How to Play Badugi

This page is going to teach you how to play badugi poker. Whether you are completely new to the game with little experience or you have played it plenty of times, you will learn how to be a more proficient and better badugi poker player by reading the tips found below.

Badugi is a mix between a lowball game and a draw poker game. You win by holding a “badugi” which is 4 cards, all different suits, while holding no pairs. Unlike another popular type of draw poker (5 card draw), in badugi you only have 4 cards throughout the hand. At the beginning of each round, players are allowed to draw 0 to 4 cards, in order to strengthen their badugi hands. Since there is 3 rounds of betting, pots can get big very fast which makes starting hand selection all the more important.

Obviously badugi is a player vs. player game rather than a player vs. the house, similar to texas holdem. The casino or online poker room will make their money by taking a very small and unnoticeable rake from each pot. That is how casinos make money off all of their poker rooms.

The game starts by 4 cards being dealt face down to each player and a round of betting immediately begins. Players can opt to fold out of the hand at this point as well, before the first draw. Players go in position around the table and draw from 1-4 cards (or zero, if they choose to stay pat). After that drawing round comes a betting round.

Immediately following that drawing round is another betting round where you can bet, fold, call or raise. At this point in the hand you are going to have to decide if it is worth heading into the final 2 drawing rounds, knowing that there will be 2 betting rounds as well after this one. You need to think about how many cards you need, whether or not you think you will hold up now that you see what your opponents are doing, and if it is worth it to put two more bets in. A lot of this will depend on your position, how many people are left in the pot, and whether they are loose or tight players. You will find a lot of players in Badugi poker playing extremely weak and loose, which you should take advantage of by tightening up your starting hand selection, and taking it all the way to the last round and showdown.

After the first betting round there are two more identical drawing and betting rounds, followed up by a showdown. When you flip your cards over, the person with the lowest 4 cards will win. If more than one player has 4 cards of all different suits and no pairs, the lowest last number in the sequence decides who wins the hand. For instance, the best possible hand is A, 2, 3, 4, followed by A, 2, 3, 5. Then again, however, A, 2, 3, 6 is not as good as 2,3,4,5 because of the last number in the second being smalle than the first. If two or more player’s hands are still tied then they go to the second last lowest number and so on, unless two players have a badugi (a,2,3,4 all different suits), in which case the pot is split.

There you have it, now that you know how to play badugi poker you will probably want a place to play it online. Luckily for you, there is a great opportunity to join Pokerstars, the largest online badugi poker room, and grab an additional $600 for yourself.