Online Badugi Strategy
Badugi is a traditional Asian game. The online version of badugi is now more and more popular in Europe and the United States. Still, very few article and book deals with badugi rules or badugi strategy.
For those, who has some knowledge, like majority of beginners, about Texas Hold'em and Omaha the bad news, that the rules of online badugi are completely different. Badugi is a draw type of poker, where the winning hand is the lowest and contains four different suits. The best hand is A 2 3 4 of four different suits (Ace is always low in badugi). The hand contains A 2 3 is a pretty strong hand. If during the draw everyone else is drawing and you are holding a hand like this, you can be certain, that you have the best hand, so be aggressive.
Before the Deal
The small blind and the big blind need to paid in before dealing just like in Texas Hold’em. The first player on the dealer’s left is the small blind, the next one is the big blind. Badugi is usually played in pot limit, half pot limit, or limit versions.
Four cards will be dealt for each players with faces down. The small blind gets the first card, the big blind the second one, etc. The player on the big blind’s left gets to act first just like in Texas Hold’em. The player can fold, call the big blind or even raise the bet. After the first betting round the first draw begins. Each player in the game can draw up to four cards or even none. After the first drawing round another betting rounds begin, then a second drawing round followed by the second betting round then the third drawing and betting rounds. After at least one player calls the last bet at the showdown the players reveal their cards. The strength of Badugi hands should be checked starting with the highest card so, for example, a 4 7 9 J (Jack high) is stronger than a A 2 3 K (King high)
The best strategy in online badugi is always start with at least three low cards. If no one can make Badugi (four unsuited cards) there is the best chance to win the pot with your low cards.
If you have at least three cards in your hand lower than 7 you can get in the game and draw the fourth one. The height of your possible fourth card depends on the number of the opponents and their acts, their hands’ strength if they don’t draw.
From late position you might want to play with any two cards lower than 5 with different suits. Always bet, if you feel you have an advantage, for example your opponents draw 2 and you only one.
You can play Badugi online at Poker Stars.