Here's What a Limp Reraise Means (Hand Reading 101)

What Does a Limp Reraise Mean?
People often get confused about what a limp reraise means at the poker table.

A limp reraise by the way is when somebody limps into the pot preflop (just calls the blind), you raise, and then when it comes back to them, they reraise you. This is an ideal way to trap the maximum amount of money in the pot preflop with a big hand. However, a limp reraise is also a very transparent play to any poker pro, and therefore it is rarely utilized by good players.

Limp reraises usually only happen in small stakes poker games these days (i.e. "the micros"). And that is because it usually represents a pretty narrow range of extremely strong hands.

The other reason why most good players these days will never limp reraise is because they will never limp into the pot in the first place.

And this is because they know that is statistically proven that it is more profitable to take control of the pot right away preflop by raising.

I provided conclusive evidence of this in my first book by the way by simply showing the data straight from my PokerTracker database which spans millions and millions of hands.

So in this article I am going to cover what type of range a limp reraise usually indicates and how you can play optimal poker against somebody who limp reraises you.


What is a Limp Reraise and What Range of Hands Does it Represent?


So as mentioned, a limp reraise in poker is simply when somebody limps into the pot preflop, you (or somebody else raises), and then the original limper reraises.

The limp reraise is usually done from early position, because then you have the maximum amount of people left to act behind you, who will hopefully raise.

However, you won't really find any good poker players limp reraising these days because it almost always represents such a narrow and transparent range.

Basically what I mean by this, is that when people use the limp reraise play, it is almost always a very strong hand such as: TT+ or AK and AQ.

Very few people do it with any kind of speculative hands like suited connectors or suited aces, and so therefore it is very easy to read what kind of hand that they have.

Which of course is never a good thing at the poker table. Let's dig a bit deeper into why limp reraising is generally a poor option.

Let's look at an example hand that I reviewed yesterday on YouTube:



A Limp Reraise Usually Represents a Very Strong Range


So in this hand above a fishy looking player limps into the pot from early position in a 1 eurocents / 2 eurocents 6max cash game (although there is only 5 players at the table, so technically it is 5-handed).

I say that this is a "fishy looking" player because he/she already has the HUD stats of a clear recreational player after an 11 hand sample size:
  • VPIP = 45
  • AF = 1.3
These are stats that you can get on your poker table by the way, which give you reads on your opponents. You need to use a HUD in order to get them.

The other key clue to the player type here, as mentioned, is the limp. Good poker players simply just don't limp anymore these days.

So anyways, it is folded to us on the button and we look down at pocket tens, an excellent hand. Therefore, this is a standard spot to isolate the fish by raising.

When the recreational player chooses to limp reraise us though, we have a bit of a dilemma on our hands here.

And this is because when a player at the micro stakes chooses to limp reraise you, they usually have one of these hands:
  • AA
  • KK
  • QQ
  • JJ
  • AK
  • AQ
We are crushed by most of this range and we are a coinflip versus AK and AQ. So, you don't exactly need to be a math genius to know that this isn't good for us!

However, it must be remembered that we are also up against a recreational player here and they tend to flip out sometimes and do random nonsense with trashy hands.

We are also in position and this hand is slightly deep-stacked as well. So, even though I am a bit hesitant, I can get on board here with the call preflop.

But it is certainly not a clear-cut call and versus certain player types (Nits for example), there is a solid argument for a fold here.

By the way, for much more on how to deal with wild fishy players like this, check out my first book Crushing the Microstakes.


Optimal Poker Strategy Versus a Limp Reraise


So the interesting part about this hand is that we flopped the nuts on a Ten high board. This means that we can basically choose any option available to us (besides fold of course).

When the fishy player bets full pot right into us though, I think we have a clear call here.

And the reason why is that given the range that we set out for him above, calling stands to earn a lot more profit in the long run rather than raising.

And this is because it keeps all his bluffs (such as AQ and AK) in the pot. And we of course don't want these hands to fold because we have them both almost drawing completely dead.

Also, he is not going to fold any of his value hands (JJ, QQ, KK and AA) no matter what we do, so there is really no point in us raising him here either.

It is better to just let him keep shovelling his chips into the pot with very little to no chance at winning the pot.

If we did not flop top set on the flop here, the hand plays totally different by the way. I would seriously consider folding to a full pot bet in fact.


Bad Beats Will Happen (It's Poker)


Now, when the Jack drops on the turn and he shoves we need to beat him in the pot here (snap call). And the reason why is that we still have his range absolutely crushed.

Sure, it is true that if he has pocket jacks, he is now ahead. Or the even more unlikely KQ. But we need to remember that these two hands are only a very small portion of his range here.

Now in this hand, he does happen to show up with the pocket jacks and we lose the pot and our stack. But at the end of the day, he hit a two outer.

Limp reraise poker

And you don't win at poker in the long run by relying on hitting two outers!

So, as I have discussed many times before, in my books, blog posts and YouTube poker videos, we just have to accept bad beats as a part of the game.

They will happen sometimes and there is absolutely nothing that we can do about it. Because the fish almost always have some sort of equity, no matter how small.

And the fact of the matter is that this equity will come through on rare occasions like this one.

The only thing we ever need to ask ourselves is did we play this hand to the best of our ability and deny them the proper odds at every stage of the hand?

In this hand the answer to that question is absolutely, yes, we did. And so the results are basically irrelevant and we can just happily move on to the next hand.

By the way, for much more on how to deal with bad beats, check out guide to handling bad beats that I wrote.


Final Thoughts


So what does a limp reraise usually mean in poker? Well, quite frankly it is often a very strong hand such as AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK or AQ.

And it really doesn't matter what the player type is to be honest. When I see somebody limp reraise it is almost always this extremely narrow range.

This is also why you really only see this play used at the lower stakes by bad players. Because good poker players know better than to be so easily readable at the poker table.

In fact, most good players will never even limp in the first place, because they know that it is a statistically proven fact that raising preflop is more profitable than limping.

They also know that using balanced aggression is the key to an overall winning poker strategy, which is the foundation of everything that I teach.

If you want to know the complete strategy that I have used to crush the micro stakes online for some of the highest winnings in online poker history, make sure you grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.

How to play against a limp reraise