What Is A Limp In Poker?
Limping in poker refers to the action where at the beginning of a betting round, instead of raising or folding, the player decides to just call, therefore, limp.
When limping, a player essentially pays the minimum possible amount of chips to stay in the hand.
It is important to note that a player’s call is perceived as a limp only if they are the first person to enter the pot. Otherwise, it is referred to as a cold call.
Generally, limping is considered a weak and passive play in poker because by doing it, you are allowing your opponents to see the flop for cheap. Also, you are losing the initiative in the hand and giving away information that you have a mediocre hand.
Because of this, most experienced players will advise you not to have a limping range from most positions at the table, except maybe the small bling. Instead, split your hands into two ranges and either fold or raise to apply an aggressive strategy.
Poker Limp Example:
You are playing 6-max $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em. The UTG player folds, and you are holding 5s 6s in the Hijack and decide to call the $2.
Because you are the first person to enter the pot and only called the Big Blind’s bet ($2), your call is characterized as a limp.
Now let’s say that instead of folding, the UTG player called the BB bet, and then you called behind him.
In this situation, your call would not be a limp but an overlimp because you are not the first player to limp into the pot.
Finally, let’s say that the UTG player made a raise to $4, and then you called behind him.
In this situation, your call also would not be characterized as a limp but as a cold call because you are not the first player to enter the pot and are paying more than the minimum to stay in the hand.