Snowing in Badugi
It’s a bit late to be dreaming of a white Christmas but when you play Badugi it’s snowing all around you.
I’ll start off with explaining what a snow actually is. A snow is the term used in draw poker when a player without a made hand stands pat & doesn’t draw any further cards. What is this lunacy you ask? Well the idea is to deceive your opponents into thinking you have a made hand so you can steal a pot. If it works then celebrate! We are immediately better off but if we get looked up that’s still good for us in the long term.
If our snow is unsuccessful and we do get to showdown our opponents will now be put off balance. They will be forced to call us down more often because if they don’t adjust we can rob them blind.
The vast majority of players don’t snow enough and some pick some really horrible places to do it. I’ll highlight some situations were you can pick up lots of chips and confuse your foes on the table.
Pre-draw when you pick up 4 suited cards.
At first glance you will think 5h6h8h9h is a horrible hand to play in Badugi, but with a little imagination it can still be highly profitable.
You won’t get 4 cards of the same suit very often so adding them to our snow range will make us much harder to read (because we will be bluffing randomly when we get them). We also get the added benefit of it being that much harder for our opponents to complete their hand. Not all of the time but it will still have an effect:
As an example our opponent has Ac3s7d so they are looking for a heart to make a Badugi. Against a typical opponent he is looking to make a J or better Badugi before he is willing to showdown against a pre-draw pat hand.
Our villan has 10 outs to make a Badugi (the 2h,4h,5h,6h,8h,9h,Th,Jh,Qh,Kh) they will generally discount the Kh & Qh leaving them with 8 outs. However since we have 4 of their cards in our hand they are now drawing to only 4 outs!
Even if your opponent will chase all 3 draws he will only have a 23% chance of making his hand. Which means our snow would work 77% of the time. Usually most opponents will fold if they haven’t hit by the 2nd draw so that further increases our chance of winning to 84% Only one word is needed to describe this situation & that word is “KERCHING!*”
Did your opponent just draw 2 cards on the 2nd draw. Now is a great time to consider snowing, your opponent is weak, HE knows it, YOU know it. Lets take this pot down now, stand pat & bet out. Your opponent will almost definitely fold now or after the 3rd draw.
When not to snow
If there have been re-raises on the 1st or 2nd draw your opponent is telling you he likes his hand. If you were to stand pat on the 3rd draw & try to steal you will get looked up a lot.
If your opponent ever stands pat & checks the snow attempt is over. They have made a weak Badugi but are reluctant to fold, just check & showdown remember its good to get caught every once in a while.
As you can see snowing is a very powerful weapon so make sure you add it to your game when you play badugi.
* Orginates from north Korea, translates to “make lotto money”
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