Poker Road Warrior: August 2008
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The new online sensation: Badugi

New : Play Badugi at Poker Stars

Badugi is an action game that originated in Asia and is quickly making its way through North America (and into online card rooms.) Badugi is a triple draw lowball game. You’re dealt four cards and you draw three times. Wagering takes place after the initial deal and after each of the three draws. You don't want high cards, you don't want pairs and you don't want matching suits. When you hold four cards of different rank and suit, then you’re holding a BADUGI!
Badugi Primer
Since Badugi is a lowball game, a good hand is one in which your 4 cards are low valued (with four different suits.) Aces are low, so the best possible Badugi hand is A-2-3-4 of all different suits (straights do not count against you.)
When there are no “Badugis” (rainbow hands) the best hand is deduced by removing the higher of any two suited cards and/or any paired cards from the four. This generates a hand of one to four cards. Any four card hand beats a three card hand. Three cards hands beat two card hands and two card hands beat a one card hand. Here’s a little more info:
Paired Hands: If your hand is Ah-2d-4c-4s this is known as a three-card hand (as you can only use one of the cards you have paired) and your hand value is really Ah-2d-4c. A full 4 card Badugi beats any three-card hand. Similarly, a hand such as A-2-2-2 would have a final value of A2 (a two-card hand) as the other two cards are counterfeited. A three-card hand beats any two-card hand. Another rare example would be when you hold four of a kind, e.g., 4-4-4-4 or 9-9-9-9 giving you a final hand value of either 4 or 9 respectively. This is known as a one-card hand and is the worst possible type of hand to hold.
Suited hands: Suited hands work like paired hands. If you hold a hand such as Ac-4d-5h-6h (where both the 5 and 6 are hearts) then, your best hand would be a three card hand: A-4-5
Suited and paired hands: Occasionally, you may be dealt a hand containing both paired and suited cards. (Ex: Kd-Kh-4d-4h So, your hand is K-4) This is bad situation and unless you’re in an unraised pot playing from the big blind, hands like this should be mucked before the wagering begins.
One Card Hands: On the rare occasion someone holds four of a kind: A-A-A-A, this is known as a one card hand (and should rarely, if ever, reach showdown.)
If at showdown there are two Badugis (or two 3-card hands or 2-card hands) the lowest one will win. Here are a few examples:Badugi vs Badugi: Ah-2s-3d-4c beats 3h-4d-5s-6c3 card vs 3 card: 3c-3s-7d-9c beats 3d-8d-8s-9h2 card vs 2 card: 4c-4d-6c-6d beats 5s-8s-8h-5h
Top 10 Badugi Hands*when all cards are different suits
1: 4-3-2-A2: 5-3-2-A3: 5-4-2-A4: 5-4-3-A5: 5-4-3-26: 6-3-2-A7: 6-4-2-A8: 6-4-3-A9: 6-4-3-210: 6-5-2-A
The worst Badugi you could hold would be K-Q-J-10(this is still a ‘decent’ hand with winning potential)
Badugi Game play
The game begins with a small blind and a big blind (just like in Texas Holdem, though, that’s where the similarities between the two games end.) Each player gets four cards; the cards are dealt one at a time in a clockwise direction starting with the player in the small blind. When everyone has their 4 cards the action begins with a round of betting.
In the first betting round, the initial player to act is the player to the left of the big blind. This player may fold, call, or raise in increments of the low stake (the value of the small blind.) Play continues clockwise with succeeding players choosing to bet, call, raise, or fold. Once everyone has had their turn and all bets have been made, you move on to the first draw.
In the first drawing round, players are offered the opportunity to draw zero to four cards. This action takes place clockwise from the first player to the left of the dealer button (the original small blind.) Drawing zero cards is called 'standing pat'.
Once players have completed their initial draws, the second betting round takes place. Again, the bet increment uses the low stakes. The second drawing round is the same as first (zero to four cards may be drawn, or a player may stand pat.)
The third drawing / betting round is the same as second, with one exception: In this round the high stake is used for the betting increment.*Note: a reshuffle of discards may take place as is necessary.
The fourth and final betting round follows the same rules and leads to a showdown if more than one player remains standing.
The Showdown: After the final betting remaining players show their hand to see who won. The winning player scoops the pot.
Badugi Wagering Variants
Badugi can be played Limit, No Limit, Pot Limit, or even Half Pot Limit
In Limit Badugi all bets are made in incremental units. During the first two rounds players bet the lower unit. So, in a $1/$2 game the bet for the first two rounds would be $1. On Rounds 3 and 4, players wager the higher level (in a $1/$2 game the bets would be $2.) Betting is capped at four bets per round as is standard in all limit games.
In Pot Limit Badugi players can bet/raise any amount ranging from the value of the big blind, up to how much is in the pot. All subsequent bettors can bet/raise the pot by the total value of the current pot.
Half Pot Limit Badugi is very interesting. Half Pot Limit plays just like Pot Limit. The only exception is: the maximum a player can raise is the value of half the current pot.
The half pot variant is a mega-action game. The structure tends to keep people in the hand. Even on the final round, action is often multiway (so the pots can get gigantic… even at lower limits.)
No Limit is just that… there are no limits on what a player may bet. If the money is in front of them, it can go into the pot (and often will.) Tread these waters carefully.
Badugi Tips and Strategy
Here some info that could/should help put a few extra chips in your stack
Badugi is new to the online poker world, so there are lots of players who don’t understand the game and will easily ship a great deal of money your way. Just knowing “the basics” and playing a straightforward, intelligent game will put a nice chunk of change in your pocket at the end of a Badugi session.
As a general rule of thumb: You have a playable hand if you have three cards to a seven low (ex: 7s-4c-2h-kh) and/or two cards to a five low (ex: 5h-2s-10s-Qh)
If you have a good hand (especially early in the betting rounds) you want to thin the field by betting &/or raising at every opportunity. Free cards/draws are a no-no.
If you are dealt three cards to a Badugi, you will only hit your will draw 48% of the time (after drawing three times.) Your chance of hitting your hand gets worse on each drawing round. Make sure the pot odds warrant drawing/chasing.
As in most poker games, position is important. The closer you are to the button, the looser you can be with your preflop starting hand standards.
Dealing with frustration is crucial in Badugi. Having three cards to a Badugi and missing the fourth card on all three draws can drive anyone bonkers. Emotional / Tilt control is key.
Badugi is a game that offers some great bluffing opportunities, especially when playing shorthanded. Note: the more people there are at the table, the more likely someone holds a Badugi. Bold bluffs are not advisable at a full table and/or in multiway pots. It’s best to reserve you bluff attempts for pots that are heads up.
Drawing on the last round against an opponent who is standing pat is generally a mistake. Cut your losses and move onto the next hand.
Anything worse than an eight low Badugi (e.g. 8c-7d-6h-4s) probably isn't worth paying off a big bet @ show down (especially against a player who understands the game.) Although, if you’re playing limit, you’ll usually want to call a single bet with most/any made Badugi hand.
Well, there ya go… that’s the bare-bones of Badugi. Note: I’ve just brushed the surface of this intriguing game. As with most poker games, the best way to learn is through experience. I highly suggest you give yourself the chance to experience Badugi. Try it, I think you’ll like it. And, the sooner ya try it, the sooner you’ll have a leg-up on the pool of players that are discovering/playing this game. Those numbers will be growing over the next few years. Get a head start on the craze and start developing your Badugi skills now!

