Badugi Poker fundamentally fits into the category of Draw Poker and is probably not widely known by all poker players. Given the strange betting structure and the unusual playing method it is a very interesting game. It is a four-card game that consists of three ‘drawing’ rounds, in which players can place their bets in order to to build the winning Badugi hand till the showdown. In Asia the game is played a lot, and it is slowly expanding to North America and Europe. Badugi is generally played as a fixed limit game with two blinds. So far the game is similar to most other poker variants. When the game is played in a tournament form, it is often played as pot limit and no limit.

The course of the game Badugi

To start the game the dealer deals four cards face down to each player. Then the first betting round starts, beginning with the player directly in front of the big blind. Currently, the players have the choice to fold, call or raise (up to the house limit.) Any player who, after the first betting round is still in play, may trade between zero and four cards from his hand for new cards. The ones he traded cannot be used anymore. It is therefore important that players know exactly which cards they discard, and then calculate the new pot odds. In some games the names of the rounds look a lot like those of Texas Hold’em.

The hand values in Badugi

It is important to know that the valuable hands in this game have a totally different value in comparison to the usual poker variants. You should therefore very well know how the hands are valued. Never play Badugi if you are not familiar with this issue. In Badugi, only the cards with a different value and type of card count. So cards of the same type of card or a pair, are worth nothing in your hand. The name Badugi refers to a hand of all different types of cards and card values. If you start comparing hands with each other, firstly take the live the number of cards into account. Then the lowest value of the highest card is evaluated, of which the ace is the lowest. The winning hand would thus consist of an ace, two, three and four, all from a different type of card. The worst hand possible in this game are four Kings.

Winning Strategies in Badugi

The three ‘drawing’ (card draw) rounds in the game, make the game somewhat similar to 2-7 Triple Draw Poker. The major difference, obviously is the difference with respect to card values. In all poker games, the position of a player at the table is of great importance. In Badugi this is even essential. If a player can see how many cards each player takes, then the can determine the value of his own hand in comparison with those of his opponents, determine. For example, if a player draws a lot of new cards, this probably indicates that he has a bad hand. The opposite is true when little or no new cards are drawn.

Imagine that you have a complete hand, in other words, a Badugi, and you’re curious about the odds that your opponents also draw a Badugi. The chances/odds can be calculated as follows. If a player trades a card, he must take a new card that does not correspond to a card type in his hand. The probability in this case is 10 out of 52, since the player may take any card that matches one of the three cards in his hand. It is also possible that the player draws a card with a lower value of the high card.

For instance, when you have a ten-high four-card hand, the probability is 6 out of 52 opponent draws one card with a lower value. This is because the cards above 10, the correct type of card, cannot beat your hand. In the first betting round, a player just has over a 50% chance to draw a unique four-card hand. This probability will likely decline with 20% in each round.