Badugi Poker Rules
The rules are not so hard and they usually follow close to regular poker rules. Badugi is a type of draw poker where players draw cards for 3 rounds and have 4 rounds of betting. Basically, the worst hand of poker will win in this game. For example, four of a kind in other poker games may be a great hand, but in Badugi poker, this is in fact the worst possible hand you can have. It turns out that the rules are not too hard to learn and people pick up this game quite quickly even though it is different than most poker games.
Basic rules of Badugi
The basic goal of the game is to get the lowest 4 card hand possible and have each card of a different suit. The rules in badugi state that aces are low and kings are high. So the most powerful hand in the game is A-2-3-4 where each card is of a different suit. The next major rule is that if any of the cards are of the same suit, one of them will not count. If you have a straight flush consisting of 4 cards, only 1 card will count.
There are a few different types of badugi tables but the most common time is just fixed limit. This means that players can only make fixed bets in proportion to the stakes of the table. For instance, if you are playing on a $1/$2 limit table, players can only make maximum limit bets of $2 but they can be raised by $2 at a time up to three more times according to the rules. The betting style also works a lot like Texas holdem where a dealer puck rotates around the table to each player to the left after every hand of poker. The person the immediate left of this puck must pay the small blinds of $1 and the person left of the small blinds position must pay the big blind of $2.
There are also pot limit and half-pot limit tables as well with different rules. The rules for the pot limit allows players to make bets that match the same amount as the pot. If you are playing on a half-pot badugi table, then you can only make a maximum bet equal to half the pot. This rules is pretty straight forward, but you should remember that these two types of tables are typically found in tournaments whereas the fixed limit is almost always found in ring games.
Rules for badugi draw rounds and showdown
Once the blinds are paid, everyone is dealt 4 cards and there is a round of betting that takes place. Afterwards, players can either stand pat by not drawing anything or they may draw up to 4 more cards from the dealer. The rules require that after each round of drawing, there is a round of betting afterwards. So in total, there are 4 rounds of betting with 3 rounds of discarding and drawing new cards in-between during a game of badugi.
There are also some rules that apply for the showdown. If there are still 2 or more people left in the game after the last round of betting, then the showdown requires that people show their cards to the table to determine the winner. Whoever has the lowest hand will win the entire pot. If two players have the same hand, then the pot is split between them. Next we will talk about the rules regarding hand rankings, pairs and flushes in the showdown.
How to Rank Badugi Hands
Ranking your hand depends on if you have any pairs or suited cards "flush". Even two suited cards will count as a small flush. If you have a pair or suited cards, you must give up your highest card in the flush or pair (remember, lower ranked cards are better). For example, if you had a 7 of spades and King of spades, you would give up your king and keep your more powerful card. When you give up one of these cards, your four card hand will reduce to a three card hand. If you have three suited cards, you must give up two of them. Or if you have a three of a kind, you must give up 2 cards as well. If you have a 4 card flush, you will actually have to give up three cards and you will be left with a 1 card hand. The same goes for a four of a kind and a straight flush.
The player with the lowest hand with the most cards will win. Also, the player with the lowest high card will win as well. For example, a 4567 will beat out a A238 because the first hand's 7 card is lower than the second hand's 8 card, even though the second one has an ace. We provided a table chart of the top ten best Badugi poker hands below. Any 4 card hand beat out all 3 card hands and these beat out all 2 card hands and those beat out all 1 card hands. The more cards you have, the better.
|Badugi Poker Hand Rank||Badugi Poker Hands|
|1||A 2 3 4|
|2||A 2 3 5|
|3||A 2 4 5|
|4||A 3 4 5|
|5||2 3 4 5|
|6||A 2 3 6|
|7||A 2 4 6|
|8||A 3 4 6|
|9||2 3 4 6|
|10||A 2 5 6|
As you can see from the table, it does take some practice to learn the Badugi rules and memorize which poker hands are stronger than others. It is not so obvious like it is for regular poker unless you have some experience with this game. Notice again that the best Badugi hand is an ace low straight and any hand in the game is going to have to be off suited in order to qualify for the showdown. Remember, the rules also say that straights have no effect in the game so they neither benefit nor harm you.