Monthly Archives: May 2010

Where to play badugi poker online

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post on the blog about the history of badugi and I also mentioned a few places that offered the game. I wrote two articles that might be useful about where to play badugi online and playing badugi at PokerStars. So I will write a little guide about where you can play the game and the advantages of playing badugi at one poker room vs. another.

PokerStars is probably the best place to play badugi poker, mostly because of the sheer volume of players playing the game online at any given time. If you are into high stakes games, this is also the place to be because of their high limit blinds up to $200/$400. The high stakes can be a disadvantage because the lowest limit stakes are $0.25/$0.50, which I consider to be a bit high for the average player who enjoys the penny and nickel games. Although, they do have freerolls and many tournaments available with badugi in it. also offers badugi in fixed limit and pot limit games. Typically, you will find fixed limit games in the ring games but the pot limit games will be found in tournaments. There is almost no half-pot games though and you will rarely find badugi pot-limit rules in the ring games. On the bright side, they are offering 100% match bonuses up to $600 on your deposits and players can earn Frequent Player Points as well as leveling up a VIP status.

The second best place is Carbon Poker, which is a bit smaller than PokerStars, but is one of the only online poker rooms that has badugi available. The obvious drawback is the lack of players. You can get to know all of the players much easier and find their weaknesses but sometimes you just want more people to play against. Sometimes there is almost no activity, but there are a large number of players that come in during peak hours.

One of the advantages of Carbon is the fact that they have lower limit games such as $0.02/$0.04 penny games, but their upper stakes go up to $10/$20, which is fairly high, but not like PokerStars. They also have a much larger proportion of pot-limit and half-pot limit badugi games on their ring tables. The tournaments, along with sit and go’s and freerolls, include badugi poker. One thing that is really unique is their bad-beat bonuses. If a player runs into a bad beat during a hand, they can instantly win the “bad beat” jackpot, which can regularly be as high as $100,000. Their bonus is also equal to PokerStars with 100% match up to $600 on deposits.

If you are into online poker, I would recommend visiting these two places and reading about their services, especially if you are a fan of badugi and are looking for a place to play it online. Remember, both rooms have free “play money” games, which are great for practicing while you read our guides or if you are just learning the game.

A short history of badugi and it’s origins

Obviously, badugi sounds like it is foreign, unlike Omaha or Texas Holdem and it is also a game that is relatively unknown, but quickly becoming more popular. The history and the story behind the game is actually very interesting and the game itself is relatively modern, which might come as a surprise to many. I wrote a detailed article about the history and origins of badugi poker awhile back, but I will write a short summary of it here on the blog.

The origins of badugi are not so clear but one thing is certain is that the game was likely invented in the 1970’s. The most common theory is that the game was created in South Korea and eventually made it’s way to the United States by a man named Paul Eskimo Clark. Paul was a soldier in the Vietnam War and it was told that he learned the game from a Korean and Paul eventually introduced it to the US.

Although, Paul Clark himself claims to be the inventor of the game and that someone else brought it to Korea instead. Although, many of the experts agree that the first theory was correct. The name of the game is just as mysterious because badugi is also known as padooki and a few other names that were widely used in Las Vegas gambling halls. Some believed at one time that the name originated from a Korean cartoon character about a dog but historians debunked this theory because the game was invented and named a few years before the animation. There is even more mystery behind how the name itself is pronounced. The most common pronunciation is (Bah-Doo-Gee) and this seems to be the accepted way of saying it and even the professionals use this one.

Badugi is becoming much more popular due to PokerStars and Carbon Poker, both which accept the game. Typically, there are between 100 and 500 players on given day playing this game online. Besides the ring and cash games, there are also major tournaments for badugi and even freerolls. The entire history and details about the game at these poker rooms is in the article, but these two places have the game available to play online and it’s only been around for just a few years as other places discontinued the game.

“Snowing” and bluffing strategy in badugi poker

The term “snowing” is actually not exclusive to badugi, but is used in many different types of draw poker. I wrote a detailed article about how to use snowing strategy in badugi. Basically, snowing is just a form of straight out bluffing and it works well in fixed limit games especially. The whole idea to the snow strategy is to “stand pat” and keep betting, raising or re-raising early in the round.

By standing pat after the starting hand is dealt, players begin to assume that you have a powerful 4 card badugi right off the bat and that your hand is so good that you do not need to draw any further. There are certain times when want to pull this bluff and it largely depends on what position you are on the table. Ideally, you want to be the last one to take action, or on the button position. This ensures that you see what everyone else has done before hand and you get the maximum amount of information.

If players are not raising the bet or they are all drawing cards, this would be the best time to use the snow strategy by standing pat and raising the bet. Hopefully, people fold out of the hand and surrender the blinds to you. Make sure you are reading your opponents to determine whether they usually slow-play their hands or not because this can be dangerous. It’s all about taking notes and using certain strategies against certain people.

Another good time to implement the strategy is if you are dealt a bunch of cards of the same suit. If you remember from my previous few blog posts, this means there are much fewer outs of a particular suit, thus making it extremely difficult for anyone else on the table to get a 4 card badugi. The more cards of a particular suit you are dealt during draws, the better it is when you are bluffing. Hopefully, you can get a badugi anyways and turn the game into a semi-bluff or just a powerful hand. Since we are talking about bluffing, we would have to assume the hand is crappy. Remember that “snowing” means you should be standing pat. If players are drawing 2 or more cards per round, it might give you an opportunity to pick up on a good hand before snowing again.

There are times when you would want to restrain from snowing the table. One of the most helpful signs to back off is when you see someone else standing pat, but they are not betting or they are just checking their hands. This is a classic sign of a passive slow-player who is trying to trap the aggressive players. You also do not want to snow when you are the first to act and you have no information about what the other players might be holding. Check out the article mentioned above for some great tips and pointers for badugi bluffing strategy.