OBJECTIVE OF BADUGI: Win the pot by having the lowest hand with no two cards of the same suit or rank.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-8 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52-card decks
RANK OF CARDS: K,Q,J,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,A
TYPE OF GAME: Casino
HOW TO PLAY BADUGI
Badugi is similar to traditional poker games except that it uses 4 cards and ranks hands differently. In order to win a hand in Badugi, players want a hand with the lowest rank cards that are neither from the same suit or the same rank. Therefore, the best possible hand is A-2-3-4.
Since Badugi hands aim to have all different ranks and suits, if there are repeats of either some cards must be eliminated. Here are some examples:
- a hand with 5 (hearts) – 9 (hearts) – J (spades) – 2 (clubs), one of the hearts must go. This will give a player a three card hand: 5 (hearts) – J (spades) – 2 (clubs)
- 6 (diamonds) – 5 (diamonds) – 3 (diamonds) – Q (diamonds), only one card may be used since they are all from the same suit. Only the 3 (diamonds) will remain in hand.
- 8 (diamonds) – 10 (spades) – 4 (clubs) – K (hearts), this hand is known as a badugi since all the cards are of different ranks and suits (although, perhaps, not a good hand).
- Hands with more cards beat hands with fewer cards, so a three-card hand beats a two-card hand, and so on.
- When comparing hands of the same size, compare their high card. The hand with the lowest top card is the winner. If they are equal, compare the second highest card, and so on.
- Hands can be equal, there is no suit ranking.
Dealing, Drawing, & Betting
Badugi may be played as pot limit, fixed limit, or a half pot limit game. Deal passes to the left as with most poker games. Player to the left of the dealer pays the small blind and the player to their left pays the big blind (typically double the small blind). A blind is a forced bet.
Dealer passes each player four cards clockwise, face-down and one at a time. Players may look at their cards after the deal has finished. Betting begins with the player to the left of the big blind, the minimum bet begins at the same amount of as the big blind. If all the players just call, the big blind may place a bet.
Players can improve their hands by drawing cards. Beginning with the active player to the dealer’s left, players declare how many cards they would like to exchange. Players discard the unwanted cards in a pile, face-down, and the dealer passes them new cards. Players may exchange between all or none of their cards (0-4). Choosing to not exchange is called “standing pat.”
There are four rounds of betting. The initial round and one after each draw. There are three draws per hand. if you are playing fixed limit, the bet doubles after the second betting round so that the third and fourth are played with big bets.
If at showdown only one player remains they collect all the stakes in the pot.
If there are multiple players still active at showdown, players show all four of their cards (even if there are multiples in rank or suit) starting with the last player who bet in the previous round. Lowest hand with the most amount of cards is the winner. If there is a tie the pot is split.