How to Play Badugi

How to play Badugi? What it is this Budagi you speak of and where did it come from? If these are questions you have asked in puzzlement then this article is for you.

The game of Badugi is a very fun and addictive game that has recently over the last few months become available on the biggest pokersite online, PokerStars.

Until approximately 2006, Badugi was a form of poker unknown outside of the likes of China and Korea. Today, this fascinating and fun poker variant is growing more and more popular each day; online as well as offline. Badugi is today played worldwide and many pokers enthusiasts love the combination of exciting poker elements and psychology.

It has previously been spread by a few online poker operators such as Doyles Room, Royal Card Room, Paddy Power and VC Poker, as well some live poker rooms in California and Las Vegas. I have heard that during the WSOP of 2008, Budagi was offered on Sunday nights at the Imperial Palace – Las Vegas, and also the Venetian will spread Badugi on demand.

There was a badugi article written online, where the writer heard former WSOP main event winner Greg Raymer make reference to playing $400-$800 BOT (Badugi, Omaha 8, Triple Draw), so the game is very much the rage and in demand in the high stakes mixed games in Vegas. But it is not a game that is just reserved for the live nosebleed stakes.

You could play as low as $0.05/$0.10 limit and as high as $100/$200 blinds in the online casinos mentioned above, but the game will very soon become much more widely available with the number one pokersite in the world, Pokerstars offering Budagi.

Badugi is a triple draw four card games where the low-hand wins. Don’t panic if you are not familiar with triple draw as badugi strategy is very straight forward and easy to learn. You can play Badugi as limit poker, pot limit poker or half pot limit poker. It is said that Pokerstars will be offering both limit and half-limit Budagi games initially.

So, to get back to the 1st sentance in this article, how to play badugi?

Some basic badugi poker strategy to begin with  – An A-2-3-4 rainbow is the best hand possible in badugi. Played with a button, a small blind, and a big blind, each player is dealt four down cards to start. There are four betting rounds, one after the deal, and one after each of the three draws. Like deuce-to-seven triple draw, badugi is a naturally shorthanded game due to all the discards- only six players maximum can be dealt in at any time.

I believe Budagi could be a very good game to get into as not a lot of people play it well. After Hold’em became a bit stale and the games got tougher after UEIGA and the Online Poker Regulations in the USA, all the mid-stakes grinders jumped on the Omaha bandwaggon and looked to make their money where the fish where still a plenty and the tables weren’t full of 4 or 5 regs. However, even Omaha is getting tougher now as people are getting more and more in tune with the fact that they can’t play Omaha like they do Hold’em!

Most players experimenting at low limit badugi frankly have no clue what they are doing, and this game can be a great money-maker for even reasonably skilled players with some good poker instincts. If you’re a fan of razz or triple draw, badugi is the logical next step for you. Keep your tilt-meter in check and give the games on Pokerstars a whirl.