Half-Pot Limit Badugi
Half-Pot limit, also known as HPL badugi games are actually the rarest ones to find. Usually, the only time you will find these half-pot table limit options is with special multi-table tournaments or small sit and go tourneys. Almost always, you will see just regular pot limit games rather than half-pot, especially in badugi poker. If you have ever played fixed limit and pot limit, then half-pot is basically something in-between and we will explain this below.
Let's use the example of playing on a table with $1/$2 stakes, which is a $1 small blind and a $2 big blind. There are four rounds of betting in badugi and the first two rounds typically allow players to bet in increments of $1 and the last two rounds allow players to bet in increments of $2. This is typically the fixed limit. In pot limit, players can bet a maximum amount that is equal to the size of the current pot. In half-pot limit, players may only bet a maximum value equal to half of the size of the pot.
This is really self-explanatory and the betting works exactly the same way as pot-limit badugi except for the capped maximum amount of chips you can bet. Again, in a game like badugi, playing with no-limit options really reduces the skill involved in the game because there are no community cards showing. This is why you will almost never see a no-limit table that allows players to go all-in. The closest option to this is pot-limit. Half-pot reduces this potential of ruining the pot odds by limiting an all-in type of situation.
Again, the main strategy involves controlling the pot and the pot odds. You want to get as much money as you can into the pot early because you can increase it and wield your large chip advantage later on when allowed to wager much larger bets. Of course, this is only when you have a good hand or if you intend to bluff later on. With badugi poker, a good way to bluff is to not draw cards since this will tell the other players that your hand is already powerful and there is no need to draw anything better. Read our bluffing and strategy articles to get fully detailed strategy advice.
Even if you make very small bets at first, the pot can grow like a snowball later on because the pot grew larger at the beginning. In half-pot though, the rate at which the pot grows is reduced, so you must use some fixed limit strategy as well since players are not as willing to fold if the bets are not so large. Players with weaker hands can control the pot by only calling your opponents bets, which prevents them from "opening the gate". This reduces how large the bets can be later on, hence controls the pot odds more effectively. One last thing to note is that HPL and PL games will produce a higher rake than FL.