Play Badugi Online – Best Sites, Rules & Strategy

Joe Halliday profile picture
Sports Editor Fact Checked by Vlad Grindu

Badugi is a fun poker variant thought to have originated in Korea. It’s a bit different from other variations of poker, but equally as entertaining once you get the hang of it. Don’t aim for the best hand, as the worst possible four-card hand wins in this game.

But what is Badugi? And what are the rules? Don’t worry – you can find the answers to these questions, as well as much more, when you read through our detailed page on playing Badugi online below.

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The Best Badugi Poker Sites to Play for Real Money

Unfortunately, you won’t currently find Badugi offered at any of our recommended online poker sites in 2023. However, the gambling sites below offer many great alternatives for you to try out.

  1. BetOnline – The best place to play poker online
  2. Bovada – The top site for Omaha poker players
  3. Everygame Poker – 200% welcome bonus
  4. Ignition – Great for fans of Texas Hold’em poker
  5. – Huge 350% welcome bonus for new crypto players
  6. Wild Casino – Deposit using a huge range of cryptocurrencies
  7. MyBookie – Superb selection of video poker games
  8. Big Spin Casino – Grab huge bonuses on all casino deposits
  9. Las Atlantis – Giant welcome package worth up to $14,000
  10. – Many online slots with huge jackpots and more

Comparison of the Best Badugi Poker Sites

Badugi Poker TableDespite none of our recommended sites offering Badugi, we’ve still decided to construct a table below, showing you a list of the best poker sites offering alternatives to Badugi, such as Texas Hold’em and casino poker games.

 Casino Badugi Poker Badugi Poker Freerolls
Texas Hold’em Omaha Min/Max Stakes Poker Welcome Bonus

$0.05/$0.10 – $15/$30 100% up to $1,000

$0.02/$0.05 – $10/$20 100% up to $500

$0.02/$0.05 – $3/$6 200% up to $1,000

$0.02/$0.05 – $10/$20 150% up to $1,500

 $0.05/$0.10 – $15/$30 100% up to $1,000

How to Play Badugi Poker Online

If you are wondering “how do you play Badugi?”, take a look below and all should become clearer. And yes, it’s called Badugi and not Bagudi, even if some players will tell you that the latter pronunciation brings them good luck.

We’re going to be honest: learning how to play Badugi is slightly more complex than many other online poker games. However, we’ve tried to explain it in the simplest possible terms. Before we look at the gameplay, it’s important to understand the goal of the game: to get the lowest possible four-card poker hand. You can see the Badugi poker hands listed further down this page.

Now, here are the rules and the steps to play Badugi:

1. Place Blinds

Before any cards are dealt, the player to the left of the dealer places the small blind, while the next player to the left places the big blind. Generally, the big blind is double the small blind.

2. Cards Dealt

Each player then receives four cards, all of which are private to them.

3. First Round of Betting

The player to the left of the big blind starts the betting. They can call, raise, or fold. The minimum bet amount is the same size as the big blind. Once all players have committed the same amount of money to the pot, or folded, the game progresses.

4. First Round of Card Swapping

All players can now swap 0-4 of their cards for new ones from the deck, in a bid to improve their hands.

5. Second Round of Betting

The player to the left of the dealer now starts the betting. The options are check, call, raise, and fold – whether all options are available depends on the state of play. Betting is all over when everyone has bet the same or folded.

6. Second Round of Card Swapping

All remaining players get to exchange 0-4 cards again.

7. Third Round of Betting

Another round of betting then takes place, following the same format as the second round of betting. The only difference is that the minimum bet now becomes double the big blind.

8. Third Round of Card Swapping

Once again, remaining players can swap cards for new ones.

9. Fourth Round of Betting

The final round of betting now takes place, following the same format as the second and third rounds.

10. Showdown

All remaining players now show their cards. The player with the best Badugi hand wins and takes all the money in the pot.

After this, the dealer moves one place to the left and a new game begins.

Play Free Badugi Poker Online

As we’ve already mentioned, learning the Badugi rules can be tough. This is why we recommend that you first play Badugi online for free. This allows you to learn the rules to Badugi  without losing any money in the process.

Playing free online Badugi will not just allow you to learn the rules – it will also allow you to start developing your own Badugi strategy. Once you’re confident in your gameplay, you can then progress onto playing real money Badugi online.

However, be careful when progressing to real money online Badugi, as the standard of play will be much higher than at the free tables. Start playing for very low stakes first and only up the stakes when you’re confident to do so.

Badugi Hand Rankings

Badugi hands are different to those you’ll see in most other poker variations. They’re only made from four cards, plus, you won’t find any straights, flushes, or other hands from other poker types.

Instead, there are just four hands to know about. Take a look below to see the Badugi hand rankings for yourself.

  • Badugi – The Badugi best hand. This is a hand featuring four unpaired cards, all different suits.
  • Three-Card Hand – Three unpaired cards of different suits, with a final card that either matches the value or suit of another card.
  • Two-Card Hand – Two cards of different values and suits, alongside two cards with the same value. One of the pair is also the same suit as one of the unpaired hands.
  • One-Card Hand – A hand where all of the the cards are the same suit or the same value. As a result, only one of the cards remains valid for the hand.

Badugi Hand

If two or more players have the same hand – for example, if both have Badugi – the player with the lowest high card is declared the winner. For example, 9-8-7-6 would beat A-K-Q-J.

If the high card doesn’t separate players, the next highest card is used. This continues through all the counted cards and discounted cards aren’t used. For example, if a player has 8-5-4-3, with the 8 and 5 having the same suit, the 8 will be discounted and not used.

