Badugi Poker Online
Badugi is a draw poker variant similar to low ball triple draw, however the hand values are diferent from a normal poker game. Badugi poker is also sometimes known as “Badougi” or “Padooki.” Badugi poker is believed to have been invented in Asia, but the details of the creation of Badugi are unknown. In recent years, Badugi has become more popular in America and other western poker playing countries. Badugi can be found at some local card rooms, but it is generally very had to find at any major land-based poker rooms.
Badugi Poker Rooms Online
There are only two poker rooms that offer Badugi poker right now.
Carbon is a poker site that accepts U.S. poker players. At this time Carbon Poker is the only poker room that offers real money Badugi poker. They offer a 200% sign up bonus.
I am very excited to see that Lock Poker is offering Badugi Poker games. The poker room is part of the Merge network and features a 150% to $750 deposit bonus. Lock Poker accepts all USA players.
Badugi Poker Rules
The betting structure and overall game play is the same as a standard poker game with blinds, but unlike traditional western poker games, Badugi has some major differences.
- Badugi is played with four cards instead of five. Each player is dealt four cards face down, and can have only four cards is his or her hand at any one time during the Badugi poker hand.
- There are three drawing rounds. At the beginning of each drawing round, each player can trade zero to four of their cards in for the same number of new cards from the top of the deck.
- There are four betting rounds. The hand begins with a “pre-draw” betting round beginning with the player to the left of the big blind and continuing clockwise. Each player can fold, call, or raise when it is their turn to act, just like Texas Holdem. After the last drawing round, there is one last betting round. After the last (fourth) betting round, the remaining players show their final hands, and the best badugi hand wins the pot.
Badugi Poker Hands
Badugi hands are evaluated differently that normal poker hands. Badugi hand ranks are very different that normal poker hands. Although each player has four cards to use, Badugi poker rules require players to remove certain cards at the end of the hand (after all betting has concluded) to build either a four, three, two, or one card Badugi hand.
Discarding Cards In Badugi
- Players must remove one of any two suited cards.
- Players must remove one of any two paired cards.
After discarding paired cards or suited cards, each player shows down his/her hand. Any four card Badugi hand beats a three card hand, a three card Badugi hand beats a two card hand, and a two card Badugi hand beats a one card Badugi hand.
Badugi Hands With The Same Number Of Cards
Two Badugi hands that contain the same number of cards are evaluated just like you are playing lowball. Each player is trying to construct the lowest hand possible.
- Compare the highest card in each hand. (Aces are played low in Badugi) The player with the lowest card wins.
- Compare the second highest card. (If there is one) If the highest card in each players’ hand is the same, then the next highest card in each players’ hand is used as a tie-breaker.
- If all cards are the same, it’s a tie. Add up the pot and divide it by the number of players tied. Each player gets an equal share of the pot. If there is an extra chip, the player closest to the left of the dealer button gets the extra.
- As with normal poker rules, the suits of cards do not affect their rank. Compare their numerical value only.
Example Badugi Poker Hands
(KEY: s= spade, c= club, d= diamond, h= heart)
- 2s3c5d6h beats As2c3d7h (both are four card hands) since the highest card is compared first and the 6h is smaller than 7h.
- 4s5c6dKh beats 2s3s4d7h the former is a four card hand and the second is a three card hand (the 3s must be discarded making the hand 2s4d7h).
- 2s3s4d7h beats 4s5s6dKh both are three card hands, the highest in the first is the 7h while the highest in the second is the Kh.
- 5d7cKcKh beats 2s3dKsKd the former is a three card hand (made by discarding the Kc) the latter is a two card hand (made by discarding the two Kings which must both be discarded because they are the same suits as the other two cards).
If a player can construct two or more different Badugi hands with the same four cards as in the last example above, the best Badugi hand is used to whowdown against your opponents’ hand(s). This will occur when there are at least two cards of the same suit and one of which is paired.
Badugi Poker Strategy
Badugi shares much of the same strategy as other forms of draw poker. Many of the strategies of draw poker apply well to Badugi. As with all other forms of poker, the tighter you play, generally the more successful you will be. This is especially relevant to beginning Badugi players. It is always better to play few hands while learning how to play Badugi and getting comfortable with the flow of the game.
In Badugi, you always want to be trying to draw to an eight or seven high or lower. This can and should fluctuate though, depending on how many players are at the table. With more players at the table (five or more), there is a higher chance that someone will draw a four-card Badugi. It is also more likely that someone will have a good four-card Badugi hand. So you have to play tighter and draw only when you have a good chance at getting at least a four-card Badugi or at the very worst, a very good three-card Badugi.
With fewer players at the table (four or less), you can draw to a wider range of hands. Three-card Badugi hands become much more playable and any four-card Badugi is golden. You can raise and value bet four-card and good three-card hands pretty safely with four or less players in most situations.
If you think you have the hang of Badugi (or Badougi, or Palooki) and would like to give it a try online, I recommend Carbon Poker.