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Badugi

I suppose we've all seen kids in high school or later in college who decided that everything others considered trendy, cool, hip and you-name-it, was no good for them. They just wanted to be different, they wanted to somehow stand out of the majority.

As far as I'm concerned, Badugi is such a rebel of the poker world. Whilst pretty much all poker genres seem to agree on the way they rank their hands, Badugi decided its best hands should be the ones that are the worst possible for all others. Oh yeah, and why play it with five cards like everyone else does, when four can play just as well?

Joking put aside, the best hands in Badugi are those four-card hands that are made up of different and unsuited cards with the lowest possible rank.

Thus the best hand will be: Ah, 2S, 3C, 4D.
The gameplay itself is reminescent of 5 card draw, with the difference that there are three betting rounds in Badugi. Thus, the players all receive four cards from the get-go. There is a pre-draw betting round begun by the player to the left of the big blind and which goes down in a clockwise direction.

After this initial round of betting, players who stay in the game can replace 1-2-3 or 4 cards from their hands. 
This sequence (betting-round and draw) is repeated twice more, the last betting round being followed by the showdown. The player who shows down the best Badugi hand (judged by the criteria presented above) will take the pot.

The very first thing taken into account when judging a Badugi hand, is the number of cards making it up. Since suited or paired cards do not qualify, these are removed from hands. 4 cards beat 3-card hands and so on.

Then the card values are considered. Low card always beats a high card, and a four card Badugi hand that contains a card higher than the highest from the hand it measures up against, will lose.

As5d2d7h will lose to Ad5c4h6c 
First of all, these are both three card badugi hands. 5d will have to be removed from the first hand because it's suited with 2d and it's the higher of the two. 6c will also have to be dropped from the second hand because it's suited with 5c and it's the higher one of the two. So we'll be left with As, 2d, 7h going up against Ad, 5c, 4h.

Since the first hand has a 7 in it, and the highest card in the second one is only a 5, the second hand wins it.

I hope I managed to illustrate the way things go down in Badugi by means of the above example. Keep it as low as possible and all different cards, you'll get the hang of it...

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