Snowing In Badugi

PokerStars.comSnowing in Badugi is one of the most powerful plays you can have in your armory and if used correctly it can be highly profitable. When a player snows in Badugi they are making a bluff which involves them standing pat without an actual Badugi. This article will discuss Badugi snowing strategy, when to snow in Badugi and when not to snow in Badugi.

When To Snow In Badugi

It is always easier to snow when you are in position. That doesn’t mean you can’t snow out of position but you will be able to make much more profitable decisions when it comes to snowing strategy if you have position on your opponent or opponents.

You should never go into a hand with the sole intention of snowing all draws and trying to take down the pot, that’s exactly the same as getting dealt 7-2 off suit in Holdem and playing it like you actually have pocket aces.

For example you find yourself on the button in an unrasied pot with a hand like AdAh4h4s. Now we know from the Badugi starting hands that this isn’t a premium holding but it can be worth playing in an unraised pot if you have position.

Lets assume we get to the first draw and the other players who remain in the pot draw cards. We now obviously want to draw two cards and after doing so we receive the 7c and the Th. We have a strong 3 card hand (A,4,7) and it’s likely to be the best drawing hand out there. We are now in a good spot to raise any bettors and since we have position on the next draw we can observe what our opponents do and then either draw a card attempting to make a Badugi or we can snow by standing pat and betting out again. Unless any of the other players have made a Badugi then we will take the pot down a large percentage of the time. If we face resistance and another player stands pat we can continue drawing to our hand giving us more than one way of winning the pot.

It might sound really obvious but a great time to snow is when our opponent is visibly weak. A great spot to recognize this is if on the second draw our opponent draws two or more cards. If we have position we can stand pat and bet straight away, if we are out of position we can represent a made Badugi by leading out into the other player when we next get the chance to bet. This is one of the most basic spots to snow and one of the most successful.

Another opportunity to snow is when you are dealt 4 cards of the same suit excluding the K or Q. This might seem strange at first but you are actually in a powerful position because it’s going to be very difficult for your opponent to make a Badugi. Assuming you don’t hold the K or Q then your opponent only has 4 outs to making a jack high Badugi or stronger. This coupled with your display of strength from the pre draw round will often be enough to allow you to take down the pot on a latter street.

When not to Snow in Badugi

It’s just as important to know when not to snow in Badugi as it is to know when to try a snow. There are certain situations in which snowing is suicide.

The first situation where you should never try to snow is if there has been significant raising and re raising action by your opponents during the first and second drawing rounds. Trying to stand pat and steal the pot in this situation just isn’t going to work especially in a limit game when it only costs your opponent one bet to look you up.

Another time to avoid snowing is if your opponent ever stands pat and then checks to you. This is obviously a weak Badugi which he or she has no intention of folding during later rounds. Remember it’s only ever going to cost your opponent a maximum of three bets to look you up if you’re playing fixed limit Badugi.

Badugi Snow Strategy

It’s not the end of the world if you get caught snowing, in fact the more you get caught on a stone cold bluff the more likely it is you will get paid off when you bet and raise in later hands. You need to learn to adapt your Badugi snow strategy based on your image at the table. If you are viewed as a serial snower then tighten up and let the other players at the table pay you off. If you aren’t snowing enough then you will have a tight image and will be able to get away with more snows.

DJ Sensei, who is now a part owner of and full time coach at DeucesCracked, wrote a post about Badugi. In it he states “I haven't quite figured out how much I should be snowing, but I suspect the answer is "much more often until they catch me".” Keep that in mind when you’re playing Badugi and it will serve you well.