Poker Microlímites is one of the most used ways to play poker by beginners. Learn all its secrets and enter the world of microlimits and poker games with money.
Microlimit poker is one of the betting modalities that you can find in both Texas Holdem and Omaha poker. To say microlimit poker is to talk about games whose betting limits are quite small, such as 0.01 ($ / €) up to 0.50 ($ / €).
These microlimit poker games usually take place on the internet in many of the online poker rooms around the globe. One of the great advantages of playing poker online is the variety of bets that you can find in this level, since players with small bankrolls can move freely at the tables and without risking too much.
Here we will be commenting on some strategies on how to win poker in microlimits Many of the texts are based on one of the best players at these levels, such as Nathan Williams “BlackRain79”. “Crushing the Microstakes” (available in Spanish under the name “Crushing the microlimits”) is the name of his book, where he explains everything necessary for it.
How to win poker microlimits?
Yes. The players that inhabit the microlimit poker tables have improved (and are improving) in recent years, but at these levels there are still thousands and thousands (and thousands more) of beginners who are totally unaware of what a good strategy is in the poker.
The irony of this situation is that you (many players) apply against these beginners many second (or third) level poker strategies thinking about the games at that level, so it is likely that you will not be able to win at the microlimit poker tables .
Let’s take, for example, the famous “open staircase project” (with two points). At the highest levels this hand can be ideal for launching a semi-lantern.
But you should keep in mind that if you are playing against a player who cannot throw (say as an example) an average couple with a low kicker, you should rethink to build a boat when the options of your opponent leaving the hand (fold equity) are minimal .
Essential poker tactics such as semi-lantern are indispensable in poker, but are only useful against players who can fold.
The basis of microlimit poker
If you have invested some time in the poker forums or if you have played at the online tables, you have probably read more than one by writing “I can’t play against fishes” or “I need to play where they respect my uploads.”
Of course, it can be extremely frustrating when a fish sees a 4bet (fourth bet in the round) of lantern and wins the pot with one hand with which theoretically you cannot see a bet.
But the truth is that you really want to play against these types of players. The fishes are ALWAYS the players that offer you the most benefits when playing against them. They are the basis of a good poker ecosystem.
If you can not play against these types of players, you should probably look at yourself in the mirror for a while and ask yourself if the so-called fish are the problem or if you are simply forgetting the most important point of the poker strategy: anticipate the game of your opponents
If you are still in the “I can’t play against fishes” phase, this is the moment when you can (and should) change your attitude and, thanks to our help, learn to squeeze the microlimit poker tables.
Microlimit poker strategy
But to win poker microlimits you will need basic notions of strategy that you can find here. All this will help you win poker in microlimits.
Success at the microlimit poker tables starts with a solid pre-flop strategy. Playing the right hands before the flop will lead to much easier decisions in the calls (betting rounds) later.
Playing from Pre Flop
Microlimit poker is all about optimizing the value of big hands (to get the most benefit from them) and throwing your cards in situations where you can only win a small pot or, if things get twisted, lose large amounts of money.
This sounds very simple, being the good news that it really is, as long as you follow a few guidelines (tips) and abandon your ego, as well as the imaginative game and facing the gallery behind the door (outside the tables game).
Microlimit poker does not have to do with wanting to play better than your opponents, they don’t try to find every possible + EV situation. Rather it is the opposite.
Your goal is not to play better than your opponent, but to get the maximum benefit from the right rivals. Instead of trying to squeeze out each + EV situation, you just have to choose and take action in those that offer you the most value and benefit.
Play your cards in microlimits
Why do you have to try to exploit small advantages (which depend a lot on the variance in the short term) when you can wait for really beneficial situations that will appear frequently and that will offer you a large profit ratio with a very small variance?
To achieve this there are two basic fundamentals in the pre-flop game:
- Take the initiative
- Be in position
Before you start with our guidelines for a good selection of hands, the first thing you need to know is what your main goals should be.
Have the initiative
Poker is not just about having the best play at the end of the hand (in the showdown), in reality the player with the best hand doesn’t always take the money.
More frequently than you think, none of the players will have a good hand, so in these cases you should ask who would probably take the pot.
What a player? The one who bets. Often the other player, who will not have a good hand, will throw his cards before the aggression received.
It is for this reason that taking the initiative, which means that instead of passing and seeing the bets (playing passively) you are betting and raising other bets, it is essential.
