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This form of poker has appeared in poker rooms only in recent years, which gives reason to believe that it is the newest game of this genre. It is not as popular as Texas Hold'em or Omaha poker, but we can't help noticing the growing popularity of Badugi among fans of such a kind of entertainment.

Badugi (badougi) poker originated in Asia. It is believed that it was invented in Korea, where the word Badugi was used to call a breed of spotted dogs. The more spots they have, the more valuable they are. So, the more diversified the hand of cards collected by the player, the higher the chances of winning.

The game combines the characteristics of lowball, draw poker, and hold'em but has individual features that make it original.

Then the general rules for Badugi are discussed, but keep in mind that they appear in different variations.

General Description of Badugi Poker

The player aims to defeat opponents by collecting the lowest-ranking 4-card hand at the table. Therefore, the lowest ranking of possible hands is a combination composed of the four most minor valuable cards of different suits. The principles of hand formation are described below.

A standard 52-card deck without jokers is used in this game. The dealer shuffles cards before each deal.

The rules provide several betting rounds and the possibility to draw cards. The highest number of participants is limited to six to avoid the lack of cards. If this happens, the dealer uses cards located in a discard tray.

The game has a system of obligatory bets called blinds, like in many other versions of poker. The users make blinds and big blinds one by one. The priority is determined by a unique marker that is moved clockwise. If the marker indicates the player, they make a small blind, and the next player should make a big blind.

Their sizes are fixed and discussed in advance. The big blind is twice as big as the small one.

Blinds form the initial pot for which the opponents will compete.

Badugi Poker Gameplay

As soon as the players, who are obliged to make blinds, have placed them, the dealer gives four hole cards to all participants. There are no community cards in Badugi.

This is followed by the first betting round. It is called pre-draw. Players can fold, raise, call, check or re-raise at this stage. If the customer lacks chips to call, they can go all-in.

We will not explain the intricacies of using each option mentioned above.

The general rules for poker are valid.

The player sitting at the big blind clockwise makes a bet first. Betting ends when all opponents call the largest stake.

Then there are three draw rounds. They are also known as breakfast, lunch, and dinner (associated with the three stages of feeding Badugi dogs). Players may exchange from one to four cards. The draw is followed by betting.

If two or more opponents still play after three draws, they reveal their hands to compare their ranks. This stage is called the showdown. The dealer determines the winner and gives the pot.

Formation and Comparison of Hands

The lowest-ranking card in Badugi is considered to be an ace. Then there are the cards from a deuce to a king. Suits don't have ranks.

If the player's hand has two cards of the same rank, only one of them is taken into account. If the player has two, three, or four cards of the same rank, they have a combination of three, two, or even one card, respectively.

Thus, the best possible hand in Badugi is an ace, deuce, three, and four of different suits. The worst hands would be four kings.

The hand of four cards beats any hand made up of three, two, or one card. In the same way, three cards are stronger than two cards, and two cards are higher in rank than a single card. The rank is compared if hands are composed of the same number of cards.

Variations of Badugi Poker

The general rules are standard in all versions of this game. The differences are usually insignificant, so there is no sense in paying attention to them. Keep in mind that you should still clarify all the details before you start playing for real money.


The game is new and is only gaining popularity, but it's safe to say that poker fans will not be fed up with it shortly. You can also be sure that new versions of Badugi adapted to play against the house will appear soon, so we are looking forward to seeing Badugi at casinos.

Recommendations concerning strategies are described in the separate article of the corresponding section on the site Casinoz.

Don't be lazy and leave your opinions in the comments. 

Frequently asked Questions

🃏 What is Badugi?

Badugi is a variation of poker available in some clubs. Online poker rooms offer it too.

❓ Is Badugi a popular poker?

It is available in some poker clubs, but it is not one of the most popular poker variations.

👎 Can I play Badugi at casinos?

Online casinos usually do not offer Badugi, but you can find it in many poker rooms.

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