How To Play Badugi Or Asian Poker
Tuesday, 27. April 2010

Badugi is also known as Asian Poker and is a relatively new variant of poker and with very simple rules. Badugi is a four card game where the object is to hit the lowest badugi using the most cards. A badugi is a hand where none of the cards are the same value or of the same suit. In establishing which player has the best hand, the lowest of the cards of the same suit remains as does one of the paired cards and the rest are discarded. For example, if a player had [A♠][6♠][9♥][9♣] then their lowest badugi would be [A♠][9♣] or [A♠][9♥]. The [6♠] is discarded because it is the higher of the two spade cards and one of the pair of nines is discarded. The best hand in badugi is a four high “straight” where none of the cards are of the same suit; for example, [A♠][2♥][3♦][4♣].

The game of Badugi is restricted to six players. Badugi is usually played with Half Pot Limit, Pot Limit and Limit betting variations. Players have 3 opportunities to draw up to four cards in an attempt to improve their hand and four betting rounds to increase the pot.

Badugi opens with the two players to the left of the dealer posting the blinds. Casinos will have a professional dealer that does not participate in the hand; however one player is designated as the dealer and the position rotates in a clockwise fashion at the end of each game. The blinds are bets posted by the two players to the immediate left of the dealer. The player next to the dealer is the Small Blind. The player to the left of the Small Blind is the Big Blind. The small blind bet is half the size of the big blind bet. On a table with stakes of $3/$6, the small blind is $3 and the big blind is $6. Once the blinds are posted then each player is dealt four cards face down.

Drawing Rounds
Badugi is known as a triple draw variant of poker because are given three drawing rounds where they may draw up to four cards. When drawing cards in Badugi, players draw from the player to the left of the dealer and continue in a counter-clockwise fashion. At the end of each drawing round, players continue to the next betting round.

Betting Rounds
There are four betting rounds in badugi; one following the initial dealing of the cards and one following each of the drawing rounds. The betting rounds open with the first active player to the left of the Big Blind and continues in a counter-clockwise fashion. In a game of Limit Badugi with limits of $3/$6, the first two betting rounds will allow bets at maximum increments of $3 and the second two betting rounds will allow bets at maximum increments of $6.

The Showdown
Should a game of Badugi make it through all four betting rounds, the remaining players move on to the showdown. Cards are placed face up and the best hand wins. Any four card badugi is better than any three card badugi and so on. The player with the badugi made up of the most cards with the lowest value takes the pot.

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