Snowing or Sidled: Speaking the Language of Badugi

Every poker variant has developed its own unique jargon, from being “rolled-up” in Seven Card Stud to going “runner-runner” in Texas Hold’Em, and the game of Badugi is no different. There are a number of words and phrases that hold special meaning to an experienced Badugi player, and anybody just learning the game should take the time to brush up on their Badugi dictionary. Imagine a Hold’em player not knowing the turn from the river or a Stud specialist who didn’t know his streets, and it becomes quite clear that learning the language of Badugi is an important step towards becoming a proficient player. The following list of popular Badugi terms is a great start, but like with anything else in life experience is key, so pay attention during your next round of Badugi action and listen for these words being used.

Monstered: In Hold’em a monster hand is usually one close to the nuts, and in Badugi getting monstered means your monster just went down in flames. You’ll know you’ve been monstered when you draw perfect to make a beautiful five-Badugi, only to watch your smirking opponent roll over the 4♦ 3♥ 2♠ A♣ to dash your dreams.

Best Badugi: Every game has its very best starting hand, from pocket rockets in Hold’em to A-A-2-3 double-suited in Omaha Hi-Lo. In Badugi, holding 4-3-2-A of four different suits constitutes an unbeatable hand, thus 4♦ 3♥ 2♠ A♣ is known as the Best Badugi.

Number Two: What pocket Kings is to Aces, Number Two is to the Best Badugi. When you look down to see a 5-3-2-A and players betting into you, it can be hard not to get excited. Because holding Number Two eliminates some of the cards needed for an opponent to hold the Best Badugi, the strength of this hand is increased even further.

Pat Hand: Any hand which a player deems strong enough to hold in lieu of drawing. Pat hands are typically listed from high card to low, so a common lament at the Badugi table might go something like “I had a pat seven-Badugi but he had the pat six and I paid him off.”

Pre Draw and Post Draw: Equivalent to the pre flop and post flop phases of a Hold’Em game. Pre draw in a Badugi hand means the action and betting which takes place before the first round of drawing, and post draw refers to the action which comes afterward.

Sidled: Getting sidled is to Badugi aficionados what getting rivered is to Hold’em players. Named after Badugi pioneer Richard Sidle, the term is used whenever a hand that was obviously in the lead is bested on the final drawing round.

Snowing: The stone cold bluff of the Badugi world, snowing is the high-risk/high-reward play of posturing by standing pat with nothing. The term has a few variations, including snow and snowed. You’ve been snowed when you elect to lay down a great tri hand, fearing your heavy betting opponent holds a pat hand when they really have no Badugi at all.

Snowman: Pocket eights are universally known as the snowmen around a Hold’em table, so it figures that an eight-high Badugi is known as the snowman. In certain circles, that cagey Badugi veteran who loves to snow when he has zilch is also called a snowman.

Stand Pat: When a player declines their option to draw a card, or stands pat, they are signifying the strength of a made hand or completed draw and it is usually correct to respect this maneuver.

Tri Hand: Also known as a trial hand depending on who you’re playing with, a tri hand is any three-card Badugi hand, or one which includes three different low cards of three different suits. Players chatting in online Badugi poker sites will often refer to having a long run of “tris” while hoping to see more four-card Badugis come their way. Because not every hand produces a four-card Badugi as a winner, knowing how to play your tri hands effectively is an essential skill to develop.

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