More Tips on Half-Pot Limit Badugi
In our introduction to half-pot limit badugi we talked about the supped-up importance of position. Here we add a few more tips on how to approach this game.
*Be extra careful with trap hands
In the last article I talked about how the pot grows more quickly in half-pot limit than in limit badugi. This means that your 2nd best hands are going to cost you a lot more than they would have in limit.
Calling down with your weak badugi in limit may cost you an extra few big bets, but that 2nd best hand now may cost you your whole stack! Learn to get away from marginal hands early, especially out-of-position.
Learn to keep the pot at the right size for your hand. If you have a great big hand then make a great big pot. If you have a marginal hand then keep the size of the pot under wraps. A weak badugi or a strong tri will win a medium sized pot but it is very unlikely to win a giant pot.
*Protect your hand
In half-pot limit and pot limit badugi you can inflict bet sizes on your opponents that are so large that it makes it mathematically incorrect to draw to a badugi from a tri. If you are betting half-pot for instance you are offering your opponent 3-to-1 odds on a call.
But your opponent, as we learned in odds and outs is 4-to-1 to make a badugi.
*Experiment with the tension between the above two concepts.
Did you notice something? I recommended pot control, then I recommended to protect your hand. These two concepts are often in conflict. You want to protect your marginal hands but you want to get them to showdown in a medium sized pot as well. What to do?
I don’t know. I’m still experimenting myself. But lets take an analogy from the world of hold’em. In limit hold’em, it is said, you want to protect the pot. In no limit hold’em you want to protect your stack.
Since half-pot limit I would argue is similar to no limit hold’em I’d err to the side of pot control. If the pot grows very large say to 25% of the effective stack (the effective stack is the stack size of the smallest stack in play) then you want to start protecting the pot, as too much is at stake to leave unprotected.
Also since it is much easier to control the pot in position you can afford to protect your hand a little bit more early as its easier to control the pot later.
*Learn about the mathematics of drawing
I notice that you get many more opportunities to draw to trash hands in half-pot limit badugi than you do in limit badugi. This because predraw its possible for everyone to check.
So often times you are left with something like 2h 7c Ks Kh. This is an awful hand. You need to improve but what is the most efficient way to go from absolute crapola to a strong hand?
Do you throw all 4 cards out? Keep the 2? Keep the 2 and 7? Keep the 2, 7 and a the Ks and draw to a very weak badugi?
This gives you more than enough to chew on for your first few sessions of half-pot limit badugi. Enjoy! If you only remember one thing remember this:
Big Hands = Big Pots
Medium Sized Hands = Medium Sized Pots