Badugi Poker Lesson: A Unique Choice
Let’s explore Badugi Poker, a unique choice in the poker world.
This draw poker version, also known as Badougi, Paduki or Padooki is
similar to lowball with a unique twist.
In our quest to bring you the latest poker data as taught by gaming
pros, Gambling Teachers offers this lesson to include history, rules,
example hands and strategies for Badugi Poker.
Badugi is thought to have originated in Asia with either Korea or China
as the probable sources and has gained significant popularity among
card players, especially at online casinos.
This multi-player game references a Badugi that is a hand made up of
four cards, where a player has three chances to draw or change the
combination, to attain the lowest hand possible and scoop the pot.
Therefore, the best possible hand is A234 of four different suits. The
worst possible hand is four Kings.
As a designated lowball game, straights and flushes won’t get you close
to a win in a game where the object is to collect the lowest cards. The
best or lowest hand of Ace, Two, Three and Four of 4 different suits is
often referred to as a rainbow hand
These Badugi poker rainbow hands
with different suits of clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds can prove to
be winners as examples below will illustrate.
Badugi is also a draw game where players can swap cards from the deck.
The drawing of cards is completed in between the rounds of betting.
Badugi Poker Rules and Examples:
After a pre-draw bet or ante, a game begins with each player receiving
four cards face down. This is followed by optional draws/betting rounds
until a winner is determined.
As mentioned, a badugi is a hand made up of a combination four of cards
of different suits and values with the best hand of Ace (low value in
this game) 2, 3 and 4. Another example of Badugi is AD 8C 3H 6S.
As many of the hands dealt will not be a Badugi, there are other hands
that can qualify as winning hands in any given game.
3-card hand where two
cards have either the same value or the same suit. If a hand consist of
the cards 2S 2D 7H 3C, there are only three active cards, 2S 7H and 3C
as the pair of twos are considered 1 card.
Likewise, the same suit as with 2S 5H 7H 3C, the 7H will be discarded
because the value is higher than 5H. Thus, the active cards are 2S 5H
A combination with two or more cards of the same value is called a
paired hand while two or more cards belonging to the same suit is
called a suited hand.
Keeping in mind that
duplicates of suit or rank are ignored as possible winners with Badugi
Poker, a 2-card hand consists of three cards of four dealt that
are of the same suit or value.
Therefore, a trio of 3’s dealt becomes a single 3 while a trio of clubs
dealt becomes a single club. Both examples then merge to form a 2-card
1-card hand occurs if a
player is dealt four cards that are one of a kind consisting of the
same suit or the same value. This combination is then reduced to a
1-card hand only.
To summarize, any four-card Badugi hand beats a 3-card; a three-card
hand beats a 2-card hand, and a two-card hand beats a 1-card Badugi
Additionally, 2 hands containing the same number of cards are evaluated
by comparing the highest card in each hand considering that ace has a
Thus, the lower card is superior. In the case of a tie, the second
highest card determines the win. Otherwise, if the ranks of all the
cards are the same, the two hands tie. Suits are not considered when
comparing two hands.
Badugi Poker Strategies:
Similar to other multi-player poker games, strategies for both position
and pot odds within the game of Badugi should be optimized.
Card players who are
last to decide their next move are in the best position to bluff as
they are able to oversee the actions of other players beforehand.
Moreover, these same players can better determine the strength of their
Also, Pot Odds
assist in your
decision to call or fold. Remember the high value of
probability percentages and draw chances. Therefore, if you are able to
determine the number of outs it takes to beat your opponent then you
can calculate the percentage of hitting your hand compared to the size
of the call with the pot.
It is suggested that you consider poker software in order to maximize
the expected value of your bet.
Consider the number of players at the table in your strategy plan.
The higher number of players increases the chances of a 4-card Badugi
While bluffing with a 2 or 3-card hand is not good strategy at a 6
player table, this strategy can be a positive move when paying with
fewer than 4 players.
Lastly, it is suggested that you freely
practice this unique poker choice before
hitting the money tables to get maximum enjoyment and profit. Good Luck!
Badugi Poker is followed by Other Poker: 12 Versions
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