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First Impressions: Badugi

Last night, I decided to try something new. I sat down at a micro-stake game of Badugi. For those who don't know anything about Badugi, you can check out CK's Intro to Badugi post.

Being one to always over-prepare for any new game that I decide to try, I read CK's article a few times and watched the only Badugi instructional video that I could find at DeucesCracked. For the most part, the game seems to play a lot like triple draw poker. A lot of the betting patterns seem to follow from one game to the other - though keep in mind that I am a complete n00b at both games so I may be off in my evaluation.

I'm not sure how much money can be won at Badugi by a novice player. But I'm sure that it's beatable at the low stakes by playing a solid starting hand strategy with some disciplined play on the larger betting rounds. I think the real money comes when you can accurately assess the value of your own hand against that of your opponents given the action in the past and current rounds and your overall impression of your opponents' skill levels.

I think that I could try reading Malmuth's Winning Concepts in Draw & Lowball. There's got to be some good stuff in there to help me crush low-stakes Badugi and even beat the mid-stakes Badugi games. Then again, perhaps I'm spreading myself a little too thin and should continue to focus primarily on Omaha/8.

That's all I'll say about Badugi for now. If I divulge any more information, I'm sure that I'll come across sounding like a complete buffoon. Just know that I'll be dabbling in Badugi from time to time. And if you feel like giving Badugi a shot yourself, it runs 24/7 at PokerStars!

As for Omaha/8, it's coming along. I dropped another chunk of change last night but I think I played okay. I think I missed an obvious value bet spot in one hand where I held the nut low. But my opponent was playing so aggressively that I was sure that I was quartered on the low and not quite ahead with my wheel on a double-paired board. In the end, I scooped but I had to check the hand history afterward to see just how I managed to pull off that minor miracle. One thing I have to remember about Omaha is that a double-paired board is not quite as scary as it is in hold'em due to the fact that an opponent must hold a either a pocket pair turned set or two board cards (with at least one instance of trips)to have the boat.

In another hand, I folded my third/third in a 3-way pot on the river when there was a bet and a call to me. I wasn't getting great odds so I chose to take the safe route and fold. In the end, my third nut low would have been good and my two-pair would have been good for the high. I'd flopped draws to the nut-high and nut-low (or second nut-low), got double counterfeited on the low, and missed my flush. Sometimes you just can't win.

I also misplayed another hand in a small pot when I called a river bet with the fourth nut low and no high. I'd correctly ascertained that the bettor did not have the nut low. But I also thought that I had the second nut low. I was guilty of counting from low to high instead of high to low. In case you're curious, the board showed 2c-4c-8s-7s-Ks and I held Ac-Kh-4d-Qh. I was in BB and got a free look at the flop. Flop and turn checked around. SB bet out on the river, I called, and MP called. MP held the ace-high spade flush and SB held A-6-x-x for the second nut low. O8 can be a hard, confusing game sometime...

Plans for the weekend are to play a little poker, a bunch of Prince of Persia, and try to get over the cold that's taken hold of me. Anyone know how well Badugi matches up against chicken soup for curing the common cold?

Have a great weekend!


Memphis MOJO said...

Chicken soup and Badugi, a match made in heaven!

Klopzi said...

Well, the Badugi I played last night did nothing for my cold. It did have an effect on my bankroll though.

Poor bankroll...

BWoP said...

Just don't get confused about which game you're playing if you're switching between badugi and O-8 . . . :-)

Klopzi said...

I hear ya. If Badugi were played as a flop game, I'd really be in trouble. As it is, I play a simple strategy of bricking and folding to big bets after the second draw.