Origins of Badugi

Lean back in your chair and pour yourself a mug of tea. It’s time for today’s brief history lesson.

Lots of confusion is surrounding the origins of badugi. Even the name “badugi” is just one of many contenders about what it’s actually called. Often it is referred to as Padookie, Padugi, Badookie, Paldugie, Pakdookie or any suggested spelling in between. The reason for this is probably its korean origins (and hence lack of and official spelling using latin letters) and far reaching puzzlement on how the word is pronounced. Lately though, much thanks to being the name of choice at various poker sites, badugi has become the official way of spelling it out. Low-ball whiz and Badugi advocate Barry Greenstein.The meaning of the word “badugi” itself has also been subject to much speculation, like a famous assumption that it would mean “spotted dog”, something that may have come from likeliness in name with a korean spotted dog cartoon character named “Paldugi”. Something that is now discarded as a myth.

How and where did this mysterious game start out then? No one knows. Its popularity spread in Korea in the 1960’s, and not long after that it found its way into America by a guy named Paul “Eskimo” Clark, who also claims to have invented the game (something that is widely dismissed). The game has remained popular in local pockets not least in L.A., while it has mostly kept out of gambling capitals like Vegas.

Generally as said though most often when someone is standing pat it means they have made a Badugi. The strength of their Badugi can mostly be determined by the range of starting hands the player is playing (how many hands they play) and how they are betting, but there are also other clues that can be gotten. Standing pat on the first draw means that their Badugi is often not that strong since their four different suited cards have been dealt totally at random. Badugis made after a draw are stronger on average.

Today badugi is fast spreading due to the impact of online poker sites, particularly Pokerstars and now also Full Tilt. Smaller sites have occationally tried to introduce badugi, but have generally been lacking the critical mass of player traffic to get a new game going. Something, again, that is now solved since the introduction particularly at Pokerstars. The game has taken off.

June 2021
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Who Am I


Hi everybody! My name is Mae Bell and I am a proud resident of a little village in the UK called Stoke Poges. It is at the south eastern extremity of Buckinghamshire and is 23 miles west of Hyde Park Corner. I will use this blog to give you my perspective on the games and give you some interesting stories.