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How to Play Badugi Poker – Game Rules and Hands

Badugi is considered to be one of the most difficult forms of poker, with the possibility to replace cards. This is relatively young game, which appeared not long ago in Asia. The main objective of this game is the best low hand of different suits and different ranking. By the way, from the Korean, Badugi means “rainbow”.

Basic Rules of the Game

Badugi is not as difficult as it may seem at first glance. This poker game is often compared with Draw Poker, but it is very different from it. Badugi players are dealt four cards instead of five, and a player can replace cards up to three times per game.

With a large number of players and extensive replacement of cards there may be lack of cards in the deck. This situation is common in games with the replacement of cards. In such case to continue playing Badugi cards that were already discarded are used.

Gameplay and Betting

Before dealing, the two players next to the button, make blinds – a forced bet. After that, each player is dealt four hole cards. This is the beginning of the first round of betting, which is referred to as the «Pre-draw».   Every next round has its own unique name.

First round

After the “Pre-draw”, there is the first round of card replacement, called “breakfast”. Here every player can replace any number of cards. Replacement is carried out in turns, beginning with the player who made the lowest blind.

Second round

Then there is “Badugi lunch”, which also allows replacement of cards that were not discarded in the previous round.

Third round

Then there is “Badugi supper”, which is played exactly the same pattern.

Note: all the moves and actions in Badugi are similar to those in any other form of poker, for example, Texas Holdem. So, it should be noted that in any round the player can replace any number of his / her cards, or do without replacement, if he / she is satisfied with the current hand.

End of betting – Showdown

At the end of all betting rounds, there is a showdown, and final winner is determined. The entire game pot is awarded to the player, who has the best hand. If, however, there is no such hand, winning is the hand that is the most approached to Badugi hand.

Hands

To win in Badugi you need to have a winning hand of the four lowest cards in the deck. At the same time, the lowest card in the deck is considered an ace, and the hand should meet the following rules:

  • All four cards must be of different suits;
  • There must not be cards of the same ranking.

Based on the above regulations, the best hand in the game of Badugi is 4-3-2-A, where all the cards are off suit. The worst hand can be considered the one consisting of four cards of the same rank. Four aces in Badugi – is the weakest hand.

Where to play Badugi

Mainly, Badugi is a live game, since it is not so popular. On the Internet, you can also find poker rooms that offer the game. At the moment, one can play online Badugi on PokerStars.