Badougi (alternatively spelled badugi, padougi and padooki among other variations) is a four-card vying game resembling poker. Although not strictly a poker variant, it is often spread in high-stakes mixed games such as those at the Commerce in Los Angeles, and is often considered to be a form of poker for purposes of mixing into a mixed game.

Badougi is four-card triple-draw low-only, where straights and flushes do not count (so A234 is the lowest set of cards), however, cards of the same suit or same rank counterfeit your hand, and do not play. In Badougi, the best possible hand is A234 of all four suits.

If any player has a playable four-card hand by the time of the showdown (that is, they have four cards all of different ranks and all of different suits), the hand is called a Badougi. Even the worst Badugi (four-card-playable) hand beats all three-card-playable hands. If a player cannot play one of their cards because it duplicates a rank or suit of one of their other cards, they have only a three-card hand, which loses to any four-card Badougi, but beats any two-card hand. Within three-card hands, the low hand wins, where low is determined as usual: A23 all of different suits is the lowest three-card hand.

To deal Badougi, players start by posting blinds (identical to how other blind games start, such as Hold 'em). Players are then each deal four cards, which is their initial hand. A betting round ensues, followed by a draw where players can choose to discard anywhere from one to four of their cards or they can stand pat. Badougi has three drawing rounds, followed by a showdown where the lowest hand with the most playable cards wins. Ties are not broken - identical low hands split the pot.

Badougi has four betting rounds: once after the inital deal, aand then once after each of the three draws.

Badougi is usually played in limit or no-limit betting forms.

Where To Play

PokerStars offers online Badougi for stakes ranging from 0.25/0.50 fixed limit and up.

Basic Strategy

It is surprisingly difficult to get four cards of different suits given an initial hand and three draws. Most people's instinct is to keep drawing, trying to make their Badougi, but the odds are noticeably against a player ending up with a Badougi at all, much less a good one. On the other hand, starting with high Badougi cards can be treacherous. Standing pat with a high (bad) Badougi means you have to fade all your opponent's multiple draws, and they are almost guaranteed to be drawing to a good Badougi. If you are heads up, the odds of your Badougi holding up are good, but the more players are competing for the pot, the more likely that one of them will manage to make a good Badougi and scoop the pot.

Drawing to a bad Badougi is a recipe for disaster in a game with four or more players. Better to fold early and escape without any penalty than to draw to a Jack-high Badougi, hit it, and lose to the 8-high Badougi that also hit. With 3 or fewer players, the odds of getting a Badougi at all are small enough that powerful three-card hands can be played as if they are made hands already, even as you draw for the fourth, and even high Badougis are often good all the way.

In general:

  • If you start with a pat Badougi, jam the pot pre-draws, but beware of the betting action around you. If a player is drawing one card and then raises your second-street or third-street bet, you have a hard decision to make, but it is probably wise to fold (if you have two or more high cards) or draw one (if you only have one high card), if the pot is laying you the right price to draw at it.
  • An A23 three-card hand is a powerful starting hand (it's the pocket kings of Badougi) and can be played very hard. As the streets continue, if you do not make a Badougi, your betting should become more cautious unless you think you can push bad made Badugis off their hands.

Example hands Edit

The following hands are shown in rank order, with the best at the top:

Hand Description
As 2c 3h 4d The best possible hand: the "steel wheel" of Badougi.
As 3c 4h 6d A very strong Badougi hand. Read from high card down, it is called a "643A Badougi"
Ac 3s 5d 6h Another very strong Badougi hand, but 653A loses to 643A, since "64" is lower than "65".
6c 7s 8d 9h Straights do not count in Badougi; this is a good but not great Badougi.
Ac 2h 3d Ks A bad Badougi: although the A23 is great, the K is what determines the rank of the hand, and Kings are higher than anything. That said, a King-high Badougi still beats a three-card hand like below:
Ac 2h 3d 4d Only a three-card hand. The double-diamond hand means this player can only play A23 as a three-card hand (or they could choose to play A24 instead, but since that's worse, they wouldn't). Three-card hands lose to all valid Badougis, even bad ones like the hand above.
3h 5h 6d 2s Three-card 6-3-2. (Again, they could choose to play 6-5-2 instead, but wouldn't.)
Ah Ac 6d 4s Three-card 6-4-A. Even though this is of four suits, the Aces are paired - you can only play one of them.
3h Kh 6h 4s Two-card 4-3.
5h 5c 5s As Two-card 5-A.
7h Kh 8h 9h One-card 7. One of the worst possible hands. How did you end up with this?

External links Edit

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