Playing at Badugi Table

In order to out-pressure your opponent through aggression, you need to find out if he’s the type of player who’s willing to back down when confronted by someone even more aggressive. Just pushing against him on every hand while knowing that he will never back down takes the strategy out of the game, but sometimes it can be a reasonable solution.

Being a calling station is never good in poker. It’s always the fish who take on the role of the calling station at full tables and it never ends well for them. At a heads-up Badugi table though, becoming a calling station is actually an advanced way of dealing with aggression. I’ll have to put it forth though that it’s not a genuine calling station I’m taking about here, but rather a perceived one. A genuine calling station has no idea what his opponent is holding. You on the other hand, will have to make pretty good reads on your opponent and you’ll have to sell him the calling station image in order for this strategy to work.

If you’re playing heads-up Badugi, don’t forget that the number of hands played per hour will lead to an increased poker rake. Take the poker rake into account to when you try to estimate your profits.

Another important aspect of Badugi strategy concerns the number of people around the table. The more people there are involved in the hand, the more likely it is that one of them has a 4-card Badugi. Bluffing on a 3-card Badugi under such circumstances is not generally a good idea. If you’re playing against 2-3 other people though, the odds on your bluff will change radically in your favor.

If you have A,2,3 (rainbow of course) and you see that everyone is drawing, you can be pretty certain that you have the best hand even if it’s only a 3-card one. That means you should raise or bet to optimize your win rate. Bear in mind that the objective is not to make a Badugi, but to make money, and sometimes a 3-card hand is well enough for that.

As a general idea: if pick up 4 cards under 7, you have a good starting hand. Four cards that are ranked 5 or lower are also good. The best possible Badugi hand is the A,2,3,4 of different suits, so that is the absolute nut, if you pick that up the worst thing that can happen to you is that your opponent ties you.