Badugi: Peculiarities of Gambling, Basic Rules & Hand Rankings

Badugi is a Korean variation of poker with four pocket cards. The name translated from Korean means “spotted dog.” “Spotting” of winning combinations – all cards in the final hand must be of different values and suits. Despite its Asian origin, Badugi combines two traditional American games: Razz, where the lowest-value hand wins, and Lowball 2-7, where players can exchange their pocket cards on any of the three streets of trade. The result is a complex game with a high influence of luck – the opponents almost always have a chance to collect a monster combination during an exchange.

The Peculiarities of the Gameplay of Badugi Card Game

According to Badugi rules, combinations with lower cards are stronger than combinations with higher cards (fore example, Flush). The game takes into account not only the seniority of the cards but also suits – when repeating suits or denominations, one of the repeated cards in combination is excluded. The lowest card in Badugi is an ace. Therefore, the best possible combination is off-suit A234, which is also called the best Badugi. The term “Badugi” in the game means any hand of four non-repeating cards of different stripes. If the players are unable to collect “Badugi”, they play with three cards or less. How to determine who won the showdown:

  • First, cards that are repeated by suit or face value are excluded from each hand. For example, if there were two triples or two spades in the hand – in each case, there will be only one card from the repeated ones. In the case of suited cards, the oldest is removed;
  • The hand with the most cards left always wins the incomplete hand. Therefore, hands with repeated cards are considered weak and undesirable;
  • If in the final combination, both players have the same number of cards, they will compare the face value, starting with the highest card. The winner is the one with the highest card in his hand, which is lower than the opponent’s highest card. If they are equal, the players will compare the following in order of seniority.

In general, the tactics of how to play Badugi is similar to a 2-7 triple draw poker. Although, there are two serious differences: firstly, the Badugi game is played with only four cards, and secondly, the hand rankings is slightly different.

Badugi: the Rules & Hand Rankings

Badugi has the same betting rules Texas Hold’em. This card game has a small and a big blind, and the dealer’s chip determines the order of turn. With each new distribution, the dealer chip moves clockwise, and the players’ positions shift accordingly.

  • If the deck ends during a game of Badugi in one of the rounds of betting, players get the previously discarded cards;
  • Pre-draw – after putting down the blinds, each player receives four cards. The player sitting in the big blind starts the bidding round. Card exchange is possible only on the following streets – only standard poker actions are available on the pre-draw: call, fold, or raise;
  • The stroke moves clockwise. Bidding lasts until all participants equalize a bid of the same size. If someone raised and the others saved, this player wins the pot;
  • There are three rounds of exchanges, which are called: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When exchanging, the players can discard their cards to get new ones from the deck. They can exchange from one to four, but they can not exchange at all.

After each exchange, another round of trading takes place. At the end of the third and last round, the players show the collected combinations.

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