The origins of baduci poker are unknown and many people confuse this game with badugi poker because of how closely the spelling of the name is. Baduci is actually a card game that has a split pot and players are essentially playing two games at one time. The two sets of rules used in this game are a combination of those from badugi poker and deuce to seven (2-7) triple draw.
The strategy is actually simple to follow if you know how to play these two games. Players are competing for each half of the pot but the objective of the game is to win both pots or “scooping the pot”. In order to scoop the pot, a player must have the strongest badugi poker hand as well as the strongest triple draw hand both at the same time by making a strong combination using 5 cards dealt.
Badugi Poker Rules
First we’ll go through the rules of badugi poker and a basic run down of the concept needed to win one half of the pot. The objective of badugi poker is to form the lowest valued hand using 4 off-suited cards. The ace card is low so remember this fact because aces are very strategic in baduci. Normally in badugi, you are dealt only 4 cards and there are three rounds of betting. In between each round, a player may remove undesirable cards and draw new ones to try forming a better hand. If a player has any matching suits (hearts, clubs, diamonds or spades) on any cards, then one will not count. Also, if a player has a pair, three of a kind or four of a kind, some cards must be discounted.
When one card does not count, your 4 card hand reduces to a 3 card hand. The rules state that any four card hand beats out a three card hand and all three card hands beat out a two card hand and finally all two card hands beat out a one card hand. The higher the value of card, the weaker the hand. For example, a four of a kind kings is the worst possible hand you can get because this is a very high valued card and three of the kings must be discounted so you only have a one card hand.
The best hand in badugi poker is first started with an ace so: (A,2,3,4). This hand will also be off suit as well.
Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Rules
The other half of the pot is won using a strategy with deuce to seven rules. Using these rules, the ace is high and you are dealt 5 cards. The objective is to almost get a straight with the lowest valued cards. For example, the highest valued hand would be (2,3,4,5,7). Note that I said you almost want to get a straight. You may think that a (2,3,4,5,6) is more powerful but this would make a straight and the hand would not count.
Again, this game also has multiple rounds of betting and the ability to draw more cards after each round to produce a better hand.
Baduci Poker Strategy
You could easily win the badugi poker hand if you have an ace but you would almost surly lose the deuce to seven triple draw hand because the ace is high. The best strategy for deuce to seven is actually the best overall baduci strategy on average. So an off suited (2,3,4,5,7) would be the most powerful hand that would almost always win the triple draw hand and would have a high but not guaranteed probability of winning the badugi hand. So you would win actually win both halves of the baduci pot more often by not using the ace card.