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Badugi Poker Rules

Page summary: An overview of the rules and strategy behind the increasingly popular game, Badugi.

Badugi Poker Rules - How to Play Badugi

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Badugi is an up and coming game that has grown in popularity by being offered at various online casinos. Players familiar with 2-7 Triple Draw will find playing Badugi to be very similar in terms of the concepts and strategies used. The triple draw is also used in Badugi and having four cards, one of each suit, is what is known as having a Badugi. For you Holdem players, having a low rainbow is excellent in this poker game.


Badugi is played similarly to Holdem in reference to using a small blind and a big blind. Sometimes antes are also required depending on where you play. Initially, each player is dealt four hole cards. Hole cards are cards that are not exposed to the other players at the table.

Upon each player receiving their four hole cards, the first round of betting commences. The action moves clockwise around the table beginning with the person to the left of the big blind. After the first round of betting comes the first draw. Each player can discard any amount of their four cards and receive an equal amount of new cards from the dealer. If you choose to discard zero cards this is referred to as standing pat.

The second round of betting takes place after the first draw and begins with the person that was the small blind initially. A second draw takes place after the second round of betting. There is a third round of betting with a final draw, hence the correlation to 2-7 Triple Draw Poker. After the final draw there is a fourth and final round of betting. You can draw up to four cards for each and every one of the three draw phases.


In Badugi, the lowest hand wins. So, if you're not so lucky on the Holdem tables, this may be your game. Keep in mind a Badugi beats a lower hand. A Badugi is four cards containing all four suits. On the flip side, if there are two players with Badugis, the lowest one wins.

This is a rare poker game where two off-suit cards lower than four with an Ace is a great starting hand. If you have three off-suit cards with your fourth card being lower than a seven, this is also a great starting hand.

Asses your hand once you reach the first draw and make your draw. If you do not have three off-suited cards that are below seven, just fold. You should definitely have three off-suited cards after the second draw. You may consider standing pat if you have a Badugi with a ten high. This can force a fold if you bet after the draw.

Be observant of the other players and watch their draws. Standing pat can be a bluff tactic, however, they could have the nuts. Know your opponents and remember to take advantage of position if you're late to act.

Best Badugi Hands:

  • A - 2 - 3 - 4
  • A - 2 - 3 - 5
  • A - 2 - 4 - 5
  • A - 3 - 4 - 5
  • 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
  • A - 2 - 3 - 6
  • A - 2 - 4 - 6
  • A - 3 - 4 - 6
  • 2 - 3 - 4 - 6
  • A - 2 - 5 - 6

The best possible hand is A-2-3-4 with one of each suit. This is the lowest possible Badugi.

Betting Odds

Knowing your odds is important in playing draw games. For example, if you have Ac - 2s - 3h, you have 51% odds that you'll hit a Badugi by the end of the third draw. If the odds are in your favor and other players are drawing, go ahead and raise it up. Below, you'll find a chart that shows you the percentages per draw based on how many outs you have.

Outs - 1 Draw - 2 Draws - 3 Draws

  • 1 - 2% - 4% - 6%
  • 2 - 4% - 8% - 12%
  • 3 - 6% - 12% - 18%
  • 4 - 8% - 16% - 23%
  • 5 - 10% - 20% - 29%
  • 6 - 13% - 24% - 34%
  • 7 - 15% - 27% - 38%
  • 8 - 17% - 31% - 43%
  • 9 - 19% - 34% - 47%
  • 10 - 21% - 38% - 51%

Badugi is an interesting game that can be very fun and also very profitable. With any poker game, knowing what you are doing is vital to be successful. Play starting hands that are playable and don't chase the draws hoping that you're always going to draw the nuts. If your initial four cards look horrible, fold them. If after the first or second draw, you're still not in the playable range with three low potential Badugi cards, get out of the hand. Watch your opponents, play position and capitalize when you can.