Barley limit dextrinase [Hordeum vulgare limit dextrinase (HvLD)] catalyzes the hydrolysis of α-1,6 glucosidic linkages in limit dextrins. This activity plays a role in starch degradation during germination and presumably in starch biosynthesis during grain filling. The crystal structures of HvLD in complex with the competitive inhibitors α-cyclodextrin (CD) and β-CD are solved and refined to 2.5 Å and 2.1 Å, respectively, and are the first structures of a limit dextrinase. HvLD belongs to glycoside hydrolase 13 family and is composed of four domains: an immunoglobulin-like N-terminal eight-stranded β-sandwich domain, a six-stranded β-sandwich domain belonging to the carbohydrate binding module 48 family, a catalytic (β/α)8-like barrel domain that lacks α-helix 5, and a C-terminal eight-stranded β-sandwich domain of unknown function. The CDs are bound at the active site occupying carbohydrate binding subsites + 1 and + 2. A glycerol and three water molecules mimic a glucose residue at subsite − 1, thereby identifying residues involved in catalysis. The bulky Met440, a unique residue at its position among α-1,6 acting enzymes, obstructs subsite − 4. The steric hindrance observed is proposed to affect substrate specificity and to cause a low activity of HvLD towards amylopectin. An extended loop (Asp513-Asn520) between β5 and β6 of the catalytic domain also seems to influence substrate specificity and to give HvLD a higher affinity for α-CD than pullulanases. The crystal structures additionally provide new insight into cation sites and the concerted action of the battery of hydrolytic enzymes in starch degradation.