Badugi Poker

Badugi Poker is a draw poker variant where players are aiming to get the lowest possible 4 card hand of different suits. Believed to be of Korean origin, players have 3 chances to draw new cards to make the best possible Badugi Hand. When a player holds 2 cards of the same suit, or 2 of the same card, one of these cards is disregarded and does not play.

Badugi Hand Rankings

The best possible hand you can get in Badugi is A234 all different suits. This is considered a 4 card Badugi hand because no 2 cards are of the same suit. If the player held 2 cards of the same suit (for example: Ah2s3s4d) this would then become a 3 card because the 3 of spades would not count. Any 4 card badugi hand (ie. 2h5d9cKs) would then beat this hand. The worst possible hand is KKKK because it becomes a 1 card badugi hand with K high. Here are some examples of hands:
2d4c7h8s beats Ad3c5hTs because the highest card in the first 4-card badugi hand is an 8.
2c3d5s9h beats Ac2h4c6s because the second hand contains 2 cards of the same suit and is therefore only a 3 card Badugi hand, while the first hand is a 4-card Badugi hand.
As4cTsTd beats Ac2hThTc because the latter hand is a 2-card hand (double suited), while the first is a 3 card hand since it only contains 2 cards of the same suit.

Sample Badugi Hand

Blinds – Like in many other forms of poker, 2 players post the blinds (also known as compulsory bets).
First Round Betting – All players receive 4 cards face down and have a chance to either call the blinds, raise, or fold. They then have the choice to stand pat with the cards they originally received, or discard any number of the cards for new ones.
Second Round Betting – Once again players have the chance to check, raise, call a previous bet or fold their hand. All players still in the hand once again have an option to discard any number of cards for new ones.
Third Round Betting – Similar to the first and second rounds, once again players have the chance to bet, raise, call or fold then draw any number of cards in the final round.
Last Round Betting – Before the showdown, players once again have a chance to bet, raise, call or fold before the final showdown.
Showdown – All players still in the hand show their cards and the player with the best Badugi hand wins.

Badugi Betting Structure

Badugi is most commonly played as a fixed limit game where the first 2 rounds of betting are a small bet (the amount of the big blind) and the final 2 rounds of betting have a minimum big bet (which is equivalent to 2x the big blind or 2x the small bet. Occasionally the game is also played in pot-limit, ½ pot limit and no limit which typically results in fewer showdowns, bigger pots, and less gambling.