How to Play Badugi Poker

Badugi poker is a form of lowball draw poker similar to triple draw poker with a betting structure that is similar to traditional poker games. However, unlike standard poker, badugi poker uses four instead of five cards.

Features of Badugi Poker

  • Betting Rules: The winner of the pot is the individual who possesses the best hand during each showdown or at the game’s end. In Badugi poker, it is possible for there to be a tie in which both winners split the pot.
  • 4 Card Game: Each of the players is dealt 4 cards at the beginning of the game. As is the case with other forms of poker, hide your hands and use varying strategies in order to win the game. To win, you need to try to get the best hand or combination of cards. The optimal hand is the lowest badugi, which is the combination in which all four of the cards have different values and have different suits.
  • 3 Betting and Drawing Rounds: During each round of drawing, you can draw between 0 and 4 cards. A round of betting follows each round of drawing in which you can raise, check, fold, or call depending on your hand or combination of cards. After the completion of the drawing rounds, you may end up with a bad 1 card hand, a 2 card hand, a 3 card hand, or the ideal badugi. Regardless of the values of the card, a badugi wins over any 3 card hand, which also trumps all 2 card hands.
  • No Community Cards

How to Play Badugi Poker

Badugi is a game which is able to be played both offline and online and is a form of lowball poker. Learning how to play badugi poker is easy, particularly if you are already familiar with other forms of poker. However, there are some distinct differences between this form of poker and other types.

Badugi poker consists of a 4 card game which has the goal of a player achieving the lowest possible badugi. The badugi is a hand in which no 2 cards have the same suit or the same value. If there is more than one card which has the same suit of value, the one card with the smallest value stays with the rest of the cards being discarded. After the cards are discarded, the hand becomes a 3 card, a 2 card, or a 1 card hand.

The game is played with a maximum of 8 people. Prior to the game, all of the players agree to a certain big blind and variation of betting, which can be a half-pot limit, a pot limit, or a limit. Deal 4 cards and place them face down on the game table. Make sure that you and the rest of the players are not able to see each other’s cards.

The game has four rounds of betting. The 1st round follows the dealing of the four initial cards. The rest of the betting rounds follow the 1st. Each of the rounds of betting begin with the leftmost big blind player and proceed clockwise. You and the other players can choose to raise, call, check, or fold when their turn comes. The players who are left in play continue on to the next round until the game is finished. The bets get larger with each round.

In order to obtain and keep a winner’s hand, you and the other players may choose to refrain from drawing a card during a round. However, if you so choose, you can draw up to four cards to replace the ones in your hand. During the drawing of the cards, the players are able to take turns beginning from the dealer’s left and proceeding clockwise. After a round of drawing is finished, play continues into the next round of betting.

If there is two or more players present during the fourth round of betting, a showdown is used to determine the game’s winner. Evaluation of the cards then occurs by placing each of the hands upwards on the table so that the winner can be determined.

A winning hand has more cards than the hand of the opponents. A badugi which contains 4 cards wins over a 3, which wins over a 2, which wins over a 1 card hand. For hands which contain the same card number, the hand with the lowest value wins the game.

Rules of Badugi Poker

The rules of the game are easy to understand. Keep in mind that this form of poker consists of a 4 card, lowball, triple-draw poker game.

The type of betting varies depending on whether the game is being played as a half-limit, pot limit, or limit game. During a half pot game, the largest round bet is equivalent to half of the pot’s value. During a pot limit poker game, players are able to bet as little as the big blind to as large as the entire value of the pot. In the case of a limit poker game, each of the players may only raise based on a specified increment each round.
During a round of betting, you and the other players are able to check, bet, fold, or raise based on their hand or their combination of cards.

Players who are participating in a game of badugi poker have three rounds of drawing. During each round, you can keep your hand or replace any one or all of your cards. The purpose is to obtain and maintain the lowest badugi possible. The badugi is a hand consisting of 4 cards in which none of the cards are of the same suit or value. If this does not occur, the cards must be discarded. This goes as follows:

  • Hand: Ace of Clubs, Ace of Diamonds, 3 of Hearts, 7 of Spades. One of the Aces would need to be discarded as they are of the same value. This would make the hand a 3 card hand.
  • Hand: Ace of Clubs, 6 of Diamonds, 4 of Diamonds, 8 of Clubs. In this case, the higher card would be discarded in order to keep the lowest value. This would make the hand a 2 card hand.

If there are two or more players who possess a badugi at the end of a game, the one with the badugi of the lowest value wins the game. The same is the case with hands of smaller numbers of cards. If the game ends in a tie, each of the players wins a part of the pot.