Half-pot Limit Badugi at Lock Poker
Most of my experience and most of the writing on this site has been geared toward to Limit badugi. Limit badugi is clearly the most played form of the game. But at Lock, Carbon and Aced poker the only cash game option is half-pot limit badugi.
At first I was bummed, I enjoyed the easy rhythm of full ring limit badugi that is offered at Pokerstars. I enjoyed that it was a relaxing contrast to the game I spend a lot of time playing (i.e. headsup limit hold’em).
But after awhile I began to see the possibilities with half-pot limit badugi. The version offered at Lock, Carbon and Aced is a 5-player version. Here are some tips on how to adjust your badugi strategy to the half-pot limit variant.
Its great fun and there are quite a few plays available to the expert badugi player that are not available in fixed limit. If you play on Stars you may want to try out Lock, Carbon or Aced to give the half-pot variant a go.
If you need the rules to half-pot limit badugi then look for the article: Rules of half-pot limit badugi (coming soon!)
Tips on Half-Pot Limit Badugi
*Position becomes even more important
First, there is no small blind or big blind in the half-pot limit variant that is played on the Merge sites mentioned above. Instead everyone antes. The player to left of the button (normally the player in the small blind) must act 1st on every single street, including the predraw betting!
This means that blinds positions are at an extreme disadvantage. Even in limit the small blind gets to at least see the action on the first betting round before committing. No such luck in half-pot limit badugi.
Play the two positions to the left of the button extremely tightly.
In limit badugi position is quite important. If you are in a favorable position you get to see how many draws your opponents take and what the betting action is before you.
In half-pot limit and pot limit badugi you have these advantages but you in these “big bet” forms of poker the size of the pot grows exponentially instead of arithemetically.
Lets take a quick look at this effect.
For example, suppose you are on the button vs one other opponent who bets into you on every street. The size of the pot grows as follows:
- Pre-draw Pot: 3.5 big blinds
- “Flop”: 5.5 big blinds
- “Turn”: 9.5 big blinds (note the increase from small bets to big bets)
- “River”: 13.5 big blinds
In this example the size of the final pot is roughly 4x the size of the pre-draw pot. Now lets look at how this works in half-pot limit badugi. Same situation except this time your out of position opponent bets half-pot for 3 streets:
- Pre-draw Pot: 7.5 antes
- “Flop”: 15 antes
- “Turn”: 30 antes
- “River”: 60 antes
In this example the size of the final pot grew to 8x the size of the pre-draw pot! Double the amount that it grew in the limit example.
Why is this important?
Well suppose you are drawing to a badugi that whole way. Your opponent has weak badugi. You hit your badugi finally on the river. If this was a limit game you could raise your opponent 1 big bet to make the size of the final pot 15.5 big blinds. Excellent! You win a pot that is 4.5 the pre-draw pot.
In half-pot limit Badugi on the other hand your opponent bets 15 antes into the 30 ante pot, you call for 15 and now the pot-size is 60, you can raise another 30 if you want to. Making the final pot 120 antes! Super-excellent! You win 16x the size of the preflop pot!
When you are in position you get to decide how big you want the final pot to be. In limit this great. In half-pot limit this super great! In pot limit this is ghastly!
So position grows in importance as the size of the pot grows.
What does this mean in practice?
- Control the pot size out-of-position
- Play more loosely in position
- Play more tightly out-of-position
Want more on Half-Pot Limit Badugi? Click here.