Moving from Limit to No-Limit Texas Hold'em

I, like a lot of people out there, started off playing the game of poker at the limit levels – especially Texas Hold’em.  Unlike those who jump into the game of Texas Hold’em at the no-limit level because that’s what their idols on TV do, I found comfort in the fact that people couldn’t just jump all-in at pretty much any point against me.  Plus I didn’t have to go all-in either (except for when my chip stack was next to nothing).

But eventually the game of limit Hold’em can get a little tedious and one finds them self wanting to step out of the limit Hold’em boundaries and into the world of no-limit.  I have recently begun undertaking this task too in an effort to see if I can win any money on the no-limit side.  Along the way, I’ve also begun finding out some differences between the two versions of Texas Hold’em as well. 

While the games remain quite similar, one thing I’ve noticed is that top pair is a dangerous hand in no-limit Hold’em.  I used to go to the showdown quite often with top pair in limit Hold’em, however, a lot of hands that go to the showdown in no-limit are better than a top pair.  It especially becomes dangerous when one has to commit their whole stack in order to face off against a showdown opponent.  The only time I take top pair to the showdown now is if I can do it as cheaply as possible.

I’ve also noticed that implied odds rule over pot odds in no-limit Hold’em.  In limit Hold’em I was using pot odds exclusively but now, I’ve noticed that a small bet early on can be worth breaking the pot odds rule as bets often get bigger and bigger into the later rounds.  If I’m able to catch something along the way, these small bets can definitely pay off.

The last thing that I’ve really taken note of as of late is that the size of one’s stack really plays a big part in no-limit as opposed to limit Hold’em.  In limit, I wasn’t really too conscious of what my stacked looked like in comparison to others at the table.  But in no-limit, looking at your stack in comparison to others stacks at the table is crucial.  The way that you play a hand can be affected totally by your stack compared to another person.  In a small stack vs. big stack, medium stack vs. small stack, and a medium stack vs. big stack setting, chip amounts are sometimes everything.

These are a few of the things I’ve learned so far and I know that there’s still quite a ways to go but hopefully I will pick up some more knowledge as I go on.

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