Did we mean Badugi? How dare you, of course we didn’t! Baduci (some might say Badeucey or Badacey) is a draw poker game type which mixes hand valuations of two different games — Badugi and 2-7 triple draw.
Similar to high/low poker, Baduci is a split pot game. Meaning, the pot is divided between two players — one who’s holding the best Badugi hand, while the other winner is the one who wins according to 2-7 triple draw rules. The aim of the game is to take both halves of the pot, by essentially winning in both of these variants. The game progression doesn’t differ from other poker games; there are drawing rounds, as well as betting ones (which go clockwise). During betting, you have the options of calling, raising (or, perhaps re-raising), folding, or checking.
All three of these games use blinds as antes. Analogous to Texas Hold ‘Em, a small blind is placed by the first player sitting left of the dealer, and the player next in line has to pay a big blind (normally double the small one). To better understand this game, let’s go over the rules of the two which form Baduci.
Badugi was Asia’s gift to the world. It values cards akin to lowball, as the lowest-valued hand takes the pot. The game starts with players being dealt four cards facing down. After they pay blinds and the initial betting round ends, players can exercise their right to discard up to four cards (this isn’t obligatory) and draw their replacements. There are seven rounds in total — three drawing and four betting ones.
General draw poker strategies are applicable to Badugi as well. For instance, your position during the betting round can help you immensely. If you’re further away from the dealer, you’ll be able to draw conclusions from the other players’ behavior. For example, should your opponent decide to raise and, after that, opt against discarding any cards, you can see this as a signal that they are confident of winning.
The whole point is to form a Badugi — a hand of four low cards, all of the different suit. Ace is always a low hand. The best combination you can have is A-2-3-4, with each being differently suited from the other. When comparing hands, you’re looking at your highest card. For example, 9-8-5-2 (a Nine-Badugi) will lose to a Seven-Badugi: 7-5-4-3. If your highest cards come with the same value, you start comparing the next one and so on.
In case you have two cards with the same suit, you discard one and compete with the other three cards. For instance, let’s say you drew Seven of Spades, Two of Hearts, Five of Clubs, and Ace of Spades. Since you have two Spades, you ignore the higher one, so, your hand will actually be 5-2-A-x. This hand automatically loses to a Badugi hand, but will beat some other three-card hands (for example, it’s stronger than a Six of Hearts, Six of Diamonds, Ace of Spades, and Three of Hearts, as that hand would be 6-3-A-x).
Using the same logic, you can form a two-card hand, which is only stronger than higher two-carders and a one-carder. In case you draw a four card Badugi, but they all come in the same suit, you have to ignore three of the cards, and play with just your lowest one. The least valuable hand you can get is four Kings, as you’d be forced to play with just one King in your hand.
Deuce to Seven Triple Draw
Another draw game which values low cards more, with the contrasting fact being that the Ace is always considered as a high card. A further distinction is that you draw five cards.
As you’re hunting low-value hands, you ought to avoid Straights and Flushes. A hand of 3-4-5-6-7 will lose to 3-4-5-6-9. Here, the best hand (called the wheel) is 2-3-4-5-7, where at least one card has to have a suit different than the others. After that, the next best thing is 2-3-4-6-7, and so on, you notice the pattern. Correspondingly, the least favorable hand is a Royal Flush.
Should you fail to create a hand consisting of five differently-faced cards, further rankings are just an upside-down image of regular poker (Pairs win against Three of a Kind, a Flush is worse than a Straight, etc.).
The game develops the same way Badugi does — you have betting rounds after which you can discard none or all five cards, while the dealer hands over replacements. There’s the same amount of drawing and betting rounds as with Badugi. If there’s a fixed limit on betting, in the opening two rounds you can make small bets, while in the other two you make big bets. For instance, if it’s a $20/$40 game, in the beginning, you can raise only by $20, and afterwards, raises need to be $40.
Now, just make a cocktail with these two, and you’ve got yourself Baduci. Five hands are dealt by the dealer in the beginning. If at least two players are still in play after there are no more rounds, you first evaluate your Badugi hand (only four cards are taken into consideration), and after that, you check who wins the 2-7 triple draw. The tricky part about Baduci is the Ace — in the first half, it’s of low value, while in the other half of valuation, it’s actually a high card.
With Baduci, as previously mentioned, there are four betting and three drawing rounds. As a rebellious move against its parents (Baduceena is a punk rocker), you can’t discard all your cards at once — you cannot do more than three of them per round.
Like with any other game, to become efficient you need a lot of practice. After all, you have to compare your hand according to two different game rules. Play a few rounds for free at first, so that you get accustomed to spotting good hands. The ultimate aim is to scoop the pot — win in both Badugi and 2-7 draw.