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Badugi Poker Rules

Badugi Poker Rules
2009/09/28

Badugi Poker

Badugi is a rather new variation of poker. It is usually played by those who are bored with the traditional poker games. More and more online poker rooms are beginning to include Badugi poker into their list of poker games. The world's largest online poker room – PokerStars – has also recently introduced their players to Badugi poker.

Dealing Cards in Badugi

Each player receives 4 cards dealt clockwise starting with the player posting the small blind (the one on the dealer's left). As soon as all of the players have received their cards the game starts with the player on the big blind's left and continues clockwise.

The Betting

Badugi poker can be played as a Limit, Pot-Limit and even as a Half-Pot-Limit game. The player's skill and experience is not that important as the game is sure to meet almost anyone's playing style.

The bets increase gradually during the game. In the first and second betting rounds, players may post small bets (for example, in a $2/$4 limit game the small bet is $2). In the third and fourth rounds, players may post big bets (e.g. $4). The standard limit games may include up to four raises during one betting round.

After downloading the online poker room and launching a Pot-Limit Badugi poker game, the players can make a raise of any amount starting with the minimum bet (the size of the big blind) up to the full size of the pot. So if the pot consists of the small blind ($2), the big blind ($4) and one call ($4), the next player is free to make any bet from $4 to $18 ($2 + $4 + $4 + $4).

Every player can increase the size of the pot on their turn. Therefore the Pot-Limit Badugi has no limitations on the number of bets that can be made during one betting round as the Limit Badugi does.

How to Play Badugi

First Betting Round

The first one to act in this round is the player on the big blind's left. They are free to fold their cards, call the bet or make a raise. Every player has to act (call, raise, fold or check) on their turn. As soon as all of the players have made their moves and the bets have been leveled-up, the first card draw takes place.

First Draw

All of the players will get the chance to change up to four of their cards, taking turns clockwise from the player on the dealer's left all the way back to the dealer. The players are free to choose the cards they want to keep and the ones they want to draw. The player's decision not to change any of their cards is called a “Standing Pat”.

Second Betting Round

When all of the players have changed their cards for the first time, the second betting round starts. The bets raise again on the basis of the small limit.

Second Draw

The second draw takes its place in the same way as the first one did.

Third Betting Round

Similar to the second round, only this time the bets increase according to the high limit.

Third Draw

Goes in the same way as before with the possibility of shuffling the cards if needed.

The Final Betting Round

The last betting round follows the same rules as the previous ones with the use of the high bet and leads to the showdown if there is still more than one player left in the game.

The Showdown

During the showdown, the remaining players show their cards and determine the winner. The player with the best card combination collects the whole pot. The rules of the showdown are the same of the Texas Hold'em. If there is no player who had made the last bet, the showdown begins with the one on the dealer's left and goes clockwise. Like in Hold'em the players are free to mock their hands if they do not want the others to see it.

The Winner

As soon as the showdown takes place, the winner of the game is announced and collects the whole pot.

Important Notes:
  • 1. The appearance of the side pots and the players that collect them are determined in the same way as in the other poker games.
  • 2. The game of Badugi poker is won by the lowest hand.

Badugi Hand Strength

Badugi poker is a game that is won by the best low card-combination consisting of four unsuited cards of different rank. Therefore the best-possible hand in Badugi is ah2d3c4s.

Any set of four cards of four different suits is called “Badugi”. The lower Badugi card combination wins over the higher one. Therefore 2h3s4c5d Badugi would beat 2s4h6d7c Badugi. In Badugi poker, the suits have no advantage over each other.

Pairs in Badugi

If a player has a Badugi pair, it just does not count. Therefore ah5djcjs would turn into ah5djc and would be a weaker hand than any other four-card Badugi combination. 5hjcjsjd would be only 5hjc – a two-card hand which is stronger than any other three-card or four-card combination (except the Badugi hands, of course).

Suited Cards in Badugi

If the player has two or more suited cards, the higher cards of the same suit would not be considered as a part of the hand. Therefore ah3s6ckc would turn into ah3s6c which would form the best three-card combination.

After dealing the cards, the player might receive paired or suited cards. Combinations consisting of such cards are considered to be very weak therefore the player should change the cards during the draw in order to make a stronger hand. For example qhqs8sjc would turn into qh8sjc – a three-card combination with no paired or suited cards.

Double Paired and Suited Hands

These are some of the worst possible starting hands. For example, jhjs8s8h would turn only into jh8s.

7-2 Offsuit in Badugi

The least likely and the most undesired starting hand in Badugi is four of a kind, just like 7-2 offsuit in Texas Hold'em. Therefore khkskckd turns into just one card out of four.

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