If two or more players have exactly the same hand, the pot will be split between them.

What are the Badugi Odds?

Badugi is a game played against other players and involves a huge amount of skill. As in all skill-based versions of poker, there are no exact odds. Instead, you count outs and probabilities and expected value of hands according as in plain old boring math.  The better you are, the better your chances of winning are when playing online Badugi.

As you become a more advanced player, you will need to start honing your math skills in order to improve your Badugi strategy. Don’t worry if you’re not great at math – you’ll easily find a Badugi calculator online.

The Best Badugi Strategy

Badugi is a game that features a huge amount of poker strategy – expect to play for years before you can honestly say you’ve mastered the game. However, there’s one strategy you should use above all others when first playing. Most of it is for regular Badugi cash games but it can also apply for tournaments.

1. Keep Track of Your Position

Understand the value of your position when you are at the Badugi table. Use the information you gathered about the players when in a good position. You should only open with really strong hands from early position, while you can expect to have a wider range when you are in a late position. The latter situation allows you to accumulate more information on your opponents before you make the decision.

2. Bet Big when You are Strong

Three bet on strong hands pre-draw. There is literally no poker variant where betting is not a way of communicating, but in Badugi, it is super important to know how to bet. Also, keep in mind that most casinos will limit the maximum wager to four bets for the current round. Unlike in no-limit Texas Hold’em, you won’t be able to go all-in when you have a strong Badugi hand.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Fold

Fold your bad Badugis. If you got a bad hand, just toss it. This is not true in all cases, you still need to evaluate your opponents and your outs, but in general, if it is bad, muck it. Folding hands regularly might seem boring, but this is how the most successful players earn money. Capitalize on good hands and stay away from weaker ones. Also, when new, avoid the temptation to bluff – it’s not usually worth the risk.

Top 5 Tips on How to Win at Badugi

Looking to boost your success in the Badugi card game? If so, take a look at our top five Badugi tips below.

1. Start Playing for Free

We’ve already mentioned it, but it’s incredibly important: Badugi is pretty complicated, so play online for free at first. You can do this with practice credits on some poker rooms and still face real opponents. If you play real money Badugi without knowing what you’re doing, you’re likely to lose a lot of money.

Also, don’t get too overconfident in your abilities. Free games are notoriously easy to beat, as nobody cares much if they lose. Real money games are much tougher. Don’t assume you’ll win at real money Badugi if you did well while playing for free.

2. Always Use Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is not a glamorous topic, and it might even remove some of the adrenaline from playing Badugi. However, you must use it since if you don’t, you’re almost certain to go bust pretty quickly.

Essentially, you should only commit a small percentage of your money to the table. Doing this allows you to lose and still come back to play another day. What’s more, spreading your money out gives luck a chance to even out over time.

3. Never Draw Three Cards

Want to find the worst player at the table? Just look for who swaps three cards. Quite simply, if you’re drawing three cards, you’ve got nothing, and your chances of getting something decent are low. Instead, just throw away your cards.

Stronger players will realize that they’re not going to win every hand and will be comfortable not just mucking one hand, but several in a row. Don’t see folding as a weakness since it’s often the strongest players who fold the most often.

4. Stick to One Table

If you’ve played other forms of poker before, you might have multi-tabled. This means that you played more than one table at a time, giving you the chance to grind out results. It’s a great tactic that most top players use.

However, Badugi is a different beast and you should shy away from multi-tabling when playing it. The game is just too complex for most to multi-table effectively, even for those who have lots of experience playing Badugi online.

5. Always Consider Your Position

Finally, as with all other versions of poker, you must always consider your position. It might not seem like much to the uninitiated, but position is an absolutely integral part of the game and will dictate whether you play many hands or not.

Quite simply, the later you are in the betting action, the better your position is. Early position is weaker, as you’ve got less of an idea about what other players might have.

Playing Badugi Poker on Mobile

Nowadays, playing poker using a mobile device is nearly as popular as desktop play. All top offshore poker sites – including those we’ve listed further up this page – offer some form of mobile poker to players. If they didn’t, they’d be ignoring a huge market.

There are several apps where you can test out and learn to play PL Badugi, which might be fun since it is usually played as Limit Badugi.  Just to reiterate, practice is never lost when aiming to get skilled at playing poker games, so it might be useful for those tedious travels we all do from time to time.

However, there is one downside to playing using a mobile – the screen is much smaller, so playing is tougher. It can be very easy to make mistakes and press the wrong button, so you need to play a little slower and be deliberate about the way you select your chosen actions.

More on Poker…

Looking to find out more about playing poker online? If so, check out the three pages below, which have proven extremely popular with our readers.

Best Badugi Poker Site in the US

Badugi is a fantastic game, but it’s also underappreciated. In fact, it’s so underappreciated that none of our recommended sites offer the game. However, they do offer other variations of poker, and the best all-round poker site in the US is BetOnline Poker.

You’ll find that BetOnline offers everything you could want from a poker site, including huge bonuses and plenty of players. It often hosts large poker tournaments with guaranteed prize pools and the competition is quite soft. Plus, the site has an awesome online casino with over 450 games. Why don’t you head over to BetOnline today and claim your $1,000 welcome bonus?


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Joe has been writing full-time about online poker and other forms of gambling since 2016. He has written hundreds of reviews, How-To guides, strategy tips and more, about sports betting, casino gaming, and poker. In his own time Joe is a keen sports bettor, with a particular focus on football, the NBA, and the NFL. He also enjoys playing poker, with Texas Hold'em being his variant of choice.