Badugi Hand Rankings - What beats what?

PokerStars.comThe Badugi hands rankings are unlike any other form of poker including other lowball poker games. When playing Badugi players are dealt 4 cards to begin with but there is a possibility of making a 4 card hand (known as a Badugi), a 3 card hand, a 2 card hand and even 1 card hand.

We will assume that you already know how to play Badugi and Badugi rules, if that’s not the case then you need to check out the previous links before you read on.

The first thing you need to know about the Badugi hand rankings is that a 4 card hand always beats a 3 card hand which will always beat a 2 card hand which beats a 1 card hand.

To make a 4 card hand in the Badugi hand rankings your hand must contain 1 card from each suit and no pairs. Take a look at 5 Badugi hands below to get an idea of what we are talking about:

5 Badugi hands - from weakest to strongest:

1-Card Badugi hand (weakest):

1-Card Badugi Hand

2-Card Badugi hand:

2-Card Badugi Hand

3-Card Badugi hand:

3-Card Badugi Hand

Weakest 4-card Badugi hand possible:

Weakest 4-Card Badugi Hand

Strongest 4-card Badugi hand possible:

Strongest 4-Card Badugi Hand

When ranking Badugi hands the highest card is always used first to determine the winner. If you and your opponent both showdown a 4 card hand then the player with the lowest 4 card hand wins the pot. Should you and your opponent have the same Badugi hands then the pot is split 50/50.

For example T-3-2-A will always beat T-4-2-A and J-T-4-A will always beat Q-3-2-A.

If you get to showdown and your hand contains a pair, such as a hand like As-2c-2d-Th, then you are forced to discard one of your cards so that you no longer hold a pair in your hand. Once you have discarded one of your paired cards then you are only left with a 3 card hand.

This rule applies to a hand with cards which are suited as well. For example if you hold 2s-4s-5c-8h then you will be forced to discard the 4s as it is the same suit as the 2s you hold. This again leaves you with a 3 card hand and not a Badugi. If your hand contains three of a kind, three cards of the same suit or a pair and two cards of the same suit then you will be forced to discard 2 of your cards leaving you with only a 2 card hand. If you have four of a kind or a flush then you will be required to throw away 3 of your cards leaving you with only a 1 card hand.

Even though the Badugi hand rankings are a little different to normal poker hand rankings you’ll get used to them really quickly and before long they will come naturally to you.