Badugi table limit rules: fixed, pot and half-pot limit strategy

One thing that may come as a surprise to most people is that badugi does not have a no-limit table, at least in the major poker rooms. The reason is that there are no community cards showing and players going all-in would drastically reduce the skill of the game, especially when it comes to bluffing. I wrote three articles about fixed limit badugi, pot limit badugi and half-pot limit badugi poker. These articles explain the rules and good strategies behind each type of table limit and you might be surprised how much strategy changes as these limit rules change.

Fixed limit or FL badugi is generally considered the game that requires the most skill. The reason is that all-out bluffing, sometimes known as donk-bluffs, are not as easy to use. Players are limited to fixed increments of the blinds. For example, $1/$2 stakes means that $1 is the small blind and $2 is the big blind. In the first two betting rounds, players can only bet with increments of the small blind and the last two rounds let players bet with big blinds. The betting is capped at a maximum equal to the blinds.

When playing fixed limit badugi, players may not ruin the pot odds as easily because no one can go all-in or raise a scary amount of money that will force people to fold. So players need to come up with other strategies. One of the main strategies involves the starting hands because what you do at the beginning will influence everything else later on, including the perception that other players have on your hand strength.

Pot limit (PL) badugi is in between fixed limit and no-limit in that players may wager in increments equal to the size of the current pot. So at the beginning of the hand, the pot will be small and the bets will be smaller as well. Although, the bets at the end of the round can be huge and force people to go all in. Bluffing becomes a bigger and more powerful strategy later on in the round than it does at the beginning.

Half-Pot limit (HPL) is the least common type of rule and the betting stakes fall between fixed limit and pot limit. The only difference with half-pot is the fact that players may only wager increments equal to half of the pot, which dampens the effect of ruining the pot odds later by making larger bets.

Fixed limit is the most common type of badugi you will find at Carbon Poker but the tournaments are usually pot limit and will contain a few half-pot games as well. Check out the articles to learn about strategy that can be used in ring games and tournaments, which are two different animals. I will write about the “snowing” strategy tomorrow sometime and this is one of the most popular forms of bluffing in badugi when playing fixed limit games.