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StrategyNo Limit Midstack

MSS - Raise over Limpers


In this article

  • Statistical limping ranges
  • ROL ranges
  • ROL bet sizing

This article will introduce you to the concept of playing with a raise when there have been limpers before you. It  features three ROL (Raise Over Limpers) charts, which are modified raising charts, taking any additional players already in the hand into consideration.

Raise over limpers

Raise over limpers means, as the expression already suggests, to raise after one or several players have already limped (payed the big blind) before you. When a player only calls the big blind (without raising) preflop it is called limping. Usually, such a move indicates weakness. The player has a hand they would like to play, however it is not good enough to make a raise with.

Of course when a user limps it does not automatically mean they have a weak hand, however it is the case often enough that playing against them becomes profitable.

Data analysis

With the available commercial software and some raw hand data, we can calculate the limping ranges of the players that you will encounter at the limits dealt with in this article.

In this article, we will look at data from NL10 ($0.05/$0.10) and NL25 ($0.10/$0.25). Since we are talking about a full-ring strategy here, we will only examine full-ring tables and omit the short-handed ones. The ranges for NL10 barely differ from those for NL25.

The software also allows us to differentiate between what we call open limping (first player to limp) and limping behind (limping after somebody has already called the big blind).

How to view the graphs:

The coloured blocks represent different starting hands, and the frequency of limping with those hands progresses from dark green (low frequency) to dark red (high frequency).

Open limping

From early position:

Q-T, as well as small and medium pocket pairs, are within this range.

From middle position:

The range is getting weaker and a lot of premium hands are no longer included.

From cut-off:

This pattern resembles the one from middle position, but is even weaker.

From button:

The results are very similar to the cut-off ranges.

From small blind:

The average range has once again become weaker - a lot of marginal and weak hands are now also included.

Some numbers to illustrate: The hand 88 for example has an equity of 68% against this range. JTo has an equity of 53% against it, and a hand like A7s has 60%. These are comparative values to demonstrate just how weak these ranges are.

Limping behind

As you can see, for a limp behind (limping after somebody has already limped before in the hand) the ranges are very weak as well.

From early position:

From middle position:

From cut-off:

From button:

From small blind:

We can see just how wide the ranges are, which means a limp behind is often made with marginal hands.

How to make profit with ROL

As always in poker, there are two ways to win money:
  • Making your opponent fold
  • Having the best hand at the showdown

If we consider the above statement, we realise that both these opportunities to make profit are available with ROL; which is what makes it so profitable.

As the limping ranges are so loose, you'll often already take the pot before the flop. Just in case you don't get the pot preflop, the average strength of the opponent's hand is still very low, which makes it even more profitable when you win postflop. After all, as your range is usually stronger than that of your opponent, you will often go to the showdown with the better hand.


Your position is of the utmost importance, not only in regard to limpers but also in general at the table.

It is of course very important to have position over the limper, as this will make it more difficult for them to call your raise preflop and, if they do, you have the easier postflop due to your position. However, it is equally important that there aren't too many players left to act after you. The reason for that is the widening of your ROL range in the later positions, which makes it more difficult to confront a 3-bet a lot of the time. Additionally, the player who 3-bets you will usually have position over you.

For all the above reasons, the ranges of ROL will expand depending on your position on the table and your position over the limper.

An important aspect is the number of opponents. The more opponents you have to play against, the smaller the chances that everybody will fold preflop and the more likely it is that we'll have to play postflop. We have to adjust our ROL ranges accordingly.

ROL ranges

ROL ranges are determined by positions as well as occasionally by the number of limpers.

From the early positions and MP1, MP2, you should play ROL with almost the same ranges as you would make an open raise with. Play extremely tightly from these positions, as frequently you won't have position on the player who might pay you out. The risk of being 3-bet is also significantly higher.

Your ranges in these positions are as follows:

From MP3, CO and BU you will almost always have position when you see the flop, which will make your range wider:

From small blind and big blind, where you almost always play out of position, your ranges will be tighter and will depend on the number of limpers before you.

However, there is a small exception to the above table; namely when you are in the big blind and the small blind limps before you.

If everyone folds to the small blind, who is the first limper, apply your widest range for ROL - the same range that you used in the late positions.

ROL bet sizing

The size of the ROL raise varies according to the same rules as previously explained in the basic strategy. Also, when entering the game with marginal hands, your goal is to play for smaller pots.
  • With one limper before you, your raise should be 4 big blinds.
  • With 2 or 3 limpers before you, raise to 5 big blinds.
  • Where there are 4 or more limpers before you, raise to 9 big blinds and only play 99+ and AQ+ hands.


In this article you have learned that the ROL can be a very profitable weapon in your arsenal, provided you know how to use it properly.

What's important is having the right ranges in the right positions and the bet sizing. If you implement the strategy presented here properly, it should definitely have a positive effect on your overall win rate.

Comments (13)

#1 BadeaCelRau, 05 Jun 11 09:15

I'm a bit confused. According to the opening table of both SSS and MSS ATo is a hand that we normally raise with in the blinds, even after limpers. Should I fold it now or complete?

#2 cccyan, 21 Jun 11 15:50

I have the same question.

#3 PotapovSergey, 22 Jun 11 08:56

#1 & #2, I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, your question is "why don't we raise ATo from SB or BB against 2+ limpers"? If yes, I have to say that the initial starting hand chart is of course more simple than these, while in this article we also take into consideration our position and the number of limpers before us. Therefore the ranges shift slightly.

#4 cccyan, 22 Jun 11 12:23

I see. Thank you for your clear answer!

#5 lynius, 11 Jul 11 23:40

I'm a bit confused. According to the MSS SHC I shouldn't play 98s from MP3 - but does the ROL Ranges: MP3, CO, BU chart suggest that I should if somebody has limped before me?

#6 roopopper, 24 Jul 11 16:37

really interesting play here looking forward to bringing this to my game!! thanks!!

#7 steinikleini, 04 Jan 12 02:12

i cant understand how The coloured blocks works? (Open limping Limping behind)

#8 IduPoker, 13 Feb 12 13:54


Since the data used for the premise of the article is at the NL10+ level, should I continue to use the basic charts when playing at a lower level(NL2 and NL4), then implement this when I move up to NL10+?

#9 pokerstu32, 21 Apr 12 19:21

If your in first postion it is impossible to rasie over limpers there are none yet so why is ep1 even on these charts?

#10 PhoenixPhreak, 04 Jun 12 08:04

I don't see any place to DL or print these charts. Could you add them to the MSS bundle?

#11 dromm, 26 Jun 12 18:09

#9 I don\t think EP1 is the same as UTG1, if you pay attention, there's no EP3, hence UTG 3, so i think EP1 refers to UTG 2

#12 zedkay, 18 Jul 12 00:08

Do people actually memorize all these charts and tables?

#13 sokoi, 15 Nov 14 00:33

zed, we're trying too! :) Do you remember the words to your favourite song?