If you pre-flop bets show strength and in the case that another player sees that bet there is a good chance that you can take the pot in other rounds of bets after “attacking” again.
The main advantage of having the initiative is that you can take the boat in two different ways:
- Having the best hand in the showdown.
- Making your opponent throw his cards.
Of course, it is easier to say that the opponent has to leave his hand than to do it. When your opponent has a reasonable hand he probably won’t throw his cards and this is really true (almost a true law) in microlimit poker.
How to know if your opponent has a relatively good hand? Well, you can never know for sure, but as in most situations in poker, you want to have the odds in your favor.
Let’s visualize an example in which your opponent acts first. In the first case he bets, while in the second he passes. In which of the two cases do you think he has a decent hand?
In case 1 (and especially in microlimit poker) betting means strength, while in case 2 (passing and not betting) it means weakness.
Players who are thinking about this will have realized a really important factor: the opponent has to act first.
Play in position
The great advantage of “playing in position” is that you are the player with the most information in your possession before acting.
The game at the micro-betting tables is quite straightforward and the information received corresponds in most cases to reality. Pass means weakness and bet strength.
Balance your rank in poker microlimits
Of course, the exception confirms the rule, but these singularities are not where the money is obtained, but the usual situations.
Now that you know the most important factors to win at microlimit poker, it is time to emphasize some guidelines when selecting pre-flop hands.
Most of the material that you will find below is available in much more detail in the BlackRain79 e-book Crushing the Microlimits (you can buy it here).
Without going any further, the hand box we offer below is taken from this book and most of the pre-flop information offered is accepted and recommended within the micro-betting strategy.
First we are going to offer you several simple and concrete points that you should remember.
- Bet to get the initiative: You must place a bet (a raise) whenever you are the first toventer the boat. When you are not the first to enter the hand, most of the time you must re-raise (3betee) instead of just watching the bet.
- Try to play hands in a post-flop position: You should always know how far your position is from the dealer or button (the best position in poker). How close you are to the button will determine the action position you will have in the post-flop action.
- The strength of the hand is important: When you are not in position or when the options of playing in position after the flop (most of the time you play from starting or middle positions) are high you will need to focus much more on the strength of the hand, going into action only when it is really good.
- Stay tuned for the options for someone else to have a good hand: We know you can win the boat more easily when you’re in position, but we also recommend you consider the options for someone to have a good hand. When there are not many players acting behind you, the chances of any of them having a good hand is very small compared to when you are in an early position. When you are not in one of the last positions, the chances of someone having a big hand are much greater.
Balance your range
Another factor to keep in mind, although in the case of microlimit poker is less important, is to balance your range.
As an example that you only play hands like AA or KK, you should know that even less experienced players will realize that you only get into action with these hands and they will throw their cards whenever you do it knowing exactly what you have.
It is for this reason that a wider range of hands should be played (with hands that may not be good enough to play with them but that will make our opponents have to analyze (and doubt about) the exact type of hand that do you have.
How to play in the positions?
At this time you should keep in mind that you should not enter much into play from starting and middle positions. There are still many players who can enter the hand after you, so the chances of someone having a good hand are very high.
In addition, almost certainly you will not have the position after the flop, so you will have to come into play from starting and middle positions only with the best hands in your range.
Hi-Jack (two seats before the button)
Although the Hijack position is considered as the middle position, it can be considered a border location. Only the cut-off (the position before the button), the button and the blinds remain to speak, so it is likely that no one has a big hand.
After showing the flop only the cut-off and the button would act behind you (the blinds are the first to speak in the post-flop game).
This does not mean that you can play weak hands, but that you can expand your range in relation to the initial positions and the first two middle positions.
Learn poker positions
These two positions are the ones that really give you money in poker (especially the button).
The chances of someone behind you having a big hand are minimal and if you are on a button you have the confidence that after the flop you will always be the last to speak.
Does this mean you can play any hand in these positions? No, but there will be three times more starting hands that you can play compared to those who could fight for the boat in starting positions.
There is a small difference between the ranges with which you should play between the cut-off and the button.
Being cut-off there is the possibility that the button also enters the boat, which would mean that after showing the flop you would not have the position.
Hand selection table
Now that you have an idea about the selection of starting hands in relation to the position, it’s time to determine exactly what hands you should play from each position.
For this section we have copied completely what is mentioned in the book Crushing the Microlimits since it explains everything perfectly.
