There are some great techniques that players can use to calculate the odds in badugi. I would advise readers to visit my article about badugi poker odds in order to view the complete table showing percentage odds of making a badugi vs. the current outs. I also provided a mathematical formula or equation to calculate the approximate odds along with visual illustrations of understanding your probabilities.
Most of the odds concepts revolved around trying to find the probability of turning your 3-card hand into a 4-card hand at any given point in the game or during each of the three draw rounds. Obviously, your chances are best after the starting round when you have plenty of drawing opportunities.
The first thing to recognize is the fact that a standard deck of 52 playing cards contains 13 different suits, which is the same in any other poker game. When you want to keep track of a specific suit, probably the one that you need, then you want to pay attention to the “outs”. There are a number of things to look out for and some might not be as obvious.
Let’s assume you have a hand such as A-2-3-4 but the 2 and 3 are suited. You would get rid of the three and be left with a hand of A-2-4. Let’s also assume that you need a card suited hearts in order to make a 4 card hand. So far, you do not know how many hearts the other players have or how many are still left to be dealt. You have also not gotten any hearts, so you need to assume that there are still 13 hearts or “outs” left in play.
This is not it though. If you are trying to draw hearts, you must also avoid drawing an Ace, 2 or 4 of hearts, since these would be worthless to your hand. In actuality, you only have 10 outs or possible cards that can meet your goal. It turns out that the odds or probability of getting a badugi in any given draw round is roughly 20%. Also, your total odds of getting it within 3 draw rounds is slightly less than 60% to be exact.
View the table in the article I mentioned, it will display your odds and probability of getting a 4 card badugi in the 1st draw round, within two or three rounds for a number of “outs” ranging from 1 to 10. The less outs there are, the worse your odds get. Another thing to remember, and can be very advantageous, is when you get a ton of cards of the same suit.
For example, if your starting hand contains 4 cards of the same suit (let’s say spades) and you trade all but one in a draw round (or all of them), then get a bunch more of the same suit, then the outs for that suit are very low. If you keep drawing and get a three or four card hand, the chances of anyone else getting spades will be much, much lower as you can see from the percentage chart. There is more strategy and information at your disposal in badugi than you might have imagined. Read the article to learn your odds of improving a weak 4-card hand into a strong 4-card hand. It might seem crazy, but the odds are better than you might think!