How To Play Badugi


Badugi, sometimes called Asian poker is a relatively new lowball variety offered online as well as offline. It is quite easy to play especially if you already know poker. Sure, there are many similarities but there are also differences. To avoid confusion, it is important to always stay focused on badugi only and avoid thinking of the other poker variations.

Badugi is a four-card poker where the ultimate aim of any player is to have the lowest badugi, A badugi is a hand where no two cards are of the same value or from the same suit. If there are two or more cards of the same value or suits, only the card with the lowest value shall remain and the rest are discarded. Then, the hand may become a 3-card, 2-card or even a 1-card hand.

The game can be played by up to six (6) people. Before the actual game, the players agree on the big blind and the betting variation, whether it will be Limit, Pot Limit, or Half-Pot Limit.

To start the game, each player gets four cards, face down. Each player should always keep the real cards combination, or hand, a secret from the other players.

Betting Rounds

There are four betting rounds. The first round follows the initial dealing of four cards to each player. The second, third and the fourth or final rounds follow the first, second and third card drawing rounds respectively.

The betting rounds start with the player to the left of the big blind, going clockwise. Depending on the nature of their respective hands, the players may call, raise, fold or check. The survivors of each betting round then proceed to the next step, the card drawing round until the four betting rounds are completed. The bets increase with each betting round.

Card Drawing Rounds

Badugi is also called a triple draw poker because the players have three rounds or opportunities to change or draw cards. To achieve or maintain a winning hand, the players may choose not to draw any card or draw from one to four cards. In drawing cards, the players take turns staring from the one at the left of the dealer going clockwise. After a card drawing round is completed, the play proceeds to the next betting round.


If there are more than one players remaining after the last or fourth betting round, a showdown follows to determine the winner(s). The cards are placed on the table face up for evaluation and the winning hand is declared based on the Badugi evaluation system .

Any hand wins over another hand with less number of cards. So, a badugi, with 4 cards , wins over the 3, 2 and 1-card hands. Between hands with the same number of cards, the one with the lower value wins.

As you can see, Badugi is not a complicated game. You just need to practice.

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