Pot Limit Badugi Poker
The most common type of limits you will find with badugi poker is fixed limit. Pot limit, also known as PL is not as common and you will typically find these in multi-table tournaments (MTT) or sitngo tables. In fact, you will almost never see a pot limit badugi ring game, but they do come up from time to time when traffic is high and there are a lot of players around. Also, there is a different strategy involved in pot limit games as we will explain below.
Pot limit badugi poker is actually a combination of fixed limit and no limit poker. It is also the highest variance of badugi since the no-limit option does not exist because it would reduce the skillfulness of the game. When you are playing with a pot limit, this means that players can raise or bet a maximum that is equal to the current pot. So if the pot is very large, then players can make very large bets and the maximum amount of money you can bet will progressively grow as the round goes on.
At the beginning of a round at the starting hand, players can bet in proportions of the small or big blinds. If you are playing at a $1/$2 stake table, the small and big blinds will consist of the pot. So the next player can bet a maximum of the pot, plus the blinds. For instance, let's say that the pot is currently $45 and the big blind is $2. The maximum bet that the next player can make would be $47, which is the pot plus the big blind. This would effectively double the current pot and the next player in line can double this amount again. In the end, there is no cap to betting and players can eventually go all-in if the pot gets large enough.
Early in a round, the bets are more limited since the pot is small, so you are basing your decisions on mathematical odds like in the fixed limit game. Bluffing does not work as well in badugi in the early rounds either since players cannot ruin the pot odds or scare off players with big money bets. Later on, the limits increase and bluffing becomes more effective because it works with implied odds and using your chip-stack as an advantage. Essentially, it is harder to get people to fold in fixed limit games and easier in no limit games.
So your bluffing strategy can work effectively at the beginning of a hand by standing pat with betting and raising but it can work even more effectively later on by betting large amounts of money as well. So it really comes down to watching how many players are drawing cards and how you act in the draw rounds. One thing that is certain is that moves early on during the starting round will have a huge impact on what happens later. If the pot gets bigger early on, betting maximums will be much higher at the end. You can also control the pot by checking and calling your opponents, which will limit how much they can bet later on as well by keeping the pot smaller.
A great way to play PL badugi is to slow-play your hand. Read our advanced strategy guide to learn about the 4 different types of players and then start working on methods to manipulate them. Placing small bets will sometimes make the other players think your own hand is weak and that you are trying to semi-bluff. This is a great way to get them to raise and build out the pot a little more. Obviously, you should only do this if you have a decent or very powerful hand as a strategy to maximize your profits. Also keep this in mind if other players are using this same strategy.