What is Badugi?
Badugi is a poker variant where the goal is to make the lowest possible four-card hand.
The cards are ranked from low to high, with aces being the lowest card. Pairs and suited cards are bad in Badugi, and any hand containing these cannot qualify as a Badugi.
Qualifying for a Badugi
To make a Badugi, your hand must have:
- Four different suits.
- No pairs.
- The lowest possible high card.
For example, the best possible Badugi is 4-3-2-A of different suits.
Badugi Hand Rankings
The hands are ranked from highest to lowest as follows:
- A234 of different suits (the best hand)
- 2345 of different suits
- 3456 of different suits
- 4567 of different suits
- 5678 of different suits
- 6789 of different suits
- 789T of different suits
- 89TJ of different suits
- 9TJQ of different suits
The player with the lowest Badugi wins the pot.
Basic Rules of Badugi Poker
- Deck Used: The game is played with a standard 52-card deck.
- Number of Players: Badugi can be played with 2 to 8 players.
- Cards Dealt: Each player is dealt four cards face down.
- Betting Rounds: There are multiple rounds of betting, allowing players to bet, fold, or raise.
- Drawing Cards: Players have the option to discard up to three of their cards and draw new ones in an attempt to improve their hand.
- Winning Condition: The player with the best Badugi hand wins the pot at showdown.
- Dealer: A dealer is chosen to shuffle the deck and distribute the cards.
- Blinds: The two players to the immediate left of the dealer post the small and big blinds, which are preliminary bets to start the pot.
- Once the blinds are posted, each player is dealt four cards face down. These cards are private and should not be shown to the other players.
First Betting Round
- After the cards are dealt, the first round of betting commences.
- Players can choose to fold, call, or raise, starting with the player immediately to the left of the big blind.
First Draw Round
- After the first round of betting, players have the opportunity to improve their hands. They can discard up to three of their cards and draw new ones from the deck.
- Players may also choose to “stand pat,” which means they keep all their original cards.
Second Betting Round
- Following the first draw round, a second round of betting ensues.
- Again, players can choose to fold, call, or raise, starting with the player closest to the left of the dealer who is still in the game.
Showdown and Winning
- After the final round of betting, any remaining players reveal their hands in a showdown.
- The player with the best Badugi wins the pot. A Badugi is a hand consisting of four cards of different suits and different ranks.
Popularity of Badugi
Badugi is a relatively new poker variant, but it has quickly gained popularity due to its unique gameplay and high skill ceiling. If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding poker experience, then Badugi is definitely worth checking out.
Tips for Playing Badugi Poker
- Pay attention to the suits of the cards that have been discarded. This can give you clues about the hands that your opponents might be holding.
- Don’t be afraid to discard your high cards. In Badugi, the lowest hand is the best hand.
- Be patient and wait for a good opportunity to draw cards. Don’t draw cards just because you can.
- Learn the common Badugi starting hands and how to play them. This will give you a big advantage over your opponents.
With a little practice, you’ll be playing Badugi like a pro in no time!
Examples of Badugi Hands
Let’s look at some examples to better understand what qualifies as a Badugi hand.
- Good Badugi: A hand like A♥ 2♦ 3♣ 4♠ is a Badugi since it contains four different suits and no pairs.
- Not a Badugi: A hand like A♥ A♦ 3♣ 4♠ is not a Badugi as it contains a pair.
- Another Non-Badugi: A hand like A♥ 2♥ 3♣ 4♠ is also not a Badugi because it has two hearts.
Betting Strategies in Badugi Poker
Effective betting strategies in Badugi can significantly affect the outcome of the game. Here are some tips:
- Bluffing: You can attempt to bluff if you are in late position and no one has shown strength in the current round.
- Trap Play: If you have a strong Badugi hand, consider slow-playing to build the pot.
- Aggressive Play: If you have a nearly-complete Badugi hand early in the game, consider betting aggressively to push out weaker hands.
- Reading Opponents: Pay close attention to your opponents’ actions to guess the strength of their hands. This can help you make more educated bets.