What is the difference between limping and an open limp?
I know that when you just pay the bigblind on preflop it's called limping. But what is an open limp?
When the first player enters the pot by limping in.
When a player is first to enter the pot and simply limps they are making a call of the big blind. This is generally considered to be a weak-passive play typified by beginning poker players.
The small blind is $5 and the big blind is $10 in a live poker game. The first two players fold. The next player then limps in and calls the big blind for $10. This is an example of an Open Limp.
An open limp is the first one that just pays the bigblind instead of raising.
In most cases it is a weak gameplay because...
... if you've a good hand, you got to protect it and raise instead of just limping. ... if you've a worse hand, your get rid of it and not waste chips for it.
Because it tells everyone on the table that you got a "ok"-hand, not strong, not bad or maybe bad, but obviously not strong.
But in a few cases it makes sense to open limp. Example:
It's risky for someone with a strong hand to open limp or just limp, because he has no clue about the cards of the villian.
Someone who "open limps" is someone who DOESN'T raise with a very strong hand such as AA, but just calls "limps."
He's hoping that someone behind him will raise with a "strong" (but weaker) hand, such as KK, QQ, or AK, so he can re-raise. This is a good tactic if there are a number of people at the table who will raise with a lot of hands, including some that are weaker than these three.
An open limp is when the first person entering the pot (except for the blinds) enters with a limp. A limp is just a call (1 big blind). This is mostly considered a weak play because just calling the big blind implies you have a weak hand. Sometimes it is done in early position hoping one would raise your "weak" hand so you could reraise with a monster (AA, KK).