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Badugi Poker

Badugi Poker

Badugi is a fascinating poker variant invented in Asia, and it can be played as Limit, Pot Limit or half Pot Limit. Hands contain only four cards, and the object of Badugi is to get a hand with low card values – no pairs, two pairs, three or four of a kind, or cards from the same suit – the best possible hand is four low cards of different colors and values (A, 2, 3, 4 from different suits).

Play begins with each player being dealt four cards, one card at a time. Badugi doesn’t use community cards. The players can’t observe the four cards dealt to other people. Badugi is a triple draw game, where each draw round is followed by a betting round. A first betting round takes place “pre-draw”, starting with the player sitting left of the big blind. The game will always proceed clockwise around the table.

In the first draw round, each player can draw up to four cards or “stand pat” (abstain from drawing any cards at all) and choose between folding (relinquish any claim to the pot), calling (put in an amount equal to the big blind) and raising (put in more money than the other players, forcing them to do the same), just as in many other poker games. In the second betting round, the players may check (not put in any money and remain in the hand) until someone bets.

Then, there is another draw round followed by a third betting round and the final draw. In the third betting round, the high stake is used to determine betting increment; the dealer might have to reshuffle discarded cards during the third draw round. The final draw and the fourth betting round will lead to a showdown as long as there’s more than one player left. If there’s only one player remaining, he/she will get the pot without having to show any cards. If there’s more than one player remaining, their hands are compared and the player with the best (in fact the “worst”) hand wins.