Badugi is a draw poker game, similar in nature to other "lowball" games such as 2-7 Triple Draw. However, the hand ranking system in Badugi is very different from the other draw games offered at Full Tilt Poker, and the game is played with only four pocket cards.

Badugi Hand Rankings

The object of Badugi is to make a four-card low hand of all different suits.

  • Flushes and pairs count against your hand
  • Straights do not count against your hand
  • The Ace is always considered a low card

There are four different types of Badugi hands you can make (ranked in order of strength):

  1. A "Badugi": any hand that contains four different cards of all different suits. For example, 4d-3h-2s-Ac, the best possible "Badugi".
  2. A "3-Card": any hand that contains at least three different cards of different suits. For example, 4d-3h-2s-Ad. Since there are two cards of the same suit, the highest suited card (4d) is not counted.
  3. A "2-Card": any hand that contains at least two different cards of different suits. For example, 4d-4h-3s-As. Since there is a pair and two suited cards, only one 4 and the Ace are counted.
  4. A "1-Card": any hand that contains only one card of individual value or suit. For example, Ad-Ah-As-Ac, or 4d-3d-2d-Ad. In each of these cases, only one Ace is counted.

Please see the Low Hand Rankings page for more Badugi hand examples.

Any "Badugi" hand beats any "3-Card" hand, any "3-Card" hand beats any "2-Card" hand, and so on.

Badugi hands are counted from the highest card to the lowest card. For example, a 9-8-7-6 "Badugi" beats a T-8-7-5 "Badugi".

If the high cards are of equal value, the next highest card (or cards) comes into play. For example, an 8-6-5-4 "Badugi" beats an 8-7-6-5 "Badugi". This holds true for all other Badugi hand types.

Blinds

Like flop-based games such as Hold 'em, Badugi features blinds to stimulate action at the table. The small blind and big blind are assigned to the players to the left of the dealer button, which determines the order in which cards are dealt.

Dealer button and blinds

When you first buy in to a Badugi game, you'll have the option of waiting for the big blind to reach your position before you begin playing or posting a blind equivalent to the big blind to be dealt immediately, except when sitting in a position that would put you in the small blind position or on the button, where you'll have to wait for the next hand to play.

The Deal and First Round of Betting

Once the blinds are posted, the hand is underway. With Badugi, four cards are dealt face down to each player in the hand, starting with the player to the left of the dealer button.

Hole cards dealt

After the cards are dealt, the first round of betting ensues. Starting with the player to the left of the big blind, each player has the option to fold their hand, call the current bet or raise it up! If no one raises, the player in the big blind has the option to check their hand, meaning that player makes no bet but still retains their hand.

Badugi games at Full Tilt Poker are played using a Fixed Limit betting structure, meaning you bet in increments of a predetermined betting limit that corresponds to the size of the blinds.

Draw #1

When the first round of betting is complete, all players still in the hand have the option to discard any or all of their cards and draw new ones. Click on the cards you want to discard, and then click the Discard button when it's your turn to act.

Discard button

Alternatively, you can select the cards you want to discard and then check the Discard pre-action option, so your cards will be automatically discarded when it's your turn to act.

Discard pre-action option

If you prefer not to discard any cards, you have the option to "stand pat". To do so, either check the Stand Pat pre-action option, or click the Stand Pat button when it's your turn to act:

Stand Pat Button

Once all players have discarded, new cards will be drawn from the deck and each player will be dealt the same number of cards which they discarded.

Please note: In draw games, it's possible for more cards to be needed than are available in the deck. In this case, a reshuffling of the deck will take place. Learn about reshuffling the deck in draw games.

Betting and Drawing Rounds #2 and #3

After the first draw, another round of betting takes place, beginning with the first player to the left of the button. If no one has bet, you have the option to check your hand or make a bet. If you're facing a bet, you have the option to fold, call or raise.

Once the second round of betting is complete, draw #2 takes place. As with the first draw, any player remaining in the hand has the opportunity to discard any or all of their cards, or stand pat.

After new cards are drawn, a third round of betting takes place, followed by draw #3. Draw #3 is your last chance to make the best hand you can.

The Final Betting Round and Showdown

Following the third draw, one last round of betting takes place. This round of betting follows the same format as the previous rounds.

When the last round of betting is complete, a showdown takes place with any players still remaining in the hand. The player with the best Badugi hand wins the pot! If there is a tie for the best hand, the pot will be split equally amongst the tied players. Occasionally the pot cannot be split perfectly even. If there are any remaining chips left in the pot, the 'extra' chips will be awarded one at a time to the remaining players, starting with the player closest to the left of the button.

Players do not show their cards simultaneously. The showdown takes place in a specified order.

The software shows the cards of the first player to have bet or the last player to have raised in any previous round. If the next active player has a better hand than the one just shown (or ties it), the software shows his cards. If the next active player does not have a better hand, the software offers that player a choice. He can show his cards, if he wishes, or he can just get rid of the cards (muck). The software treats each remaining active player in turn the same-either turning over the hand if it is better than (or tied with) any shown thus far or offering the choice of showing or mucking-and awards the pot to the best hand.

Don't worry about inadvertently misreading your hand and accidentally throwing away a winner. As long as you have called to the end, the software awards the pot to the winning hand and reports in the chat box the value of that hand. The software makes sure that if your hand is the best at the showdown you win. If the betting is not equalized on the final round, that is, one player bet or raised and no one called, there is no showdown, and the software awards the pot to the player who made that uncalled bet. This is the case on any previous round, as well. If it happens on earlier rounds, no further cards are dealt, because the hand is over.

Sometimes a player runs out of chips before all the betting is over. In such case, one or more side pots are created, and the software awards appropriate main and side pots. When a player is all in, a bet or raise can be made that is not called, but a showdown still takes place.

Players often do not show losing hands. You are entitled, however, to see any cards that were active at the showdown even if they were not shown. Click on LAST HAND to bring up a new window that shows the results of the last hand and all the active cards. You can also specify in that window any previous hand (up to the last 50 in your current session) on which to get a report.

If you like Badugi, be sure to check out our other draw games: 5-Card Draw, 2-7 Triple Draw, 2-7 Single Draw and A-5 Triple Draw.