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Poker is a game that has so many variants that can baffle you at first. However, trying to understand each game is not that different. If you are a poker lover who wants change then consider including badugi in your game rotation. 

It is an excellent means of mixing things up and pushing oneself, as it has a totally new set of hand rankings than flop or standard draw type games. The basics are the same, with a few game structures. One such popular variant is that of Badugi. 

What Is Badugi And Its Origin?

Badugi is a draw poker variant of poker. It also went by the names badge, paduka, and partook. Players have been playing badugi since the early 1980s. The origin of this game has been traced back to Winnipeg, Canada. This is a betting game as well as a card game. In this game, the betting structure matches that of games like Poker and Teen Patti.

This is because the betting structure consists of blinds, antes, raises, calls and folds. In Badugi, players are given only 4 cards instead of the 5 cards in poker or the 3 cards in Teen Patti. During the game, the players can draw new cards from a deck of undealt cards.

This can be done by discarding unwanted cards and filling up those spaces with new cards. The main aim of this game is to discard and pick up new cards until players have the best hand combinations. The winner is declared by comparing these hand combinations.

The hand combinations work slightly differently in this game than in poker. Unlike poker, in this game, the players have to form hand combinations with cards that do not relate to each other. This makes this game so special and different from all the other card games and betting games.

Big O Poker is a thrilling variant of Omaha Hi-Lo, known for its high-action gameplay and complex strategy. In Big O, players are dealt five hole cards instead of four, which adds an extra layer of complexity to the game. With more starting hands and potential combinations, Big O offers players increased opportunities to create strong hands and scoop the pot. However, mastering Big O requires a deep understanding of hand selection, position play, and the intricacies of both high and low hand rankings.

Hand Rankings In Badugi

In Badugi, hand rankings are quite different from traditional poker. The goal is to form the lowest hand with cards of different ranks and suits. Here's a breakdown of Badugi hand rankings, from the strongest to the weakest:

  • Badugi (🂲🂳🂴🂵 2♥ 3♦ 4♣ 5♠): A Badugi is the best possible hand, consisting of four cards of different suits and ranks. For example, having the 2 of hearts, 3 of diamonds, 4 of clubs, and 5 of spades would make a Badugi.
  • Three-Card Badugi (🂲🂳🂴 2♥ 3♦ 4♣): If no player has a Badugi, the next best hand is a Three-Card Badugi, where a player has three cards of different suits and ranks.
  • Two-Card Badugi (🂲🂳 2♥ 3♦): If no one has a Three-Card Badugi, then a Two-Card Badugi is the next best hand, consisting of two cards of different suits and ranks.
  • One-Card Badugi (🂲 2♥): If none of the above hands is present, the best hand is a One-Card Badugi, which is a single card of a unique rank and suit.

However, it's important to note that in Badugi, straights and flushes do not count against a hand, and aces are considered low. Additionally, the suits are ranked, so if two players have the same number of cards in their Badugi, the one with the lower-ranked suits wins. Understanding these hand rankings is crucial for developing a winning strategy in Badugi poker.

Rules Of Badugi Poker

  • Objective: The goal in Badugi is to form the lowest hand possible with cards of different suits and ranks. A Badugi hand is the best possible outcome, consisting of four cards with no pairs and each card of a different suit.
  • Drawing: Badugi involves drawing cards to improve your hand. After the initial deal, players have the opportunity to discard and draw new cards in three rounds. The dealer starts the draw, and players can choose to discard and replace any number of cards from their hand.
  • Betting Rounds: Badugi typically has four betting rounds—after the initial deal, and after each of the three drawing rounds. Betting options include checking, betting, folding, calling, or raising, depending on the actions of previous players.
  • Showdown: After the final betting round, if more than one player remains, there is a showdown. Players reveal their hands, and the player with the lowest Badugi hand wins the pot. If two or more players have the same low hand, the pot is split among them.
  • Aces: In Badugi, aces are considered low, and straights or flushes do not count against a hand. This means that (A-2-3-4) of different suits has a strong Badugi hand.
  • Suits Ranking: If two or more players have the same number of cards in their Badugi, the winner is determined by the suit ranking. Suits are ranked from highest to lowest: spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs.
  • Blinds: Badugi is often played with blinds, which are forced bets to stimulate action. There is a small blind and a big blind, and these rotate clockwise after each hand.
  • Rotation of Dealers: The dealer position rotates clockwise after each hand, ensuring that each player takes turns being the dealer.

