Poker Badugi Rules, Hands and Strategy

What is Badugi poker? Badugi card game is a four-handed, trick-taking poker variant that was created to make the game more interesting. It has some similarities to other popular games like Three Card Poker and Durak, as well as different games from Ireland and India. The game’s goal is to get rid of your cards before your opponents do. This article will talk about the poker Badugi rules, hands, and strategy you should use in playing Badugi Poker hands.

4 cards in the hand

Advantages of Poker Badugi

  1. Badugi/Pikar Punto (Badugi Points) – Badugi points are the equivalent of the poker community’s version of a high-stakes version of Texas Hold’em. You can buy and win Badugi points when you play.
  2. Free Re-Entry – With one exception, players can re-enter the game any time they wish. This is another aspect of Badugi that separates it from other variants like Three Card Poker and Durak.
  3. “Optimal” Badugi poker Strategy – Like poker, Badugi is a strategy game. Some have said that playing Badugi is like playing solitaire in that it’s a game of strategy with a combination of chance (what cards you’re dealt).
badugi poker hands and rules

Badugi Strategy in Playing Badugi Poker Hands

Number of Players – The fewer players you have at the table, the greater your chances of winning. The more playersthere are at the table, the more challenging it’ll be to win. The optimum number of players is two.0

Cards – As in poker, the cards are important; however, in Badugi, you only get five cards (instead of seven). These cards are dealt in front of you, and the remaining four cards are placed face-down.

Setting up a good hand – Despite the fact that Badugi is a poker variant, you’re not as lucky when it comes to drawing cards as you are in poker. As I’ve said before, playing poker is a game that’s all about strategy because what you do with your cards will determine whether or not you’ll be successful or not.

In Badugi, success in winning hands depends on your luck.

badugi poker card game strategy

There are many things that determine if your cards will be good or not, some of which are:

The number of cards in hand

Badugi hands are either four-card or five-card. A four-card hand is considered a “good” hand, and a five-card hand is considered a “bad” hand.

The position of the cards in hand

There are several ways to play your four-card hands, but there are only two that are considered “optimal” in Badugi.

The order at which the cards are played

In Badugi, you can play your four-card hands in any order. If you’re dealt a five-card hand, and it’s not obvious if it’s a good or bad hand, some players “double-up” their initial four-card hand by playing them again as five-card hands.

Chips and cards

The value of the cards in hand

The higher the values of your cards, the more likely you’ll be to win a hand, but if you don’t have any good cards, you’ll have a tough time winning hands.

Starting Hand

Before players reveal their initial hands, they should decide which will be the “best” and “worst” hand out of their initial four-card hands and five-card hands. It’s not uncommon that some players will “double-up” (play again) to try and get better hands.

The Knockout

In Badugi, the dealer will turn over a card at random after all cards have been played and revealed. The player with the best five-card hand must knock out his/her opponents’ cards before the dealer has a chance to reveal the card he/she turns over at random. This “knockout” is called the “K”.

Opening the playing cards

The Winner

The player who has the best winning five-card hand is the winner. The player who loses or knocks out to a “K” is out and doesn’t get any further cards.

What to do with your Badugi cards

You’ll probably have at least four or five cards in the Badugi pot after you’ve won some hands. You can put these cards wherever you wish, but try not to play them in hands that are not in your good hands (see my previous post).

Strategizing for the next hand

In order to become a better Badugi player, you should get rid of the cards you don’t want as soon as possible. If you keep these cards in your hands, they’ll just clog your pot and make it more difficult for you to win hands when it’s your turn to play.

poker badugi rules

Playing each hand

In order to get rid of the cards you don’t want, you have to play them in the first four-card hand that comes up next.

Four-card hands

As a general Badugi poker rules, there are two ways to play your initial four-card hands:

Poker Badugi Hands

The “Simple” Way – Turn up one card at a time and discard until you get three cards of the same suit, or if three cards of the same suit, just keep those three. If the fourth card is the same suit, discard one card at a time until you have two cards of the same suit or if you have two cards of the same suit, keep those cards. If your fourth card is not a match to one of your other three cards, discard it.

what is badugi poker

The “Optimal” Way – Discard one card at a time until you have three of a kind, or if three are a kind, keep those and discard all others. If you don’t have three of a kind, discard one card at a time until you do get three cards of the same suit or if you get another one, keep those also.

Five-card hands – Badugi has two ways that are “optimal” for playing five-card hands.

Poker Badugi Rules – Conclusion

There are many different ways to play Badugi, and there are only a few people who know them all. I’ve outlined the basics of how to play this variant, but you should find out everything that you can about Badugi, so you can become a better player.