How to Play Badacey

Badacey is a low-ball draw poker variant that many elite poker players are taking to, now that games like Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold’em have become ‘solved games’. Badacey is mostly played in home games, cash games and tournaments (high and low stakes) as part of mixed games in which more than 10 variants are played in succession in each orbit.

It is a high-low split pot variant in which half the pot goes to the player with the highest Badugi hand – A234 – and the remaining half goes to the one with the lowest hand – A2345 (suited or unsuited) – called the wheel or nuts. In Badacey, hands with aces can qualify for a win, as can flushes and straight draws.

In Badacey, the cards are dealt the same way as in A-5 Triple Draw. Every player gets five cards in the starting hand. They can discard any card and replace with new cards in 3 draw rounds. You should try to retain the high cards and discard the low ones as a low hand Badacey is counted from the former to the latter. In case the highest card in your opponent’s and your hands are the same, the next high card will be considered.

As it has simple rules, Badacey is one of the best split pot variants that you can opt for, if you are new to this category of poker games. Most Badacey games are six to seven handed. Here are the rules of the game:

Dealing of the cards and first round of betting

The cards dealt to the players are placed face-down. After this, the game enters the first round of betting, where, like flop-based variants, there are two blinds – the small and big blinds. The first player to the dealer’s left will have to post the small blind, and the one next to him will pay the big blind. The remaining players at the table can then call or raise the bet, or they can fold their hands. In case none of the other players wager, the big blind will get the option to check. If he does this, he opts to not place a bet, but to still stay in the game.

First round of drawing

Once the first round of betting is over, players in the hand get to discard their cards (all or any) and draw others. In case you are satisfied with the hand and don’t want to add to take out cards, you have the option to stand pat. Once all players announce their decision, the dealer will draw new cards for those who discarded from their hands. In most draw games there is a requirement for more cards than are in a standard deck of 52. In such situations, the dealer will reshuffle the deck with the folded cards and/or discarded cards (only if folded cards don’t suffice).

Second and third rounds of betting and drawing

The first draw is followed by a betting round. In case no player before you makes a bet, you will have the option to check besides calling, raising and folding. The next is a draw round which takes place the same way as the first. The game then enters the third betting round, after which it moves into the third draw round followed by the final betting round. In case more than one player remains in the game, it leads to a showdown in which the winning hands are decided.

This is one of the few poker variants in which veterans and amateurs play more hands than they should. With two options for winning – in the highest and lowest categories – players tend to enter the pot quite often with these hands. If you are new to the game, you should ideally adopt a tight playing style – folding hands that are unlikely (by even a small percentage) to be the winner.