Two poker games that have exploded in popularity over the last couple of years are Badugi and 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball.
Both are draw poker variants and tend to produce a lot of action.
Somewhere along the line, someone decided to make a split pot game by combining the two games and Badeucy was born.
Aces Are Bad, Mmkay
As a quick refresher:
In 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball you're looking to make the lowest five-card hand. Straights and flushes hurt your hand and an ace is always high.
In Badugi you're looking for a four-card hand with one of each suit. This is called a Badugi.
If more than one player has a Badugi, the lowest hand wins.
Normally the lowest Badugi is A-2-3-4. However, in Badeucy aces are also high for the Badugi hand. This makes the best Badugi hand 2-3-4-5.
In Badeucy the goal is to scoop the full pot by taking half with the best 2-7 hand and the other half with the best Badugi.
Playing the Game
Most Badeucy games are played six-handed and fixed-limit betting is generally used. A button will determine the dealer position and the two players to the left of the dealer post the small and big blinds.
Once blinds are posted each player is dealt five cards. After a round of betting the remaining players may exchange cards or stand pat.
Players can exchange up to five cards, but this is not typical.
There are three draws in Badeucy with a round of betting after each round. Betting on the deal and after the first draw is in the small bet amount, or the size of the big blind.
Betting on the second and third draw is done in the big bet amount, typically double the big blind. After the third draw and final round of betting the remaining players go to showdown.
The player with the best 2-7 lowball hand wins half the pot and the player with the best Badugi hand wins the other half. In the event the same player wins both hands, he or she scoops the pot.
Basic Badeucy Strategy Tips
Like most split-pot games you want to focus on starting hands that give you the best possibility to scoop.
First, stay away from higher badugis when possible. Since everyone is getting five cards instead of four the odds of improving to a lower badugi increases.
For starting hands try and focus on playing hands requiring just two cards to complete a hand.
Preferably you want at least three suits to start with. That way you have three draws to your badugi and you can focus on your 2-7 hand.
Pump Your One-Way Hands
Unlike Stud 8 or Omaha 8 this is one game where you want to pump your one-way hands.
Let's say you get dealt 2s-3s-4s-5h-7d. You have the nut 2-7 hand but no badugi.
In this case, don't worry about the other half and try and pump the pot. Odds are that you will have multi-way action to the end and win half of a nice pot.
Yes, there is a chance you could get quartered by someone else hitting the same 2-7 hand. However the odds of that happening are not the same as in Omaha Hi-Lo.
If there is a lot of action in a pot after the first draw and you have to draw more than one card it might be time to abandon the hand.
Unless your game is very loose a lot of action after the draw is usually being driven by one or more players with at least half a made hand.
These players are freerolling and pumping the pot. You're drawing and should wait for a better spot.