Badugi Poker

Card discipline “Badugi” refers to the family of draw poker. This variety appeared on the territory of Asian states and got its name thanks to the breed of dog, which has a similar name. Badugi is often played in offline casinos and poker rooms – and how to do it right and wisely we will tell you in this post.

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History of Badugi

It is believed that the roots of the game in Badugi originated in Asia. There are also several names of this direction – Badougi, Padooki, etc. Geographically, the history of Badugi originates in South Korea, where the dog of the same name actually originated. The purebredness of this breed is determined by the number of colors that color the wool – the more there are, the more thoroughbred it is considered. This trait associated with the coloring of the coat of the animal, and formed the basis of this discipline.
Speaking in a professional language, Badugi is a subspecies of Dro. The game has similarities with Lowball, however, in the case of the Asian version, the participant who managed to collect the youngest hand wins. In addition, there is another feature that is associated with the seniority of possible combinations. So in Badugi, those combinations that do not have pairs and at the same time can offer a set of cards of different stripes are considered to be strong.

Key Features

Badugi is a fairly new game on the Internet. Learning to play it is easy, because learning the rules and the idea is not difficult at all. As in other popular types of poker, the main goal in Badugi is to collect the maximum possible combination. In short, the strongest combination in it is a set of the following cards: 4-3-2-A. It is also necessary to take into account that the combination is of different colors – only in this case it will have the strongest value. Simply put, the strongest card is an ace. Then come the deuce, three and other cards.
The main differences are in the hand draw. To avoid confusion and get the treasured bank, you must always stay focused. Unlike Texas Hold’em, the Badugi rules do not provide for the traditional flop, turn, and river. Here combinations can only be made up of the four cards that were issued by the dealer at the start of the game party.
However, they can be exchanged during the special rounds: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Despite the fact that this is not a very common poker trend, tons of training materials can be found not only on our website, but also on the Internet – in the books of professional players. For example, Barry Greenstein wrote The Badugi Chapter, which is especially appreciated for the chapter Badugi Rules: Combinations. It, as you might have guessed, tells in detail about the rules through the mouths of the legendary player of our time.


First of all, remember the basic rule: the lower the rank of the card, the stronger it is. For this reason, even with the lowest ranked cards, you can safely count on victory. Here the combinations are completely different from the winning combinations of other poker disciplines. The best combo is called Badugi. This is a combination of four cards of different stripes (they should not be paired). The strongest of the combinations looks like this: 4-3-2-A. The weakest: KQJ-10.
It is also important to remember that Badugi Street is not taken into account. For example, if a poker player has a combination of 8-7-4-3, then he will lose to someone who has a combo of 7-6-3-2. Just do not forget that these combinations are taken into account only in that situation if they have different suits. And if the poker player has 7-5-4-A, then he will lose to the opponent with a combination of 7-4-3-2. Despite the fact that the first poker player has an ace, Badugi takes into account the strength of the combination as a whole and the second player has a lot more senior cards. Now we can determine how to collect combinations to get the best.
The cards of the minimum value are the strongest, the ace is equal to one, and that the cards must have different suits.
The rest of the problems should not arise, so you can safely begin to actively master this game. If none of the participants collected all four suits, then the winner is determined by the number of suits collected. For example, if a poker player collected two suits, and his rival only one, then the victory will go to the first poker player. Even in Badugi, pairs are not counted. For example, if a poker player collected K-K-5-5, then according to the rules his combination will be counted as K-5-X-X.
If the participant in the game has three cards of the same suit and one other at a time, then the lowest-ranking suit card and one card of the other suit will participate in the formation of the combination. For example, 10-8-5 suits of the peak and two suits of clubs – this will count as 5-2-XX. In turn, the weakest in Badugi are considered single-card combinations – this is a combination of cards of the same suit / combo of four aces. The weakest are the off-suit 10-JQK.

