The Texas Hold’em craze is still intact but players are now starting to diversify the games they play, one of the games now growing in popularity is Badugi. The game itself is shrouded in secrecy; the usual poker authors have yet to produce any literature on the subject so most people have to teach themselves. Most poker training sites have been begged to make some new videos/strategy articles but they have yet to produce the goods.
Badugi is a drawing game; it’s a little like triple draw low ball with a forced blind structure taken from Hold’em. If you haven’t already you should read our Badugi Rules article before you continue. To learn the game of Badugi it’s probably best to just jump right into the smallest game you can find and play a few hands.
- Early position: Play any 3 cards under a 7.
- Mid position: Play any 3 cards under a 7 + any 2 cards under a 5.
- In late position we can loosen our range & should be much more aggressive, we can comfortably raise with 2 cards under 5 and raise any 3 cards under an 8. We should also be raising with any Badugi & any of our bluff hands.
- It is rarely correct to break a pat 9 or T Badugi. It would be better to break a A23K hand than to break a 89TJ.
- Short-handed tables with 2-4 players offer better opportunities to bluff.
- Long handed tables with 5+ players generally see more showdowns but you can quickly work which players you can bluff into breaking their made hands.
- Badugi has 3 drawing rounds; you can work out your odds of completing a draw using our Badugi Odds Chart.
- Calling down on the end is usually read dependant, which you will pick up with experience.
- Play tight until you fully understand the game. Jack & Queen high Badugis are much harder to play but you can work them into your game with experience.
- If your opponent draws on the final round and bets out you should consider calling with your better 3 card hands.
Making notes will drastically improve your game, these are some points you should consider:
- Who is misreading their hands or making other very basic mistakes?
- Who doesn’t bet or raise until they have a Badugi?
- Who value bets their good 3 card hands?
- Who is often folding preflop and frequently draws 1 when he enters a pot? (These players are playing tight so proceed with caution)
- Who limps into a ton of pots and frequently draws 1 card? (These guys are often drawing to high Badugi)
- Who has ever been caught in a snow?
- Who has ever tried to pick off a snow, i.e. called a river bet vs someone standing pat on earlier rounds.
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