I Love 2/4 Limit Hold ‘Em

Yes you heard it right, I love 2/4 limit hold ’em. If you have ever played 2/4, whether it was your first time, or you are a regular 2/4 player, you probably think I’m crazy for saying this. The game is usually filled with inexperienced players, the tips aren’t the greatest with the small sizes of the pots, and it’s slow moving.

Now when I first started many moons ago, these were the games I dreaded dealing. Back then it was all about getting the hands out and making as much money as possible. We were all young and dumb. I have recently been making strides to take the money equation out of dealing, and judging my love of the job by the people. Yes this is how I pay my bills, but stressing about tips and money had made the job very hard to tolerate. So from now on I will never again rant about tips, no I didn’t give in to the haters either, they can go suck it, but for different reasons now.

With that being said, once you take the money out of the equation, I had to realize what makes this job fun. The people. When you get to mid and higher limits the regulars have become, what seems to me, bored, complacent and treat playing much more like a job, than a hobby ( yes a few play for a living, but not most of you). This leaves these tables unapproachable from an entertaining dealer standpoint. Talking, making jokes or just doing anything but getting the damn cards out, makes these players more miserable than they were before.

Smaller limits are hit or miss as far as people wanting a dealer with personality. I know most of my regulars and can tell when they wouldn’t mind a little conversation, getting to know your players and having honest connections, increases our overall happiness and my bottom line. The players I don’t converse with at these limits don’t really care much about chatter, as long as the action is moving, which I ALWAYS keep moving quickly.

Now lets step into a typical 2/4 limit game. I get ready to push the other dealer out and say “last hand”, most of the players at the table will take notice because they want to see who will be their entertainment for the next half hour. I sit down and say “Hello Everyone”(actually what I am supposed to do at EVERY game I sit down at), and unlike the other limits where I usually get dirty looks, or no looks at all, at 2/4 I will get a few people to say “Hello”. Thank you for acknowledging me. I look over the table and my usual mix is retirees ( hard to play a lot of high limit poker on Social Security), young broke kids, drunks(can’t lose that much, that fast here), inexperienced and experienced players that just like the no stress, casual environment.

Now it’s much easier to get to know these people because NO ONE just wants you to shut up and deal here. They are here because they like poker, and will play no matter how broke they are. I will get to know new players, or even players I have never had a conversation with before. Most of the time other people will join and and have good conversations. I have heard amazing stories from some of the other folks on how things were back in the day, who they have met, incredible places they have been, things they have witnessed and done. When an experienced person shares a story, you should listen.

I like asking quiet people questions, sometimes they just shrug, but most of the time I get them to open up a little, make the game a little bit more personable for them. I get people from all over the world, and it’s always interesting to hear viewpoints and stories from people that have lived in places I will probably never get to visit, but I get to see a little through their eyes. One story I will always remember is from a young gentleman from a small country in Africa. His family won what is called “The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program)” it makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. They came over when he was very young, but he told the table stories about the lifestyle there, the politics, the fighting with Somalia and other amazing things. He also told about how all his brothers and sisters went to college and graduated as doctors, lawyers, teachers and said how they didn’t want to waste the opportunity of a lifetime to become citizens. All of this because I asked him a question about a random tattoo of his country he had on his arm.

Sometimes you get a bunch of kids on your table, and this is a great time to have fun messing with one or more. As you know kids love to make fun of each other and have a good time. They look at your as an authority figure, and when you show them its ok to joke around and have some fun, everyone has more fun. I will make fun of how they play, make fun of their clothes or things they say, and generally just become “one of the guys” and act like I’m 21 again. This also applies to the bad drunk. Not to be confused with the good drunk ( the one that throws tons of money at you, and doesn’t get vulgar or mean towards other players) . The bad drunk can get out of line quick, and keeping them in line is tough, but sometimes you just have to be extremely sarcastic to the point where they don’t know if you are messing with them, or being serious about all the rules they are breaking. The usual dealer will keep being firm about “not doing that”, where my extreme sarcasm makes them think what is with this guy? It confuses them, but I have fun with it, instead of being the underpaid babysitter.

I have also noticed just having a fun attitude is a better reflection upon other customers, being miserable or quiet just brings the mood down. All of this conversation, joking and having fun, makes the half hour go by a lot quicker than listening to the high limit 1% ers talk about how they swim in Scrooge McDuck swimming pools full of money.

So if you have never played 2/4 or haven’t played in a while, jump into a game and have some fun, or at least some interesting conversation.

Brought to you by Your Poker Dealer

3 thoughts on “I Love 2/4 Limit Hold ‘Em

  • May 23, 2016 at 7:04 am

    They still have 2-4 limit games in Vegas? Where?

    • October 15, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Golden Nugget and Green Valley Ranch.

  • May 23, 2016 at 11:02 am

    After a long day of tournament grind recently, I played some $3/6 limit just to kill the evening with low stress ($3/6 was lowest limit game in this room). Truly like a social occasion with poker as the social activity. Lots of chatter, show-and-fold, and a happy vibe at this table, with no hoodies, no ear-plugs, no shades, nor any of the other anti-social behavior that has become the norm at NL games. And did I mention soft play?


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