Badugi Rules and Game Play

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One of the few draw games gaining popularity in the community card-dominated world, Badugi is a fun, action-laden game.

Although it shares many aspects of its structure with other draw games, such as 2-7 Triple-Draw Lowball, Badugi uses an entirely distinct system for evaluating the winning hand. A hand in Badugi is aptly named "a Badugi."

Dealing and Game Play

  1. Badugi is a "blind game," meaning the player to the left of the dealer puts in the small blind, and the player to the left of the small blind puts in the big blind.
  2. Starting with the player on the left of the dealer, and moving clockwise around the table, every player is dealt four cards facedown, one card at a time.
  3. Once all players have their four cards, the first betting round starts with the player to the left of the big blind.
  4. Once the betting round has completed, the players enter the first drawing round.
  5. Starting with the player on the dealer's left, the player announces how many cards he would like to throw away from his hand, and receives new ones in return.
  6. The dealer deals all of the cards to that player at once, and moves on to the next player.
  7. A player can choose to throw away no cards, keeping their hand intact. This is known as standing pat or rapping pat.
  8. Once all players have received their new cards, the second betting round begins, starting with the player to the left of the dealer.
  9. This pattern repeats until either:
    • Only one player is left, the rest having folded.
    • The players have completed the betting round after the third drawing round.

If you'd like more information on things such as betting rounds or blinds, head to this article:

Showdown

Once all betting is complete, the best Badugi wins the pot.

  1. A Badugi must be made up of the lowest one to four cards from a player's hand.
  2. Hands are counted from the highest card down, the value of the hand based on how low the highest cards in the hand are.
  3. Aces are low.
  4. All cards used must be of different suits and ranks.
  5. Any four-card Badugi beats any three-card Badugi.
  6. A two-card Badugi is beaten by any three- or four-card Badugi.
  7. Some hand examples:
    • A 2 3 4 - This is the best possible Badugi, known as a "four-card four."
    • A 2 3 3 - Since you cannot have a pair, this hand can't use the second three, making the hand a "three-card three". This hand would lose to any four-card Badugi.
    • 2 3 7 9 - This is a three-card nine. Since the 3 is of the same suit as the 2, the higher of the two cards cannot be used.
    • A 2 3 T versus 4 6 7 9. The second hand wins with a four-card nine beating the four-card ten.
  8. Any two players holding the same hand split the pot.

Once the player with the winning hand has received the pot, the player who was to the left of the dealer becomes the new dealer for the next hand.

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