A variant of draw poker, Badugi is a new game, not yet widely spread in poker rooms, although it is both playful and surprising. It is gradually gaining notoriety and offers an experience like no other!
Description of Badugi
The origins of this fun poker variant remain unclear: Badugi has Korean roots.
As to how this game was developed in Europe and the United States, it is difficult to say. The game of Badugi requires a very efficient strategy to create what is called a "Badugi".
The Principle of Badugi
Winning at Badugi, means building a "Badugi" which is as low a hand as possible.
What does this mean?
It is a combination of four cards of different ranks and suits. It is important to be clear on this definition, an example of a Badugi would be: King of Hearts, Jack of Spades, 9 of Diamonds and 8 of Clubs. However, as mentioned previously, in order to win the pot, the "Badugi" must be as low as possible. The strong hands to avoid are pairs and suited cards.
The high-ranking cards are also to be avoided e.g. the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack. Notwithstanding this, it is better to have a 4-card Badugi with these cards rather than no Badugi at all.
The rules of Bagudi
There are 2 to 6 players. Each player has 4 private hole cards. There are no community cards placed in the centre of the board.
The Badugi plays triple draw, that is to say that it is a game which alternates between bets and draws.
Draw poker allows players who so wish to exchange 0 to 4 of their private cards, against the same number of new cards from the deckto improve their hand.
Make it a priority to discard your highest-ranking cards!
How a hand of Badugi is played
Dealing the cards
Unlike Hold'em poker, in Badugi each player draws a card and the player who has the highest card is the dealer.
He then deals four private cards to each player one by one, starting on his left, in a clockwise direction. The player on his direct left pays the small blind, while the player to the left of the small blind must pay the big blind.
The first round of betting
Betting starts with the small blind and continues clockwise according to poker convention. As in Hold'em poker, players have the choice between calling the big blind, or raising, that is to say, paying double the bet, or they can give up the hand, in which case they say they " fold. "
Players have the opportunity to discard 0-4 cards from their private hand, they receive the same number from the deck. However, once a player has exchanged four of their private cards, the other players only exchange a maximum of 3 in the same draw.
Second round of betting
Same as the first.
Same principle as the first draw. There is then a third betting round and another draw. This is followed by the fourth and final round of betting.
This is when the remaining players reveal their hands to the table. At the end of the game, the player who has the lowest Badugi wins the pot.
Example Badugi hands
Player 1 displays the following Badugi: Ace of Clubs, 3 of Diamonds, 6 of Spades, 9 of Hearts. Player 2 wins this game with his Badugi: 2 of Hearts, 4 of Clubs, 6 of Diamonds, 7 of Spades.
In practice, if no player has a Badugi, the player who has the closest hand, that is to say with the greatest number of cards of a different value and suit, wins the pot.
In particular, a player who has a hand with three cards of different suits and ranks beats a player with only 2.
In a case where both players have each a combination of three cards, the one whose value is the lowest wins the pot.