It is important that you know that these are just examples and guidelines to follow, which means that you do not have to play all these hands if you do not feel comfortable with them.
You must also remember one very important thing: the money you have not lost is also money earned.
Initial positions (UTG, UTG + 1 and UTG + 2)
22+ (22 and higher couples: in this case 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124, TT, JJ, QQ, KK and AA)
AQs + (AQ of the same color and above, in this case AK suited too)
AQo + (AQ of different suit and above, in this case also AK)
MP1 and MP2
AJs +, KQs
Garlic +, KQo
A8s +, KJs +, QJs, 78s +
Ato +, KJo +, QJo +
A2s +, K8s +, Q9s +, J8s +, 56s +, 57s +
A2o +, K8o +, Q9o +, J8o +
A2s +, K2s +, Q7s +, J8s +, 56s +, 57s +, 47s +
A2o +, K2o +, Q7o +, J8o +, T8o +
A9s +, KJs +, QJs, 78s +
A9o +, KJo +, QJo +, QJo
A9s +, KJs +, QJs, 78s
A9o +, KJo +, QJo
When to raise the bet?
This is a vital and distinctive point of microlimit poker, something that Nathan “BlackRain79” Williams also makes clear in his book.
At these tables there is no “fanciful” re-rise as they will only get you into totally unnecessary trouble.
As you may know at higher levels you must balance your re-rise ranges (3bet) and even 4bet, but this is not the case with micro-bets.
Almost whenever a re-rise is made, it has to be done by value. If not, in most cases the best option will be to fold.
Note: To know when it is convenient to re-upload by value we recommend using Pokerstove to know with which hands you should 3betee your opponent. Enter the rank in Pokerstove and see the fairness of your hand against the rival’s rank. Use this tool several times against different ranges and you will have a better idea of your options to take your hand to different ranges.
As an example we can take a climb from UTG (UnderTheGun, the first player to talk pre-flop) of a nit. When using PokerStove you will notice that it is only advisable to re-raise your bet with A-A or K-K. Check out the exceptions in which you just have to see the bet and you will find the reason why 3betee with a hand like A-K is not a smart move. On the other hand, a hand like A-K would be perfect for re-raising by value against a player who enters many hands and has raised the bet from the button. Your reaction would be very similar having J-J in both cases.
As a general rule you can always re-raise by value with the high part of your range: hands like Q-Q + and A-K.
Playing in microlimit poker is totally different from doing it at higher bet levels, so your strategy also has to be.
It may not be the most entertaining to play a strict poker with no place for fantasy (known as ABC poker), abandoning EV + situations at the table, but you must remember that you do not play to increase your ego, but that you are looking for a high profit ratio , limit variance and increase levels as soon as possible.
For this reason you need a strategy that helps you achieve your goals.
In this article we have shown you a really good pre-flop strategy for micro-bets. Of course not all boats will have been decided before the flop, but if your strategy in this part of the game is good, in addition to getting benefits “per se”, you will be creating a good basis for making easier decisions in future streets.
Finally, we highlight the most important factors to consider in the pre-flop game:
- Have the initiative
- Hand strength
- “Playability” of your hand
- Rival analysis
Taking these factors into consideration before deciding whether to play the hand and how to proceed in case of doing so, you will have a long way to go since as a general rule you will make better decisions than the vast majority of your rivals in microlimits and this is what the Poker is about: having great advantage over opponents to win.
Playing in Post Flop
Once you have passed the Flop in microlimit poker, it is time to know how to win microlimit poker from the Post Flop.
How to play microlimit poker in post Flop?
Instead of getting frustrated when applying advanced poker strategies that are not optimal for playing in micro-limits, the best thing you can do is choose another route: focus on the situations in which you can get real money.
BlackRain did a great job explaining in his book “Crushing the microlimits” and in detail what he commented, so if you really want to win big in micro-bets you must buy their e-book.
To help you understand everything, we are going to offer you a series of guidelines to start developing an ideal post-flop strategy for microlimits.
Big boat = big hand. Small boat = small hand.
To get the maximum value (the greatest benefits) from weak players, we need to know with what hands we can achieve this.
Everything can be summed up in one sentence: Play big boats with big hands and little boats with little hands.
This statement is in line with the objective that we have emphasized since the beginning of the article: get the maximum benefit from the good hands you have and throw the cards in situations where you can only win a small boat in exchange for risk and To lose a big boat.
