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How to Play Badugi

How to Play Badugi Poker
by Hank Cashman of

I know this is not your everyday game but if you learn this game it is great fun. Badugi is an Asian game that is gaining popularity. You can find it online and when large groups of poker players get together. In this article, I will teach you how to play Badugi.

Badugi is a simple triple draw game like any draw poker game. You are shooting for the lowest hand, similar to Razz. Hereís the catch. You want four cards of different suits.

In Badugi you post blinds and the button moves just like most poker games. You get four cards. Each player bets in turn. Then, starting with the player left of the dealer, you can draw 1-4 cards. You want the nuts, A-2-3-4 all of different suits.

Pairs and suited cards count against you. If you have Ah-2s-3d-4h, you can only count the A-2-3. The four doesn't play since it was suited with the A and the A is lower so it does play. If you have Ah-2s-3d- 3c, you can only count the A-2 and one three since you canít play a pair.

If you have two cards of the same suit, turn in the higher one and see if you can improve your hand. If you have high cards, you can try to draw to lower cards. After everyone has drawn, there is another turn of betting starting with the player left of the button.

Now you get to draw again. Same movement of play and betting as before. Then you draw and bet again.

If at anytime you feel comfortable with your hand, you can ďstand patĒ. If you have four different suits but one card is a little high, maybe a J, you can stand and hope no one else has hit the suits.

It is more important to have four suits than low cards. When you get to the showdown the hands with four suits play first. If no one has four suits, then you look for a three suited hand. Then the best three suited hand wins. Remember you are looking for the unsuited low hand.

This is where I think the fun comes in. First of all itís a triple draw game. By the nature of the game, this makes it a pot builder. You always can draw out on someone and win on your last draw.

By the same token, you can have a good hand but lose it on the last draw. Letís say you have four suits but a Q or K. If you try to lower that card you may lose the fourth suit and lose to a four suited hand. It is better to have a high four suited hand than a low three suited hand.

The best bluff in Badugi is standing pat. If your opponents are still drawing, stand pat and bet. See if you can convince them that you have a made hand. It works as long as they have only three suits and a high card. This works better with shorter tables. The more players there are the better the chances of someone having a four card badugi.

Go online or get a game together. You will enjoy the action and frustration of Badugi.

Keep the cards and chips flying.


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