In Badugi, the
aim of the game is to hold a lower hand than your opponent holds. Aces
are considered the lowest card in the deck; therefore, A234 (all off
suit) is the best possible hand in the game.
A Badugi is a four-card hand with no pairs and none of the same suit.
Examples of Badugis would be 2345, 2467, A358, all with none of the
same suit. The best possible Badugi is A234 all off suit as there is
no other possible hand lower than this.
If you hold a hand such as A244 (all different suits), then your hand
value is really A24, as you can only use one of the cards you have paired.
This is known as a three-card hand.
Other examples would be A224 that is finally A24; KKQJ that is finally
KQJ; KJ55 that is finally KJ5. A Badugi beats any three-card
Similarly, a hand such as A222 would only hold a final value of A2,
a two-card hand, as the other two cards are counterfeited. A
three-card hand beats any two-card hand. Other examples
of two-card hands would be A444, AA88, 7766, 5669, etc.
Suited hands work similarly to paired hands. If you hold a hand such
as A456 (where both the 5 and 6 are hearts), then you should choose
to play the lower of the two suited cards. In this example then, you
would hold A45, as the 6 is counterfeited. Other examples would be As9d5s8h
where the final value would be A98 as the 5s is dropped; 3h4s9dKh where
the final value would be 349; JhQdK2d where the final value would be
Suited and paired hands
Occasionally, you may be dealt a hand containing both pairs and suited
cards. This is usually not a good situation to be in as it means your
final hand value will be very weak. For example, KhKc9cTs would have
a final value of 9cTsKh, as the king of clubs is counterfeited. Other
examples would be:
- 2h3h4s6d where the final value would be 246, as the 3 of hearts
- Td9s7s5s where the final value would be T5, as the 7 and 9 of spades
- JsQh3s9s where the final value of this hand would be Q3, as the
9 and J of spades are counterfeited
Therefore, double-suited double-paired hands are
not good starting hands.
Another rare example would be when you hold four of a
kind, e.g., 4444 or 9999 giving you a final hand value of either 4 or
9 respectively. This is known as a one-card hand and is the worst possible
type of hand to hold.
Furthermore, you could be dealt a hand such as KdKcJdJc
where the final value would be either KcJc or KdJd. NB: there is no
ranking of suits. So, for example, you could hold KhJhKcJc versus your
opponent’s KsJsKdJd, whereby both of you have a final value of
KJ, therefore resulting in a split pot.
Order of hand value from best to worst:
- 3-card hand
- 2-card hand
- 1-card hand
NB: If at a showdown there are two Badugis or 3-card
hands or 2-card hands or 1-card hands, obviously the lowest one will
win. E.g., Ah2s3d4c beats 3h4d5s6c; 3c3s7d9c beats 3d8d8s9h; 4c4d6c6d
beats 5s8s8h5h; and 4444 beats 5555.
Multiway pot example:
Player 1 holds 3h5s7d9c
Player 2 holds 7s7h5c6d
Player 3 holds 2h3s7c8d
Player 4 holds AhAs4dTs
Player 3 would win this pot as he/she holds the lowest hand with a
2378 Badugi. Although player 1 also holds a Badugi 3579, player 3’s