Identify weak players (Fishes)
This type of rivals must be your main objective since thanks to them you will be able to win the vast majority of your money.
The weakest rivals will pay you with weaker hands. Do not forget that betting on value is the main strategy in micro-limits, so you want to have rivals that can pay you with worse hands than yours.
Take the initiative
In addition to the position, we have placed a lot of emphasis on our pre-flop guide on the importance of having the initiative.
Most people will pass a player who has the initiative when he is out of position or will see his bet instead of re-raising it when the player in position makes a move.
This is especially useful for those who plan their hands in advance as we will comment below.
This will give you the option of passing in case you want to keep the boat under control or make a small raise if you know that your opponent will not re-raise your bet once placed.
Plan your hand in advance
If you have followed the advice we have offered so far in this guide made jointly with “BlackRain79” you will have understood the type of opponent you are facing, as well as the size of the pot you want to play.
Now is the time to take your hand planning to the next level. By doing this you will make many fewer mistakes and avoid having to make difficult decisions. Think of the lines to follow in your bets to achieve your goals
If you have decided that you want to play a big pot, then it is time to think about the betting line to follow in order to meet this goal.
Game style of your opponent
When you reconsider the line of bets to follow, you must always take into account the style of your opponent.
In this case it goes beyond the distinctions made on players: weak player and decent player.
A weak player, for example, can see in the three streets (post-flop) betting with less hands with which he would never consider betting.
Instead of making only a distinction between a weak and a decent player, you must also do so between a passive and aggressive player.
When you think about the best development of bets, it is important to also consider the size of the bets.
A bet that goes from half of the pot to the full pot is considered normal, but when should you raise the whole pot and when half or three quarters?
An example: You go up from UTG to 4 big blinds and the big blind sees that rise.
We both had 100 big blinds at the beginning of the hand as a stack and we are going to round the boat formed to 8 big blinds to make the calculation easier (in this example we ignore the small blind).
- If you bet half the pot (and your opponent sees these bets) on each street, the total pot on the river will be 64 big blinds and you will have 68 blinds each still in power.
- If the bets are in this case three-fourths, the pot will amount to 124 large blinds, both of which remain 38 blind.
- If, on the contrary, each bet is the size of the pot, the blinds in the pot would be 200 and you would both be all-in on the river.
Can you see the difference? It is important to keep in mind that the bets on the last streets are higher since the jackpot will be too.
5 Common mistakes in microlimit poker
5: Play too high pairs against passive rivals
Much of William’s strategy is based on the understanding of the type of rivals he faces, commenting that players at this level (mainly passive) who bet and even re-raise a bet of yours have, as a general rule, a large hand.
This means that if you bet a pair of aces or kings (or cards higher than those shown on the table) and your opponent is playing a large part (or all) of his stack, the best option you have is to throw your cards since the winning options are minimal.
4: Too slow game (no betting), few value bets
Nathan Williams has observed that he usually performs a lot of slow-play (playing defensively waiting for the opponent to bet to re-raise him) at the micro-limit tables, too.
Instead of wanting to be “smart” and try to fool the rivals with your trap, Williams advises you to bet on value as much as possible, which means that whenever you have a theoretically winning hand you must bet to make the biggest pot.
3: Do not decide on the flop if a big pot is going to be played or not
Williams says that if you feel that you are going to see the opponent’s bets with a marginal hand and lose a big pot, the best thing you can do is avoid playing the pot, so you won’t waste money (chips).
It is important to decide on the flop if you want to play a big boat (and play the hand aggressively) or not (and leave the hand).
2: Make pre-flop wrong decisions that lead you to difficult situations during your hand
All the development of the hand begins before the flop and that the bad decisions made in the initial moments of the hand can make the rest of this really difficult.
Nathan Williams comments that you should avoid coming into play out of position with the well-known “cheat hands” like K-J or A-8, plays that can be easily dominated by rivals.
1: Do not recognize when you are “tilt” and be unable to disconnect
According to Nathan “BlackRain79” Williams, the way to lose money that you see most at the micro-limit poker tables is by entering tilt.
There are several indicators that show that a player is “branded”, such as entering many more hands than normal or having a pessimistic attitude towards winning options.
You must learn to recognize when you enter tilt and develop a tough discipline that allows you to disconnect before your budget is affected.