $2/$4 table, the small blind would be $1 and the big blind would be $2.
Once both blinds have been posted, the hole cards are dealt clockwise one at a time to each active player, beginning with the small blind.
How Fixed Limit Holdem Is Played: Round By Round
The action for the pre-flop (i.e. the first betting round) starts with the player sitting to the immediate right of the big blind. That player can do one of the following…
2. check (same as betting zero)
3. call (betting an amount equal to the big blind)
Betting progresses clockwise around the table and ends with the big blind. As noted earlier, bets and raises during the pre-flop are fixed at the small bet (in our example, $2). When the last bet or raise has been called, the first round ends and the flop is dealt to the table.
The flop consists of 3 cards that are dealt face-up. Beginning with this round, bets start with the first active player sitting clockwise from the button. Bets and raises are still fixed at the table’s small bet (again, $2). The round ends when the last bet or raise has been called.
The dealer will then deal the turn card face-up to the table. Once the turn has been dealt, a new round of betting begins. The difference with this round is that bets and raises must be equal to the table’s big bet (i.e. $4). When the last bet or raise has been called, the dealer deals the river card face-up to the table. This is the last of five community cards.
After the river card has been dealt, a final round of betting begins. As before, bets and raises must equal the big bet ($4). When this round of betting ends (the last bet or raise has been called), the players remaining in the hand go to a showdown. Each active player reveals their hand and the best 5-card hand wins the pot.
One quick note about the last round of betting: if only two players remain when the river round begins, the “4 bets per round” rule is often discarded. Both players can make as many raises as they wish until the last raise is called.
Fixed Limit Versus No Limit Poker
While this is not a poker strategy guide for fixed limit poker, it’s important to underscore the difference between this game and no limit poker. The different betting structures open up a chasm between the two variants.
With fixed limit hold’em, you’ll lack flexibility in the amount you can bet. Chasing hands becomes much easier to justify and the most effective skill to possess is knowing when your hand is beat.
With no limit hold’em, you can bet any amount you wish. That means you’ll have an opportunity to draw your opponents into chasing hands – often when the odds are stacked against them. There’s a lot of room for manipulation if you can read your opponents well.
If you’d like to read an assortment of savvy poker tips, we’ve compiled several of them together into a single in-depth Texas Holdem poker strategy guide. You can also learn more about other types of fixed limit gambling options, such as binary options, which are fixed risk contracts designed to make trading of stocks, commodities and forex pairs easy.
Best Poker Sites To Play Fixed Limit Poker
As we mentioned, you’ll have no trouble finding fixed limit holdem tables at the top poker sites. This is where a lot of players spend their time. If you’re just beginning to learn the game and want a place to get started, we recommend that you visit the following online poker rooms: