Badugi game rules

Badugi rules

Badugi is a relatively new kind of poker that was born in Korea. Badugi in translation from Korean means a rainbow. The game combines the features of lowball and draw-poker.

The goal of the game is to collect a combination of four as weak as possible pocket cards, while the cards must be unsuited.

Badugi combinations

Poker combinations in Badugi differ from traditional combinations that are used in Texas Hold'em or Omaha.

In Badugi there is an opportunity to collect the following combinations:

  • Badugi - the strongest combination - a sequence of unsuited cards from Ace to 4 (A ♠ 2 ♣ 3 ♥ 4 ♦).
  • Three-card combination - three unpaired cards of different suits. The fourth card can play a Kicker role if several players have collected identical combination (A ♥ 3 ♦ 4 ♣ 4 ♠).
  • A combination of two unsuited cards is a hand that contains only two different unsuited cards (A ♦ 2 ♣ 3 ♠ 3 ♣). Since there are two suited cards and a pair of triples in the hand, only an Ace and one triple are taken into account.
  • One-card combination. When a player has four cards of the same suit or the same value, only one of them is played. If two players are left in the game with such a combination, the winner is the one who has the lowest card.

The strongest combination is determined by the highest card in a hand. For example, 3 ♥ 4 ♦ 5 ♣ 6 ♠ beats 2 ♥ 3 ♦ 4 ♠ 7 ♣, because 6 ♠ is lower than 7 ♣. Badugi-hand is higher than any three-card combination, any combination of three cards is higher than a two-card combination. The game in Badugi is held with a fixed limit. In the first two betting rounds the players make a small bet and in the third and fourth round, they can make a big bet. Big bet is equal to double small bet.

Betting rounds and card exchange in Badugi

  • First betting round
  • First cards exchange
  • Second betting round
  • Second card exchange
  • Third betting round
  • Third card exchange
  • Final betting round
  • Showdown

In Badugi, there is an opportunity of the pocket cards exchange. The player can change any of his pocket cards, the exchange can be made three times per hand (it is possible to change any number of cards) but only during your turn. The first exchange of the cards can be made after the first betting round.

As soon as all players get their four pocket cards, the first betting round begins from the player to the left of the big blind clockwise. In the first round of betting, the players can fold, call or raise.

Upon completion of the first betting round, players who remain in the hand can exchange any number of their pocket cards (from 1 to 4). The players get the same number of cards that they have mucked.

After the first exchange, the second betting round starts. Then players can again exchange any number of their pocket cards or keep them. This is followed by the third betting round and the third exchange.

The third exchange of the cards is the last opportunity to improve your combination. After the third exchange, the final (the fourth) round of betting occurs.

If there are two or more players left in the hand, the showdown takes place. The best low-hand wins the pot.

If you want to visualize the badugi strategy, the following video may help you.

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I’ve been working in the Cardmates team since 2018. Started playing poker the same way most people usually do – socially, with friends and fellow students. I adored those exciting poker nights but never thought my life would be connected with this game, even tangentially.
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