How to play Badugi
Badugi, which originated from Asia, is fast becoming one of the more popular poker games around. Many online poker rooms are also adding Badugi to their repertoire of games that they currently have. One reason why Badugi is gaining a large following is due to the fact that many players are inexperienced in this game. Most mainstream poker games have ample resources to help players master those games. However, this is not the case with Badugi. Thus, those who are able to master the principles and strategies of this game on their own have an edge over the majority of other inexperienced players.
Compared to other poker games, Badugi is a peculiar game. Badugi is a lowball draw game. Every player will be dealt with four hole cards and they are also entitled to discard and draw replacement cards thrice, a draw after each betting round. The objective of Badugi is to get the lowest four cards hand possible with four different suits. For example, A?-2?-3?-4? is the lowest (hence the strongest) possible hand that a player in Badugi can get.
In short, you have to get the worst possible hand with four rainbow cards. Each rainbow hand has to include a card from each suit and this hand is known as “Badugi”. Any hands that included two cards with the same rank or suit like A?A?2?3? or A?2?3?4? are known as three cards hand. These hands are still playable and can still win the game if no one else has a “Badugi”. Even two cards hands or one card hand can be played but normally it is hard to win with these hands.
The ranking of hands in Badugi is the part of the game that causes most players to be confused. For example, let us say Player 1 has A?2?3?8? and Player 2 has 2?3?4?6?. In this scenario, Player 2's hand will be the wining hand instead of Player 1's hand. This is because in Badugi, the cards are ranked backwards from the highest card to the lowest card. Thus, in the above scenario, the 8? loses to the 6?.
Another thing to note about ranking in Badugi is that a “Badugi” is the highest rank followed by a three cards hand, two cards hand and a one card hand. Thus, Player 1 with 5?8?9?K? will win over Player 2 with A?2?4?5?. This is because Player 2's hand has two cards with the same suit that is the A? and the 2?. Therefore only the A? will count in this hand making Player 2's hand a three cards hand. Whereas Player 1's hand without any matching cards is a “Badugi”. Thus, if you can master how rankings in Badugi work, you will be able to profit from those who fail to master this simple concept. In fact, this strategy is applicable not only in Badugi also to all the other types of poker.