Open Limping From The Small Blind - Preflop Adaptation

  • NL BSS
  • NL BSS
  • $100 - $1000
  • Shorthanded
(12 Votes) 7366


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In the first part of his mini series, oblioo explains the preflop strategy for open limping from the small blind.


complete default strategy Dustin exploitive strategy GTO limp open limp PokerSnowie preflop SB small blind

Comments (16)

newest first
  • PrawdziwyElBandito


    Where (which stake) in your opinion we should start with some limps?
    In my opinion nl100 is to low because of rake and maybe nl400 is ok. What do you think?
  • Zolotarsp


    #1, as was mentioned, people at lower stakes will generally play very poorly vs limps, so that will likely generate more money than rake takes. However, at low stakes people also fold too much to steals, which is obv good as well. So IMO any good strat is worth trying at any game. Strict rules are not for poker :)
  • Zolotarsp


    BTW, nice vid, as always!
  • oblioo


    #1, please see comment #2 :)
  • mbml


    think raising simply outperforms limping unless there's ante.
    it was good 2 years ago when people were still not too familiar with dealing with this sort of strategy, but now everyone can handle raises and limps very well.

    at lower limits people just fold way too much so raising is better too.
    with ante, pot odds are a lot better which makes the EV of limping a ton of marginal hands a lot more attractive
  • GingerKid


    Good presentation and content. Vs Unknown, why would you have only limp/fold range, if open raising top range e.g. 4bb is higher EV than limping? Similarly for mid strength hands, open raise 3bb and other hand as limp. I think that vs unknown we should play each hand what we think is max EV, and not care much about being exploitable since he doesn't know our strategy as unknown.
  • GingerKid


    Vs agro 3bettor and raiser vs sb complete, the idea of my mixed strategy is as following: 1) limp hands that have good playability (suited hands) or dominate BB check range, but would fold vs 3bet if we would open raise it. This hands would play call vs raise. Open raise top of the range hands together with hands that are easy fold vs 3bet and don't dominate BB check range (hands as 69s, 89o, 9To etc.). Similarly limp the bottom range which is going to fold vs raise. This way I don't have limp/3bet range because I think that BB has to be very agro with raise and defend vs 3bet so that QQ+, AK play max EV as complete. What do you think, some suggestions maybe?
  • oblioo


    @6: I don't know why you would assume that raising top x% of hands is higher EV than limping vs an unknown. There are a lot of outcomes that can happen as a result of limping that nets you more money than if you had raised when you hold a hand like AA or KK. It's difficult to say which is higher EV in a vacuum with a premium hand.

    @7: I see some problems with that strategy: For one thing I think you are broadcasting your ranges too obviously. GTO is most likely to play a mixed strategy (sometimes limp sometimes raise) with certain hands. Another issue is that you are missing out on a lot of EV by never limp/3betting, because any time BB raise/folds that is a huge win for you.
  • GingerKid


    @ I assume that raising top % is max EV because I think that it is the way to put max money in the pot on average. Off course, if BB is raising very agro, or makes huge mistakes in limped pots, then imo it could be that limping is higher EV for AA. Why do you assume that raising AA vs unknown is not max EV?

    @I agree that it is obvious range. But also cold calling e.g. BTN vs CO is also capt and obvious range. Do you cold call QQ+,AK BTN vs CO to make your range less obvious and to have 4bet range when blinds sqeeze? I don't 4bet in such case, so similarly I don't think that it matters if I don't 3bet SB vs BB. If it is really like that as you claim that limp EV of AA from SB is similar as EV of raise (actually you think that it is higher) then off course I would also limp whole range. But for me, it makes more sense that raising AA is higher EV. Did you compare your winrates of top range as limp from SB and as open raise?
  • oblioo


    It's difficult to use db analysis to make conclusions about exact hands, because there are some players against whom raising is clearly more +EV, and some players against whom limping is clearly more +EV, and I try to adjust accordingly. What I have done is compared my SB winrate from when I play raise or fold strat and when I play a limp or fold strat, and my winrate when I play a mostly limping strat is much much higher.

    That said, I am not assuming that raising AA is necessarily higher EV as a limp; I'm just saying that I don't know and it's easier to not split ranges vs any given opponent. You might be right and the highest EV play with exactly AA vs the majority of players is to open raise, but there are plenty of times I've a) stacked someone and b) won 3.5bbs instead of 1.5bbs by limping with AA which would not have happened had I raised.

    If we look at Snowie, for example, it considers the EV of limping and raising is exactly the same with AK, QQ, and JJ. When we consider that opponents are more likely to play poorly vs. a limp than vs. a raise, the EV of limping goes up in plenty of spots like that (again not necessarily with those hands, but you get the point).

    And finally, your example about being capped BTN vs CO is not analogous here, because in that case CO does not generally get a chance to act after you preflop (the street on which you are capped). In this case, if we cap our range by limping then BB can easily exploit us by raising to a large size with a very wide range.
  • GingerKid


    I understand your argumentation. Snowie likely limps AK, QQ, JJ because if he doesn't BB can exploit him by raising many hands, which makes the EV of AK, QQ, JJ similar as raise. But we rarely play vs such opponents who see all our leaks and adapt instantly. Ok you very often stacked someone after limping AA and won 3.5BBs instead of 1.5BBs, but I have plenty of times stacked someone when I raised AA, and plenty of time I won 10bb when I 4bet vs 3bet instead of 1.5bb. So it is actually or logic which doesn't bring us anywhere. I think that in poker is generally applicable that aggressive line is average max EV for value hands (regardless preflop or postflop), and passive line is only max EV if opponent is very aggressive once we take passive line. I usually follow that logic, but if you have significantly higher winrate when completing from SB, then obviously you should use it. Still, maybe your general game improved since you started limp/fold strategy, so maybe if you would try playing raise/fold strategy you would have again highest winrate ever. And maybe it is max EV for your game style and population, but maybe it is not for majority of players. It is all maybe :)
    Thanks for detailed answered by the way :)
  • Sotodo


    What is a good bb/100 for a SB limp strategy?
    (I think the only way to achieve this on hm2 is to filter: "3 to 10 players, unopened, VPIP true, PFR false", although excludes limp/3bet)
  • JHoWn


    Hi, thanks for the video; I have a question about BB raising after an SB limp. You mentioned that below 30% is too tight, what in your opinion would be a good frequency? Say we are raising 3x or 2.5x against a reg with a "balanced" Openlimp range of 60%
  • JHoWn


    @12 in advanced action filters, filter by preflop action and use "call any". You get limp/3bets as well this way
  • JHoWn


    @12 with PFR any ofc
  • imgoingtomirage


    Second video, about postflop strategy is here: :)