Author Topic: Freezing the button in HORSE (Rule 10) - Case for using a BB marker?  (Read 6259 times)


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The current procedure for HORSE games is that when transitioning from Omaha 8 to Razz, the button is moved to where it would have been if the next hand was Holdem, and is kept with the player and brought out after the stud rounds are complete.  Therefore, the player who would have been the big blind will be the first to post when the rotation returns to Holdem.

This generally works out fine, but there are some quirky instances that I've encountered where I don't think it works as intended:

Example 1:

Seat 1 is the button, Seat 2 is the small blind, Seat 3 is vacant, and Seat 4 is the big blind.  The last hand of Omaha 8 is played out.
The button gets moved to Seat 2 and is frozen there.
While play continues through the stud rounds, seat 3 gets filled by a player coming in from a broken table.  In the meantime, the dealer has changed, and various players have come in and busted out from the table.

Some time later, the first hand of Holdem is about to be played and the button is put out in front of seat 2.  The dealer asks Seat 3 (now occupied) to post the small blind and Seat 4 to post the big blind.  Seat 4 protests - he believes he already posted the big blind, but no one at the table can (or is willing) to confirm this.

Strictly speaking, according to the rule, "when hold'em resumes the button for the first hand will be at the position where it is frozen". However, it is unclear whether we can have seat 3 sit out a hand. In fairness, I think seat 3 should be sitting out the first Holdem hand, but in practice, there is no way to easily remember that he should. So what ends up happening is that seat 4 is typically forced to post the big blind again anyways, which can be a serious penalty when the blinds are big.

My thought is: Rather than forcing seat 4 to post the big blind again when there is no consensus on whether he previously posted the big blind or not, I wonder whether it makes sense to either give seat 4 (or seat 5) some sort of small blind (or big blind) marker, or seat 3 a "sit out" marker, upon transitioning to the stud games to avoid confusion.

Example 2:

A different but similar situation arises when the button moves to seat 2, with seats 3 and 4 being initially occupied.  If seat 3 busts during the stud rounds, then seat 4 will likely only post the small blind and he may end up skipping the big blind if no one is certain whether seat 3 should be a dead small blind. Allowing seat 4 to skip his big blind may be the most practical solution (and I feel less problematic than the situation above), but still could be corrected if we had given seat 4 some sort of marker that indicates that he should be the big blind when the game returned to Holdem.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2015, 02:06:25 PM by MikeB »


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Re: Freezing the button in HORSE (Rule 10) - Case for using a BB marker?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2013, 10:34:53 PM »
K: Interesting material for Summit VII.

At the end of the day here are some options:

1: Live with it, In the rare cases where the guy has the BB on the last board game, and on the first board game after the stud rounds, we can say: A) Those are new games; B) If he has the BB early in the board rounds, he's likely to have to post lower blinds; C) there are TWO board rounds (Omaha & Holdem), so he's going to be posting blinds; D) "Having the BB twice" in this situation, with 16 to as many as 24 intervening stud hands (razz, high only, and 8 or better) is nowhere near the same quality as the BB twice when transiting from the final 3 players to 2 in a tournament....  Lastly, from an implementation standpoint, this is probably the easiest rule for a dealer to remember and practice.

2: Instead of moving the button "exactly to where it would be if the next round" is a board game... change to "move the button to one seat left of the BB on the last hand"

3: A combo. Current language if no empty seats between button and big blind, if empty seats then "move the button to one seat left of the BB on the last hand". This could be justified by the same logic as "live with it"... i.e. there are two full rounds of board games, so one way or the other, everyone will have their share of blinds...

Thanks for interesting case, great Summit VII material!

« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 10:43:54 PM by MikeB »