Badugi Poker has been tipped to take the poker world by storm as a wildly different variation to the highly popular Texas Hold-em. Badugi has an interesting history, originally started in Korea is its also known as Asian Poker, Badougi or Padooki poker. It is a triple draw, low hand, four card poker game and is everything Texas Hold-em isn’t.
How to Play
The game has totally different hand rankings and values compared to Texas Hold-em. A badugi hand is made up of between one and 4 cards (from the players own 4 card hand) with different suits and values. The best badugi hands consists of one card from each of the four suits and is called a “badugi”. Duplicates of value (like pairs) or suit (like flushes) are not valued infact its the exact opposite of what makes a good hand in “conventional poker” that is valued in Badugi.
Any four-card badugi hand beats a three-card badugi hand, a three-card badugi hand beats a two-card badugi hand, and a two-card badugi hand beats a one-card badugi hand.
Limit Badugi – Betting is limited in each game & each round of betting. Maximum of four bets, which includes one bet, and three raises are for each betting round per player in Limit games.
Half Pot Limit Badugi – Bet up to half of what is in the pot.
Pot Limit Badugi – Bet up to what is in the pot.
Badugi is a lowest hand wins poker game. A hand is made up of up to 4 cards, none of them the same suit or rank. Aces counting low.
eg. Ah, 2d, 3s, 4c which is the best possible hand.
Any 4 card hand with one card of each suit is known as a “Badugi” hand. The lowest badugi hand beats a higher badugi hand.
So 2h, 3c, 4s, 5d badugi would beat 2c, 4h, 6d, 7s badugi.
In badugi the suits do not have any value or rank over each other.
Pairs in Badugi
If you hold a pair in badugi one of the paired cards isn’t counted.
So Ah, 5d, Js, Jc would become Ah, 5d, Js this is a three card hand and ranks lower than any 4 card badugi hand.
Or 5h, Js, Jc, Jd would become 5h, Js which is a two card hand beaten by any 3 card hand or full badugi hand.
Suited cards in Badugi
If you hold two or more cards of the same suit then the higher cards are not counted and not used to make up your hand.
So Ah, 3c, 6s, Ks would become Ah, 3c, 6s using the lowest of the suited cards to make the best 3 card hand from it.
Paired and suited hands
You may be dealt a hand with both pairs and suited cards – very weak and you would hope to have improved by the showdown your potential hand can be worked out accordingly
eg. Qh, Qc, 8c, Js would be Qh, 8c, Js a three card hand without the pair or the matching suited cards.
Double suited hands
These are about the worst starting hands possible
eg. Jh, Jc, 8c, 8h which would be Jh, 8c
The 72off of badugi
The worst possible but very unlikely starting hand would be quads. And the Texas Holdem 72 off equivalent would be Kh, Kc, Ks, Kd which would be a one card hand of any one of your 4 kings.
Betting & drawing rounds in Badugi
Played in the same way as hold-em with a button and a small and big blind.
1st round betting and drawing
Each player is dealt 4 cards, then there is a first round of betting based on these cards. The 1st round uses the lower stake (like limit holdem), Checking, betting and raising is the same.
Players can then draw zero to four cards (clock-wise from the dealer button). This give the player the opportunity to improve their hand or can stand pat without any changes.
2nd round betting and drawing
Again another round of betting (starting with the active player to the left of dealer) based on the strength of players hands after the 1st change. Still at the lower stake.
And then another draw of zero to four cards for each active player.
3rd & 4th rounds of betting and drawing
Exactly the same as previous round only using the higher stakes.
By the 3rd round where necessary re-shuffle the deck complete with discards in order to complete drawing rounds.
After the final round of betting the winner is determined and players cards are shown. The player’s whose last bet is called, if there is one, shows first. If there is no last aggressor, showdown begins from the first player holding cards, clockwise from the dealer button. As hands are shown players with losing hands are allowed to muck their hand if they choose (the same as hold-em).
Order best to worst – Badugi, 3 cards, 2 cards, 1 card.
Split pots and side pots are played in the same way as Hold-em.
Poker Rooms Offering Badugi Games
Because it’s not Texas Holdem, players can struggle to find out where to play badugi poker, the best and busiest is PokerStars followed by FullTilt Poker both offering Badugi poker games.