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Play poker the New Way – Badugi

If you want to play poker a way that is completely new, you should give Badugi a try. Since it is so new out there, once you get some experience you may already be well ahead of most opponents.

Badugi is not an exotic dessert or a foreign language, it is in fact a newly popular variation of poker that all the pros are trying. You can find it at some online poker rooms. Scan through some reliable poker site reviews to find Badugi games at your preferred stakes.

How Badugi works

Here's how you play poker in this unusually named poker variation. Like in Omaha, you receive four face-down cards, but there will be no board cards or community cards. Play starts to the left of the dealer with a small blind, a big blind, and an under-the-gun player who acts first in the first betting round. The betting finished, each player has the option of replacing as many of their cards as they like. Badugi is a triple-draw game, which means that players can replace their cards three times, with a betting round after each draw. Once all of the drawing and betting is done, there is a showdown, and the best Badugi hand wins the pot (see below).

The worst hand wins

Badugi is a lowball game, which means that the lowest hand wins the pot. What’s unique is that in Badugi, the number of cards you have is also a factor. After the final draw, players must discard one of any two suited cards and any card that matches another card from their hand. Now each player has a hand containing between one and four cards. All four card hands (Badugis) beat any hand with three cards, all three card hands beat any two card hand, and all two card hands beat any one card hand. If two hands have the same number of cards, the lowest hand wins. Hence, the best hand is A-2-3-4 of mixed suits, and the worst hand would be a one-card K. In Badugi, aces count only as a low card.

Basic Badugi strategy

The trick to remember about Badugi is that no matter how strong your hand is, the most important factor is the number of cards it has. If you are holding Ah-2h-3s-4c and your opponent holds Kc-Qs-9d-5h, you loose even though all your cards are lower – since your opponent have a four-card hand and plays “in a higher division”.

As a consequence, your primary goal should be to build a four-card hand. Be very unwilling to break up a four-card hand, especially before the last draw. Also, if many opponents are no longer drawing at all, they probably have a four card hand, and you should be very disinclined to draw unless you are likely to also make a four-card hand.

Check your favorite poker site reviews to see where you can play online poker this new and exciting way called Badugi.

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