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Badugi Poker

This is a poker variant that, for people who don’t play online, may be unfamiliar.

Badugi has become more popular in America only recently. It can be found primarily online. I have never seen it in Atlantic City. From what I can find scouring the internet, it is very rare to find brick and mortar poker rooms that offer it anywhere else either. But its worth trying out as it is easy to find mixed games online that have Badugi shuffled in there.  For the uninitiated, here are the rules.

It uses the draw poker playing structure but with only four cards. They are dealt face down and a player can exchange any number of cards. There are four betting rounds. The action is started with a small blind, which is equal to the “small bet” and a big blind, which is equal to the “big bet”. A “small bet” is the limit for the first two rounds. “Big bets” are reserved for the last two.

The hand ranks for Badugi are as follows. A legitimate Badugi hand must contain completely distinct cards. no two cards may be of the same suit or the same value.  If there are any duplications then one card must be discarded. This means that some one can, conceivably, have a one card hand. A four card Badugi hand always beats a three card Badugi hand and so on down the line. For hands that have the same number of cards, the lowest high card wins. The Ace is low. Here are some examples…

As, 3h, 6d, Qc VS. 2c, 4h, 5s, 6d

They are both legitimate four card hands (no two cards have the same suit or value) so the second hand wins because the 6d is lower than the Qc

2s, 3s, 4c, 7d VS. 7c, 9d, Js, Kh

Here, the second hand wins. Even though the 7d is lower than the Kh, the first hand must discard the 3s making it a 3 card hand.

There you have it, an interesting little game to try out and flex those stale poker muscles.

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