There are three different games waiting for you when you play poker online at Ignition: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo. But each of these variants can also be divided into three separate games: Fixed-Limit, Pot-Limit, and No-Limit. Each of these online poker betting limits puts its own spin on the way poker is (or should be) played. If you can get a handle on all three, you’ll be a much better poker player at any limit.

Fixed-Limit Poker

This used to be the industry standard. In the years before the poker boom of the mid-2000s, Fixed-Limit Hold’em (or just Limit Hold’em for short) was the busiest game being spread at the casino. It’s still popular enough that you’ll find it running from time to time when you play live, but if you want to experience the benefits of Limit online poker, Ignition is where you’ll find games being played on the regular. That includes Limit Omaha Hi/Lo as well as Hold’em. Limit Omaha typically shows up in live mixed games only.

Every Bet Is Valuable

When you’re playing Limit games, you’ll need to use the right online poker strategy for this betting structure. There are only two bet sizes allowed in Limit poker: the small bet, which is equal to the size of the big blind, and the big bet, which is twice the size of the small bet. The smaller size is used for both bets and raises preflop and on the flop; the big bet is used on the turn and river. Those are your only two choices.

These might be much smaller bets than you’re used to if you’ve only been playing No-Limit online poker, but each bet is still worth a portion of your bankroll, and should be treated with respect. Limit poker is also very much an action game; you’re almost always getting a good price to call, since your opponents can’t go all-in unless they’re very short. Don’t bluff nearly as often as you would in No-Limit games, but make sure you don’t completely stop bluffing unless you’re convinced your opponent will never fold.

Safer for Poker Beginners

If you’re just learning how to play poker, we can’t stress enough how great Limit games are for beginners. This betting structure prevents you from making really big mistakes at the table, the kind where you punt off your entire stack. In the early stages of poker development, your studies should be focused on things like preflop opening and 3-bet ranges, which don’t change much from limit to limit. Post-flop play is naturally more difficult, but with Fixed-Limit games, you’ll be playing a more simplified version of poker, allowing you to learn the basic concepts without doing too much damage to your bankroll.

Choose the Right Limit

If you’re a more experienced poker player, your win rate might be higher at the more difficult No-Limit games, where you’ll have more opportunities to manifest your edge over the competition. But don’t ignore the Fixed-Limit games. Lowering your variance in giant pots isn’t just good for beginners – it will also improve the overall health of any player’s bankroll. And with a little game selection, you might find some softer Limit games where your edge will be greater than whatever big bet games are on tap at any given moment.

Pot-Limit Poker

Chances are you’ve heard of PLO, and we’re not talking politics here – we’re talking about Pot-Limit Omaha. This is the preferred way to play Omaha; you’ll almost never see this betting structure used for any other variant. Pot-Limit has many of the features of No-Limit poker, but you still can’t go all-in when you’re deep-stacked, since the biggest bet or raise you can make at any point is the size of the pot.

Learn How to Play Pot-Limit

Even though Pot-Limit is almost exclusively used for Omaha, this format is well worth learning if you’re serious about poker. While everyone has been busy getting better at Texas Hold’em, the added complexity you get with four hole cards instead of two makes PLO a more difficult game to master, giving advanced players the opportunity to build a bigger edge on their opponents. That’s why some smart players call PLO “The Game of the Future.”

Pay Attention to Raise Sizes

Unlike Fixed-Limit games, Pot-Limit poker gives you a lot more freedom when it comes to bet sizes; your maximum bet is the size of the pot, but you can bet anywhere between that and the minimum, which is 2X the big blind. Use this freedom wisely, and make those pot-sized bets when that leverage is most useful to you, especially when you’re heads-up in position.

Raises in Pot-Limit poker don’t have quite as much flexibility. Again, your maximum is a pot-sized raise, but the minimum is 2X the size of the previous bet or raise. This doesn’t give you quite the same range of options as you have when you’re just betting. A “min-raise” can still be effective, but in general, don’t expect to generate too many folds, and don’t forget to consider the stack-to-pot ratio (SPR) before automatically loading up with a pot-sized raise. If the SPR is low, your big raise might not get many folds either.

No-Limit Poker

No-Limit is still the most popular way to play poker, and no wonder: When you play No-Limit Texas Hold’em online, you can bet your entire stack when it’s your turn – except for some very rare cases, like when someone goes all-in with a raise that’s less than twice the size of the previous bet. Then you’re only allowed to call or fold. Bigger bets mean more excitement, and more excitement means more fun, which is why we play games in the first place.

More Strategies Are Possible

With so many bet sizes at your disposal, No-Limit poker will test your skills more than any other game. In fact, bet sizing may be the one aspect of poker that separates the best players from the rest of the pack. Knowing when to make tiny 0.2X pot bets on the flop, and chunky 1.2X pot overbets on the turn, can turn you from a marginal winning player into a poker beast.

Know How to Manage Your Bankroll

No-Limit games also put your bankroll at risk a lot more than Pot-Limit and especially Fixed-Limit, so make sure you practice sound bankroll management before playing. As a very basic rule of thumb, you should have 20 buy-ins in your account before playing No-Limit Hold’em at Ignition. That would be $2,000 if you’re playing 100NL and buying in for the standard 100 big blinds every time. Compare that to Limit Hold’em, where 300 big bets is a common recommendation – that’s only $600 for a 50c/$1 game.

High Risk, High Reward

While your risk will be higher playing No-Limit poker, there’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you take an entire stack of chips off your opponent. Be willing to bluff more in these games in order to grab as many chips as you can; aggression is the central plank of any sound No-Limit strategy, and the more buy-ins you have at your disposal, the more aggressive you can afford to be. If this is your natural style of play, No-Limit is the betting structure for you, but again, don’t miss out on the good Fixed-Limit and Pot-Limit games you’ll find at Ignition Poker. The choice is yours.