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Poker News | Online Poker | News

PokerStars Now Offers Badugi, the Ultimate Lowball Game

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You’ve eaten, slept and drank Hold 'Em. If you're handed two cards at a table ever again, you're gonna scream, even if it's at a meeting with two clients and they're just handing you business cards.

You've tried Omaha but don't like the swings, Five Card Draw but you'd rather know what others are playing, and Razz but you don't like the hair pulling.

PokerStars has the answer. It's Badugi.

No, that's not a drink to help you forget all those other games.  It's a little-known poker game, that goes anywhere, and we're pretty positive PokerStars is the only one who has it., really. Good luck getting a casino to spread it, and your home game buddies will probably look at you like you just brought President-Elect Obama to the game if you suggest it.

So download PokerStars now and you'll get an exclusive PokerWorks bonus of $25 free in addition to a 100 percent matching bonus up to $50. You must enter the marketing code of POKERWORKS upon registration and the bonus code of FIRST2008 upon your first deposit.

Ready to play? Here's how it works.

First, like many games, Badugi is similar to other poker games, so sometimes it's easier just to describe them that way.

It's a variant of draw poker but with forced blinds, just like the ones you pay in Hold 'Em. You are dealt four cards, and that's when the first round of betting takes place (just like Hold 'Em or many other games). You can call, raise, or fold.

Keep em, and you now have the option to draw. Click on the ones you want to burn. You can ditch all four if you want (which raises questions why you were in the hand, but we're talking rules, not strategy).

A second round of betting takes place, and it can be checked around if no one bets.

There's another draw, another betting round, and a final draw. So that's four betting rounds and three draws.

The object is a lot like any lowball game such as Razz, Deuce-to-Seven or Omaha Hi-Lo.

Only in Badugi, you want a four card low hand with four different suits. The best possible starting hand is 4-3-2-A, with each card a different suit. Aces, therefore, are low, and straights are ignored.

Much like Razz, hands are ranked by the lowest card, so if you have 9-7-3-2 with different suits, you'll lose to a 8-5-3-A.

A hand with four different suits is called a Badugi. If no one has one, the player with the best three-card or two-card hand wins the pot. You cannot count any cards of the same suit, so if you have {6-Hearts} - {4-Clubs} - {3-Diamonds} - {A-Hearts}, your hand is 4-3-A and would lose to any Badugi. But it would beat a ton of three-card hands.

As any game, it's always important to think about position.

Try a few hands the Badugi way today.

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