Master Badugi Poker: Essential Rules You Need to Know! - BLITZPOKER

Master Badugi Poker: Essential Rules You Need to Know!

Badugi Poker Rules

Badugi is a lowball poker game played with four cards. The aim is to have the best “badugi” – four cards without any duplicates in rank or suit. Usually found in cash games, it’s also part of high-stakes mixed games and other variants like badeucy and badacy. Some say badugi started in Canada during the 1980s, originally called ‘Off Suit Lowball’. Its name possibly comes from the Korean words baduk or badug, describing a black and white pattern. Badugi might also relate to a spotted dog. In Korean, the game Go is known as baduk. If you’re a poker fan looking for some excitement, BLITZPOKER has got you covered with a wide range of thrilling poker games to enjoy. Let’s now unravel the Badugi poker rules and other interesting details about this distinct card game.

How to Play Badugi

In Badugi, there’s a button, along with small and big blinds. It’s usually played with fixed limits. Before the first draw, players can bet. They have the option to discard between zero and four cards. Each player takes their turn deciding how many cards to draw. The discarded cards aren’t put back in the deck; they’re set aside.

Then, there’s another round of betting, followed by another draw. After that, there’s a third round of betting before the final draw. Finally, there’s a fourth and final betting round before the showdown.

Starting Hands

Three-Card Badugi Starting Hands

  1. A♣ 2♠ 3♥
  2. A♦ 2♣ 4♦
  3. 2♦ 4♠ 5♥
  4. 2♥ 3♦ 5♣
  5. 2♠ 4♣ 5♦

These hands comprise three cards of different suits, all under five, which is an optimal position to start from in Badugi. They offer flexibility for drawing one card after the initial round of betting.

Two-Card Badugi Starting Hands

  1. A♣ 2♠
  2. 2♥ 3♦
  3. A♥ 3♠
  4. 2♣ 4♥

Although not as potent as three-card starting hands, these two-card combinations can still be played effectively, especially from a late position. Drawing two cards after the first round of betting can enhance their strength and give you a competitive edge.

Top 10 Badugi Hands

  1. Ax 2x 3x 4x 
  2. Ax 2x 3x 5x
  3. Ax 2x 4x 5x
  4. Ax 3x 4x 5x
  5. 2x 3x 4x 5x
  6. Ax 2x 3x 6x
  7. Ax 2x 4x 6x
  8. Ax 3x 4x 6x
  9. 2x 3x 4x 6x
  10. Ax 2x 5x 6x

These are the strongest hands you can get in Badugi.

What Is the Best Hand in Badugi Poker?

Aim for the Wheel (Ax 2x 3x 4x ) as it’s the best one! Each hand has four cards of different suits, and the lower ranks are more valuable.

Badugi Hand Rankings

Badugi is a game where a four-card hand always beats a three-card hand. For example, if you have K♦ Q♠ J♥ 10♣, it beats A♣ 2♠ 3♥ 3♦.

Here are some examples:

  • 4♠ 3♥ 2♣ A♦ – This is a 4-high badugi, meaning it’s a four-card rainbow hand with a 4-high.
  • 6♥ 5♣ 4♦ 3♠ – This is a 6-high badugi, which is a four-card rainbow hand with a 6-high.
  • 9♣ 7♦ 6♠ 2♥ – Here we have a 9-high badugi, a four-card rainbow hand with a 9-high.
  • K♦ Q♠ J♥ 10♣ – This is a King-high badugi, a four-card rainbow hand with a King-high.

Badugi Poker Rules Related To Betting

Badugi follows the classic poker betting setup with “blinds.” These are mandatory bets that move around the table, ensuring every player contributes to the pot during each round of blinds.

If you’re new to poker betting rules, check out this guide explaining the betting in No-Limit and Limit Texas Hold’em. These rules apply to many poker variations. Once you grasp them, you’ll understand the basic structure of any poker game.

In Badugi, each player receives four face-down cards. Betting starts with the player to the right of the big blind. They can call, match the big blind, raise to a higher amount, force others to match, or fold, giving up their chance to win. This cycle of call, raise, or fold continues until each player matches the highest amount or folds.

After this, the first drawing round begins. Starting with the first active player left of the dealer, players can discard any number of cards and draw new ones. Choosing not to discard is called “standing pat,” indicating a strong hand. Another betting round happens after the draw. This repeats twice more, with the final betting round following the third drawing round. In total, there are four betting rounds in Badugi, including the initial one and one after each draw.

What Is the Badugi Strategy I Should Be Following?

Now that we know the rules of Badugi poker, let’s talk about Badugi strategy which is pretty simple since the game’s objective is straightforward. Every player aims for the lowest set of four cards. Sometimes, a three-card hand can win too. Even a two or one-card hand is possible, but winning becomes harder with fewer cards. By keeping the following strategies in mind and adapting to your opponents’ playstyles, you can improve your chances of success in Badugi.

Understanding Badugi Hands:

  • Badugi is all about aiming for the lowest possible hand.
  • A four-card Badugi is the best hand, followed by a three-card Badugi, then a two-card Badugi, and finally a one-card Badugi.
  • While a four-card Badugi is ideal, you can still win with fewer cards if your opponents have weaker hands.

Observing Opponents:

  • Pay kind attention to how your opponents are playing their hands.
  • Note who stands pat from the beginning, who draws more cards, and who calls or raises bets.
  • Most players will fold before the showdown if they don’t have at least three unsuited, unpaired cards.

Knowing When to Stand Pat:

  • Standing pat can be a powerful move if your current hand is already strong.
  • Consider standing pat if you have a four-card Badugi or a three-card Badugi with opponents who need to draw.

Deciding When to Fold:

  • Fold if the betting becomes too aggressive, especially if you don’t have a strong hand.
  • Remember that winning with anything weaker than a three-card Badugi is tough.
  • Folding before the first drawing round is common if your initial hand isn’t promising.

How To Deal Badugi Poker?

Badugi is a type of poker where the players take turns being the “blind,” which means they have to put in some chips before they even see their cards. The person sitting to the left of the dealer is the small blind, and the one to their left is the big blind. Then, starting from the player to the left of the dealer and going around the table in a clockwise direction, everyone gets dealt four cards. And they’re all dealt one card at a time, face down, so it’s a bit of a mystery until you see what you’ve got.

What are the odds of getting a badugi in poker?

In poker, the odds of getting a badugi on the first draw are around 10 out of 48, which is approximately a 21% chance. Over three draws, your chances increase to about 51% of obtaining a badugi. This indicates that in a typical three-draw hand, you have roughly a 50/50 chance of drawing out on a king-high badugi by the end of the hand.