How to play Badugi Poker?

Badugi poker, also known as Padooki poker, is said to have been originated in Asia. Even though it can be played as a no limit or a pot limit game, the most common variant of Badugi poker uses a limit game. If you’re wondering how to play Badugi poker, be rest assured that it is really easy to master. The strategies and rules are quite similar to a normal game of poker. All you need to do is understand the subtleties and variations in the gameplay and the rules. Badugi poker is considered to be a four card game where players need to have the lowest Badugi, i.e., a hand where no cards have the same suit or the same value. If you get two or more cards from the same suit or the same value, the one with the lowest value is kept and the others are discarded. As a result, your hand might transform into a 1 card hand as well.

Understanding the Game Structure

Badugi is a game of poker that is quite similar to the triple draw in its structure. The major difference is that each player receives four cards instead of five and that the hand values are different. There are a total of three drawing rounds wherein players are allowed to discard anything between zero to four cards from their hand and draw the same number of cards from the deck. A round of betting follows each draw and another round of betting is conducted after the final draw. The main object of Badugi poker is to create a win by making the lowest Badugi hand or by getting all others to fold.

The Gameplay

All players are dealt with four cards. The game begins with a round of betting. Once the betting is complete, players can discard anything between zero to four cards and draw the same amount of cards from the deck. This is then followed by another round of betting. The discarding, drawing and betting process is continued for two more rounds. Once the third draw has been played, there is a final round of betting before players (those who are still in the game) reveal their hands to determine the winner.

Badugi Hand Values

The main idea of Badugi poker is not to have cards of the same rank or the same suit in your hand. This means that if you have two aces or two hearts in your hand, you need to change. Having a hand where each card is from a different suit and has a different denomination is the best hand that a player can have. This is followed by the three cards, two cards and one card hands. If players have the same number of cards in their Badugi hand, the card values are compared in order to determine the winner. The player with the lowest highest card wins. If the highest card is the same, the second highest card is checked and so on.

Badugi Strategies

Here are a few strategies to help you out with Badugi poker.

– Your starting hand selection is extremely important. Chasing the game is extremely difficult and expensive in Badugi poker.
– A completed Badugi is always known to be more valuable than a one card draw.
– Try to complete your entire hand as early as possible, even if your lower ranking hands need to suffer.
– If you complete your Badugi before everyone else, consider escalating the bet size to increase the pot value.
– Be extremely careful while changing the high value cards in your Badugi as the card that you receive in the draw might just ruin your entire game.