No limit poker, more specifically no limit Texas Holdem, is the most popular poker game in the world today. Millions of people play it every day for fun and for real money at both live games and at online poker sites.
A big part of poker's popularity comes from the fact that anyone can make money with it. Most hobbies cost money but if you become a skilled Texas Holdem player, you can actually make money on a consistent basis. Some of the best poker players in the world bring home more than a million dollars a year.
Granted, these people are the exception but it still gives poker that aura of "anything's possible." If you perform well in the right no limit poker tournament, you can win a few hundred thousand dollars over the course of just several hours. Even though it does not happen often, everyone knows it's possible with the right skills and a little luck. And that's exactly why no limit Texas Holdem is so popular.
Limit vs. No Limit Poker
Texas Holdem can be played in either a no-limit format or a fixed limit format. In fixed limit, the size of each bet is limited to a certain amount. For example, in $ 5 / $ 10 fixed limit, the bets in the early stages of the hand must be made in increments of $ 5 and the bets later on in the hand must be made in increments of $ 10.
In no limit poker, there are no constraints on the size of the bets you can make. You can bet all the money you want, whenever you want. The ability to bet any amount of money adds an extra psychology dimension that you will not find in fixed limit Holdem.
The ability to put pressure on your opponents with big bets, or even the threat of big bets, changes the game completely. You'll see no limit Holdem players use all sorts of tricks in an attempt to control the size of the pot. The difficult part is manipulating the size of the pot without letting your opponents know that that's exactly what you're doing.
A Game of Information
No limit Texas Holdem is a game of information. You're constantly trying to gain information on what your opponents hold so that you can decide whether to put money in the pot or fold. It's a simple concept to understand but it is incredibly difficult to implement in the real world.
The thing about Texas Holdem is that it strikes a perfect balance between information and a lack of information. You get to see five community cards but your opponents' hole cards are always hidden. In the end, you get a gist of what your opponent might have, but can never quite tell for sure.
No Limit Poker on the Internet
In the age of the internet, it was only a matter of time before no limit poker made its way online. In the beginning, poker was only played for fake chips at cheesy websites. Sometimes someone got the idea to create a poker site for real money and the rest is history.
Despite the success of online poker, some people remain skeptical of the safety and fairness of playing for real money on the internet. It's completely understandable but online poker is so mainstream now that it's just as safe doing your Christmas shopping online. If you stick to large, reputable sites, you'll be fine every time.
In an industry dominated by trust, the top poker sites treat security like gold. If a poker site loses its reputation as safe and fair, it's going to lose most of its business. Without having to hire staff or pay for a building, online poker rooms are insanely profitable. It just would not make sense to try to steal players' money when you're already bringing in millions of dollars a month as a well-known poker site.
In addition to that, these poker sites have to be licensed by the government jurisdictions in which they operate. These licenses require the poker sites to submit to regular security checks and adhere to certain standards of customer service.