why do all the pros limp when heads up?

Why Do All the Pros Limp When Heads Up?

New Online Poker Poker Strategy

In this post, we are going to take a look at the advantages of limping heads up, we noticed a lot of this move being made in the spin and go games by the best grinders, so decided it’s worth a look into this niche strategy.

There are a few pointers about limping, we can look to limp fold and limp call an all-in as part of a balanced range with certain hands, even when super short stacked.

Let’s say we have 10BBs, normally players adapt a shove or fold strategy, but this is missing loads of value, let’s look at why…

Firstly we can’t get value from the bottom of our range hands that we would have to fold if we are simply pushing or folding, so hands like 76o go into the muck.

But what if we decide we want to slow play our big hands? and not just move all-in with our TT+ then we aren’t going to be balanced and our opponent will probably spot this as strength from a mile away.

This is where limping comes into play, if we limp our worst hands that we don’t want to move all in with, it allows us to limp fold with those hands should our opponent put us all in and then at the same time we allow ourselves to pick up extra value from limping with hands like JTs+, Q9s+, K9s+, A9s+, TT+.

These hands will be strong enough and dominate enough hands to limp and call all-in should our opponent pull the trigger and will play well post-flop, flopping dominating pairs a lot of the time that will allow us to double up against much worse holdings that we allow to see the flop.

Simply put, we allow our opponents to make mistakes they wouldn’t be able to make if we just pushed them off the pot pre-flop.

Let’s take a look at what this looks like as a range chart
10bb limping strategy chart

How should we play with 10BBs against a limp when out of position

Here, we will want to do much the same thing, bluff raise with our worst-performing hands, this way we gain value from hands like 64o that aren’t going to realise much equity post-flop too often and balance that with raise-calling with our monster hands like 99+ AJs+ etc.

In general though when playing out of position heads up we want to play pretty straight forward, if someone limps the button we will want to shove with all our pairs 2288 and pretty much any Ace-high until we hit our premium raise-call hands.

Again, let’s take a look at what this looks like as a range chart
playing against limps heads up with 10bbs

What about when we face a raise with our short stack?

Again this is a spot where a tonne of players just play their stack as a re-shove or fold, however, we can still call with some hands.

Versus a 2.5x raise, we can profitably defend with hands like 65o, 76o, K5o, Q2s, T6s etc. We are calling 1.5BBs to be able to win 5BBs even when playing without antes, with an ante in play there will be even more in the pot, so we can still call with a wide range here.

We will just want to fold out the bottom parts of our range, mainly just all the junky offsuit hands like Q2o, 94o etc and we will want to re-shove around 40% of our best hands, this will consist of all our pairs, any Ace high, K9o+, K2s+, Q9s+ etc… you get the idea.

One last time, let’s take a look at what this looks like as a range chart
facing a raise when short stacked heads up

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