Spread-limit not a game that people are used to playing very often so that’s why it can be confusing. Essentially, spread limit is a hybrid game that has some elements of fixed-limit and no-limit. Players have a set betting range that isn’t as high as pot-limit and certainly not a player’s entire stack as in no-limit.
Why I like spread limit
The reason I like spread-limit is that no-limit is really kind of destroying the poker market because some players don’t really know they’re doing. It’s a really volatile game and players end up getting stacked and cleaned out a lot quicker than if they were to a play limit money poker.
However, fixed limit not as exciting as no-limit so that’s why I think spread-limit is a perfect mix of the two. It does have protection for your bankroll, but also has some room for you to be creative with your bets.
Structure of the game
So in a $4-8 limit game you have to bet 4 bucks or 8 bucks depending on what street it is. In no-limit you have wide range that you can bet up to your entire stack. In spread limit you’ve got some range in here so essentially you can bet anywhere between 2 and 10 dollars at any time.
The blinds are probably in this game are probably going to be $1-2.
Spread limit usually ends up devolving into other formats
The best thing you can do is start sizing up the table. I like to give a good orbit to figure out what the players at the table are like because I’ve seen these games played in three different ways.
Traditional limit games
Sometimes they play like a traditional limit game. People will bet $4 or $8 the rest of the hand just because that’s what they’re normally doing in their limit games they come from.
Betting the max becomes the default
I’ve also seen them become pretty much like a fixed limit $10 game where everyone bets $10 or whatever the highest spread limit amount is. I think your strategy depends on what the game is.
If you know it’s a very timid game then you should be the one that’s pushing that $10 bet pretty regularly and certainly when you have the goods. If our base bet is $10 then the game changes and now you don’t have that range anymore.
You have to understand you’re playing a $10 limit game now which is a lot bigger than I think you tend to expect from a $2-10 spread limit.
Learning player betting tendencies is key in spread limit
Most of the time people play it like a max-limit game so when they’re betting the full limit you know they have a strong hand. It’s an easy tell to get to know who the rocks are at the table.
I kind of just watch to see what the players bet like and how they bet and what they turn over at showdown when they bet. It seems like straightforward tight players have a tough time getting creative when you only have between $2 and $10 to bet.
When you see a player only betting the max you realize he just doesn’t understand the structure and he doesn’t get it. When the rocks finally make that maximum raise you realize he has got to have kings or something.
Treat it as a limit game until you know more
What I do personally in spread limit is I will always treat it as a limit game until I can get a good baseline of what my opponents play like and what their actions mean. At that point then I will decide when I can use it against them.
Spread limit a good example of the push-pull concept. You’ve got to remember you know what you’re trying to do. Are you trying to pull people into the pot? If you are then don’t bet the full $10.
If you’re trying to push people out of the pot then don’t bet the minimum $2. We may have pocket threes in middle position. You might want to bet that $10 and so you have the chance holding up or maybe you want to limp in and try to hit the set for cheap.
A potential gold mine in live card rooms
Spread limit isn’t often played in many online poker rooms, but they can be a potential gold mine in live card rooms when fixed-limit players simply don’t know how to size their bets properly.