No limit poker is the ultimate test of skill, heart and hand-reading abilities. Every poker variant requires skill, but no-limit poker is the most intense of them all. Knowing that anyone can push all their chips in the middle at any time adds a dimension of strategy and risk that isn’t present in fixed-limit or any other betting format.
If this sounds intimidating, worry not. The best no limit poker sites have plenty of ultra-low stakes tables that you can use to get your feet wet without risking large amounts of money. You can always work your way up from there, build a sizable bankroll and only move up to the next level when you feel ready.
The best no limit poker sites are capable of bringing together large numbers of players. Without a lot of players, tables don’t run often and it’s hard to find games at anything beyond the micro stakes tables. Large sites have more players and the games run at stakes ranging from as low as $0.01/$0.02 ($2.00 buyin) to as high as $500/$1,000 ($100,000 buyin). No matter where you’re from or your experience in poker, the top no limit poker sites offer all the action you can handle.
Us no-limit players have it good because we can visit almost any poker room on the internet and find a game. With so many options available, it’s almost a challenge just to narrow down the list of potential sites to find just one that will provide the best all-around experience. Here’s what I need to see before I’ll deposit my hard-earned money anywhere:
- A clean bill of health: A poker site only gets a clean bill of health if it has a proven track record of honoring withdrawals, protecting private information and responding quickly to customer support inquiries. If a site has ever had any problems issuing payouts or maintaining tight security, it’s simply not worth the risk.
- Active games at all stakes: This is the great qualifier that eliminates more sites from consideration than any other single factor. It’s tough for small poker sites to get the medium and high stakes tables going frequently. Large sites with many players make it so much easier to find action at everything from the micros on up to the nosebleed high stakes games.
- A variety of game types: No limit Texas Holdem isn’t the only game in town. I also like to see pot-limit Omaha in addition to a healthy mix of full ring, 6-max and heads-up tables. It is never a bad thing to have options.
- Player-friendly software: No limit poker sites with poor and error-prone software simply don’t respect their players. There’s no need to play at a site with slow or low quality software. Not only is it annoying, but it indicates the site isn’t serious about giving players the best experience possible.
If you’re new to online poker, don’t be surprised when every site you visit claims to have the best no-limit cash games and tournaments. Just know this: words are easy. Actions are what separate the best from all the rest. Don’t be afraid to be picky. You have every advantage as a customer with options.
How to Play No Limit Poker
What separates no-limit from fixed limit and pot limit is the ability to bet any amount of money at any time. If you get a strong hand or decide to make a big bluff, the only limit to how much you can bet is how much money you have in front of you. You can even go “all in” and place your whole stack in the middle.
Big pots are common in no-limit poker and that’s where much of the appeal originates. There are few games that can get the heart pumping as much as an aggressive no-limit game with big pots. Money tends to move around the table quickly, and this creates many opportunities for skilled players.
No limit poker comes in two main flavors. First, we have cash games which are tables that run as long as players are seated. You can join a no limit ring game at any point as long as you have a little money to bring to the table. The chips that you win in cash games translate directly to real cash. You can convert these chips to real money and cash out any time you please.
The other flavor we have is the tournament format. No limit tournaments have a set buyin fee and give each player a fixed number of starting chips. These are the only chips you get and your goal is to play in the tournament until everyone else has been knocked out and you’re the last one standing.
Tournament chips cannot be redeemed for money. Their only purpose is to calculate your position in the tournament. You get paid if you outlast enough players to achieve a high position and earn a payout. Payouts are not based on the number of chips you have, but rather on your final position at the conclusion of the tournament. The higher you place, the more you win.
The majority of the world’s largest tournaments are held in the no-limit Texas Holdem format. The Main Event of the World Series of Poker is the most recognized tournament of them all. Players who take first place in this event become multi-millionaires. On the internet, tournaments with large guarantees occasionally even award million-dollar prizes to the winners. If you dream of winning a big tournament one day, you need to learn no-limit Holdem now.