There’s more to poker than just no limit Texas holdem online. Sure Hold'em is great, but it’s a big poker world out there.
You may be aware of some of the other more popular poker games like seven card stud and Omaha, but there’s a poker game that’s gaining popularity that you may not be familiar with, and it’s called Badugi.
You may be tempted to just jump into a Badugi game, but it will be to your benefit to learn some of the strategic ideas before you do.
The basic structure of Badugi is similar to five card draw, although in this case you get four cards. There is a small blind and a big blind, and the betting is usually structured as fixed limit, pot limit or half pot limit.
Badugi is not played no limit very often for reasons that will be explained below.
In this poker game, your objective is to get one card of each suit without making a pair. If any card matches a rank or suit already in your hand, one of those cards doesn’t count.
The more cards you have, the better your hand, so a hand with four valid cards (a “badugi”) beats any hand with three or fewer valid cards, a hand with three beats any two-card or one-card hand, and any two-card hand beats any one-card hand.
If two or more hands with the same number of cards are in competition, the one with the four lowest cards wins, starting with the highest card in the hand, and with aces counting for low.
The best Badugi hand is A 2 3 4 of four different suits. The worst is K K K K, which would count as a one card king.
Examples: 2h 3c 4s 5d beats Ac 2s 3d 6h, because the 6 is the highest card. 9d Js Qc Kh beats As 2h 3h 4d, because the latter hand, with two hearts,
only counts as a three-card hand (although its As 2h 4d makes it good enough to beat nearly any other three-card hand).
To make your best hand, you can draw between 0 and 4 cards up to three times, with betting before the first draw and after each draw.
The most important aspect of Badugi strategy to remember is that the hardest thing to do is get four cards of all different suits.
Therefore, as soon as you get one of each suit, if there are any draws left and you believe none of the other players have yet made a badugi, you should bet as much as you can.
This is why the game is rarely played no limit, unlike many other forms of poker.
Most players would bet all their chips as soon as they were dealt four unpaired, unsuited cards, and there would not be much action.
If you have not been dealt four different suits, you should get rid of your highest paired or suited cards. Pay careful attention to the draws. If an opponent stands pat, he probably has made a badugi.
Therefore depending on the situation, you may want to break up your own badugi if it is particularly high. Depending on how many players are in the hand, however, a moderately strong four-card hand is usually good enough to win most pots.