Badugi poker has taken off over the past couple of years as one of the hottest games in online poker gaming rooms. Badugi poker is a great lowball poker game that puts a twist on the regular poker that you might be used to playing. If you are not intimately familiar with the rules of Badugi you probably won’t win regardless of the number of strategy articles you read. Badugi is a tricky game to learn and a hard game to master. These Badugi strategies will set you on the path to becoming a solid Badugi player.
Badugi Starting Hands
Badugi has four betting rounds so if a hand isn’t looking good in the first could rounds you want to fold before you become pot committed and end up losing a lot. The best Badugi starting hands are:
Two cards of separate suits with a value no higher than four
Three cards of separate suits with a value no higher than seven
Any other Badugi hand should be folded in most cases. You’ll learn more about what hands to keep and which to fold when you play more and more Badugi as this game, like other games of chance, takes practice and dedication to fully master.
Drawing Phases of Badugi Poker
You want to have at least 3 unsuited cards after the initial draw, the lower the better. I wouldn’t suggest calling a bet with anything over 10 at this point in the game, unless you have 4 unsuited cards. If you are playing with a player who is “standing pat” (not taking any cards), then the three workable cards in your hand should be below seven. If not, it is time to fold.
By the second draw, you should have at least three cards of separate suits that are below seven. Anyone standing pat at this time is your clue to fold. If you have four cards of separate suits not higher than a jack, then you should stand your ground and go forward.
The third and final draw is your last chance to get out if you must. Bets are now at a higher level. If you have four cards of separate suits , or a three card hand of 5 or less, you should stay in. If you didn’t catch a any of the hands mentioned above and someone didn’t draw on their last turn then folding is your best option.
Badugi Poker Bluffing
Bluffing your way through a hand or two of Badugi poker is a good strategy when done at the right times and against the right players. Bluffing when done with care and not practiced frequently can make the difference between walking away a winner or a loser. Bluffing works best during Badugi poker when done during the initial and following drawing phase. A good bluff is to stand pat during the first draw phase when there is some money in the pot, and some players may let you take the pot. If you bluff during the second draw, you should have a decent enough hand to go up against players who choose not to fold to your bluff, so you should at least go into the bluff with four unsuited cards or a good three card hand.