Gameplay And Betting In Badugi

The gameplay of this game is different from that of Poker and Flash. In this game, the players can draw extra cards from a deck of undealt cards. The betting structure is similar to that of poker and flush. 

Here is the gameplay and Badugi betting structure.

  • Compulsory Bets - Like poker, the two players to the left have to pay the small and the big blind. The big blind is double the amount of the small blind.
  1. First Betting Round - this is the first round, including cards. In this round, the dealer starts dealing cards face down to all the players, starting with the player sitting on their left. Sitting next to the players who posted the big blind starts the game. All the players need to call the big blind as the first raised bet to start playing the game. Any player who does not or cannot call the big blind as the first raised bet has to fold their hand. The pot starts to increase from this round as the money piles up. 
  • First Draw - In this round, each player can draw up to 4 cards from the pile of undealt cards. For a player to draw new cards from the pile of undealt cards, they must first discard any unwanted cards from their hand. Once they have discarded those unwanted cards, they can draw the same number they discarded from the deck of undealt cards. The discarded cards are stacked away from the deck of unwanted cards and are not used in the game.
  1. Second Betting Round - In the second betting round, the player who posted the small blind acts first. This is because there are no mandatory bets in this round. This betting round can normally go with people raising bets and their opponents either calling those raised bets or folding their badugi hands.
  • Second Draw - In the second drawing round, players can discard any other unwanted cards or draw fresh ones from the deck of undealt cards. Players can also stand pat or not draw other cards and play with the hand they were dealt or changed in the first drawing round.
  1. Third Betting Round - The third betting round is played like the second. This round is also played normally with players raising new bets and their opponents either calling those bets or folding their hands and forfeiting the game.
  • Third Draw - The third drawing round is the last drawing round for a game of Badugi. In this round, all the players still in the game, excluding the players who folded their hands, can either discard any unwanted cards or draw fresh ones from the deck of undealt cards. The players also have the option of standing pat and neither discarding nor drawing new cards from the deck of undealt cards.
  1. Last Betting Round - This round is the last betting round. After the third and last drawing round, all the players have to stick with the cards they have and either raise new bets on those cards or fold their hands.

Showdown - After the last betting round, the time comes for the showdown. In this, the players are still in the game, excluding the players who folded their cards, and they have to reveal their hand combinations to the rest of the players. The players with the best hand combinations win the game and take everything in the pot.

Criss Cross Poker is an exciting casino poker game that combines elements of traditional poker with unique betting options and payouts. In Criss Cross Poker, players are dealt two hole cards and five community cards, and they must form two poker hands: a five-card hand and a two-card hand. The objective is to beat the dealer's corresponding hands. One of the highlights of Criss Cross Poker is the "Criss Cross" bet, where players can wager on the combined strength of their two hands.

Betting Actions

Betting Round



Small Blind bets, Big Blind bets, players can fold, call (match the big blind), or raise. Betting rotates clockwise from the big blind.

First Draw

Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, players can check, bet, fold, call, or raise. Betting rotates clockwise.

Second Draw

Same betting actions as in the first draw.

Third Draw

Same betting actions as in the first and second draws.

Final Betting

After the final draw, the last betting round takes place. Same betting actions as in the previous rounds. If more than one player remains after this round, there is a showdown.

Strategies To Use In Badugi

  • In Badugi poker, hands are ranked based on the number of cards and their unique combinations of suits and ranks. 

The peak of a successful Badugi hand is the "Badugi," symbolised by having four cards, each with distinct suits and ranks. 

Example:- An example of a Badugi would be 🂲🂳🂴🂵 (2♥ 3♦ 4♣ 5♠). Should no player achieve a Badugi, the next best hand is the "Three-Card Badugi," involving three cards of different suits and ranks, such as 🂲🂳🂴 (2♥ 3♦ 4♣). 

If players don't reach a Three-Card Badugi, the focus shifts to the "Two-Card Badugi," exemplified by 🂲🂳 (2♥ 3♦). Lastly, in the absence of the above-mentioned hands, the most basic yet crucial "One-Card Badugi" stands alone, represented by 🂲 (2♥). 