Game progress

At the beginning of the game, all participants receive four cards. As in other areas, poker players hide their cards from rivals, apply different strategies and tricks to get a bank. There are three main rounds:

  1. Breakfast. Players make bets: count, bet, raise, re-raise or discard. After the starting round, the poker players who stayed in the game begin the card exchange procedure. The meaning of the exchange is that participants discard the worst cards in order to get the best (to improve the combination). After the exchange, the poker player may have badugi, a combination of three / two cards, or the worst combination.
  2. Lunch. The second round begins with bets. You can bet, call, raise, and also fold. If more than one participant has not raised their bets, a check is carried out and the game proceeds to the next stage.
  3. Dinner. The third round starts the same as the second. First, the poker players bet, then again they exchange cards to improve their combination, after which they spend the last round in which bets are made. By the end of the decisive circle, poker players reveal their cards. As usual, the victory goes to the one with the best combination.

And finally, the showdown is a long-awaited stage, when all participants show the cards, after which the winner of the party is determined, who will take the whole bank. Everything is here, as in the same Hold’em – the showdown begins with the first remaining poker player clockwise from the dealer. After the showdown, participants with losing combinations in the right not to show a weak hand, but simply fold.

Badugi Poker Strategy

Badugi is quite an interesting and insidious game due to the fact that opponents can pick up combinations during rounds of betting. Therefore, it is important to competently conduct trade and make thoughtful bets. If you have a sufficiently strong hand during the distribution of cards, it is advisable to raise bets to the first round of exchange. Thus, you will find out which of your opponents has a strong hand, who has a weak hand, and who plans to bluff.
If at the starting stage you change your cards, then your opponents will decide that you are trying to improve your hand. If you don’t do this, opponents may decide that you have collected a strong badugi and there is absolutely nothing to exchange cards for. On the other hand, with a bad hand, you can imitate badugi or a good hand without changing the card, but in fact you will simply bluff. Such manipulations give the Badugi game its zest and irresistibility.
During the game, poker players choose their strategy, since in Badugi it is necessary to recognize the tactics of the players sitting with you at the table.
One of the main aspects is to make the player make a mistake, lead him in the wrong direction of the game, and just get confused. If six participants play at the table, there is a high probability that one of them must have Badugi. Although it may be that two or three poker players have a combination of a pair of cards or three cards of the same value. And for a profitable game, it is important to understand the rules of the game, understand its idea, navigate the situation and feel the table. A great advantage is given by the practice and experience of the game.
As in other poker disciplines, the online game is usually different from the live Badugi. On the Internet, poker players cannot see each other, cannot influence the course of the game, using facial expressions and gestures. In poker rooms, players play more hands than live, the game strategy is more based on the mathematical calculation of combinations. Despite the fact that you play online or offline, the main thing with discipline is to approach the game itself, weigh the actions of your opponents, be physically and mentally prepared, and most importantly have a clear mind, because poker is primarily a mind game, and luck here is not so important role.
Be sure to remember two important features of poker players – observation and the ability to bluff.
Observation is a mandatory feature of a strong player, while bluffing is a subtle sense of seeing the situation from the inside, and applying cardinal decisions during the game. To use bluffing correctly, a poker player must logically evaluate the situation. Some players are bluffing, where it is completely impractical to do this, and therefore lose a lot of money. In general, there are many strategies that are useful for a successful game of Badugi, but everyone chooses his own, carefully analyzing the table and the behavior of other players.

Game variations

There are several varieties of Badugi that differ only in the size of the bets during trading:

  1. Limit. Implies the minimum bid in the first two rounds of betting. For example, the limit is $ 2 / $ 4, then the bet during the first and second rounds of betting will be $ 2. And during the third, the maximum bet will be $ 4.
  2. Pot Limit. Allows a participant in the game to make a bet equal to the size of the pot in the draw. For example, the size of the bank is $ 40 – before the poker player made a bet of $ 8. Therefore, the maximum bet is $ 56.
  3. Half Pot Limit. It is very similar to Pot-limit, the only difference is that the maximum rate should not exceed 1/2 the size of the bank. For example, the size of the bank is $ 20 – before the poker player made a bet of $ 4 dollars. Based on the information received, the maximum bid cannot exceed $ 12.


That’s actually all the basics that a player should know when he begins to actively play Badugi. This is not such a complex type of poker as it seems. Before playing this type of poker, you need to thoroughly study the rules of Badugi and combinations in poker – this is the right way to a successful game. Moreover, in this still not so widespread game there are not so many professionals. You have every chance to become one of them and take banks from inexperienced players. Good luck in this promising endeavor!