Definition of Open Limp
What is an "open limp" in poker? What is the definition of the term "open limp"?
In poker, an "open limp" occurs when the first player enters a pot by limping in instead of folding or raising.
For instance, let's say that you are playing in a friendly $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em cash game at your local casino. The first player to act folds and you decide to just call the $2. This is an "open limp" and is typically seen as a rookie play, as you are basically announcing that your hand is not strong enough to raise. Stronger and more experienced players tend to either raise pre-flop or fold, as it helps to disguise the strength of their hand.
The problem with open limping is that you will have no idea where you are at in a hand. Let's say that you hold J-10 offsuit and you decide to open limp in early position. What happens if the button raises - what do you do then? If you decide to call, you have already committed a decent chunk of chips to the pot with a marginal holding, and you are out of position to boot. If the flop comes Q-Q-3, for instance, and you decide to check, you are surely going to fold to a bet from the button.
For savvy players, an "open limp" can sometimes be a good way to disguise a strong hand, though this trick only usually works if they are playing with inexperienced players.
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