Understanding the hierarchy of these Badugi hands is essential for mastering the intricacies and strategy of this captivating poker variant.

Badugi Poker Betting Strategy For Newcomers

For newcomers to Badugi poker, adopting a sound betting strategy is key to navigating the unique dynamics of the game. Here's a beginner-friendly Badugi betting strategy to help you get started:

  • Starting Hand Selection: Focus on starting with strong hands. Aim for three cards of different ranks and suits to increase your chances of forming a Badugi or a strong Three-Card Badugi.
  • Position Awareness: Pay attention to your position at the table. Being in a later position allows you to gather more information about your opponents' hands before making decisions. Consider playing more hands when you're in a later position and have more information.
  • Conservative Betting in Early Rounds: In the early betting rounds, when you only have a partial hand, be conservative with your bets. Avoid aggressive betting unless you have a strong hand or believe your opponents are likely to fold.
  • Observing Opponents: Pay close attention to your opponents' betting patterns and tendencies. Look for signs of strength or weakness in their actions, and use this information to make informed decisions.
  • Draw Decision Making: Assess the number of cards you need to draw carefully. If you have a strong starting hand, consider drawing fewer cards to maintain your advantage. Conversely, if your hand is weak, be more liberal in discarding and drawing.
  • Bluffing with Caution: Bluffing can be effective in Badugi, but use it sparingly, especially as a newcomer. Focus on building a solid understanding of the game before incorporating bluffing into your strategy.
  • Adjusting to Opponents: Adapt your strategy based on the playing styles of your opponents. If they are generally conservative, you might be able to exploit this by bluffing more. If they are aggressive, be more cautious and value your strong hands.
  • Pot Odds Consideration: Keep an eye on pot odds when deciding whether to call, raise, or fold. If the potential payoff justifies the risk, consider staying in the hand; otherwise, don't be afraid to fold and preserve your chips for stronger opportunities.
  • Bankroll Management: Set limits on the amount you're willing to risk in a session. Badugi can be a swingy game, and effective bankroll management is crucial for long-term success.

How To Choose The Best Badugi Poker Sites?

Badugi poker games are available on secure, legal online poker sites in the United States. Enjoy secure games that do not crash, and make quick deposits directly from your bank account. When choosing the best Badugi poker sites, the crew considers the following criteria:

  • Range of stakes and limits: One of the most appealing aspects of online poker is the variety of betting limits. Learn the rules at the free play tables, or enter a freeroll to win a portion of a guaranteed prize pool. If you prefer high-stakes play, the finest Badugi poker sites will offer cash games to suit your budget.
  • Bonuses and promotions: You should be able to get a bonus when you play Badugi online. Earn loyalty points and redeem them for goodies, or participate in a poker promotion that offers rakeback.
  • Customer service: Top Badugi poker venues should provide 24-hour help via live chat, email, and phone. Ideally, poker players should have access to all three alternatives where they live.

Frequently Asked Questions About Badugi Poker

What is badugi?

  • Badugi is a lowball poker variant from Asia. The goal is to build the best possible hand with four low cards of different suits, with straights and flushes not counting against the player.

How are cards dealt in Badugi?

  • Players are given four private cards, and the game consists of four betting rounds. After each betting round, players can discard undesired cards and draw new ones to improve their hand. The player with the best Badugi hand in the end triumphs.

What defines a "Badugi" hand?

  • A Badugi hand consists of four cards of varying rankings and suits. Ideally, the finest Badugi hand is A-2-3-4 in four distinct suits. Suits are important, and the goal is to have the fewest cards possible, with no pairings and each suit unique.

How does betting work in Badugi?

  • Betting in Badugi follows a normal betting system that includes blinds or antes, depending on the table. There are four betting rounds: pre-draw, first-draw, second-draw, and final-draw. During each round, players have the option of betting, checking, raising, or folding.

How is the winner determined in Badugi?

  • At the showdown, players disclose their hands, and the one with the best Badugi hand wins the pot. If there is a tie, the pot is divided. If no one has a Badugi, the player with the lowest three-card hand wins; if they are still tied, the lowest two-card hand is considered.

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