Play Badugi at Poker Stars

Badui 101 was authored by Doug Conn

A Little Bit of Stud Anyone?

Seven card stud is a fun game that requires a little skill, a little strategy, a little memory and a little luck. Prior to the Texas Holdem boon, Seven Card Stud was the worlds most popular poker game. Seven card stud remains popular on the east coast (re: atlantic city) and throughout Europe. You'll usually find at least one stud game in live/B&M casino poker rooms and most online poker sites spread the game on the virtual felt.

If you're used to playing holdem, take note of these major differences: In seven card stud there are no "community" cards. The cards you're dealt are yours and yours alone. There are five betting rounds in 7-Stud as opposed to the four betting rounds used in Hold'em. Seven card stud is played with an antes and a bring-in (instead of blinds) and perhaps the most important difference: in seven card stud, the players' hands determine the order of action.

Game Play

Seven Card Stud is played with 2-8 players. Prior to the deal, each player posts an 'ante.'

Once everyone has antied up, each player is dealt three cards: two face down and one face up.

The player with the lowest ranked face-up card, begins the betting with a 'bring in' (a forced minimal bet.)

The initial round of betting proceeds from the bring-in, in clockwise order. Anyone who wishes to play their hand, must post the bring-in. *Note: players are also allowed to raise during this opening round.

After the first betting round, another upcard is dealt to each player, followed by another round of betting.

The second betting round begins with the player whose upcards make the best poker hand (unlike the bring-in who starts the wagering with the lowest hand.) Example: if someone is showing a pair of dueces and no-one else at the table is showing a pair... then the pair of dueces opens the second round of betting.

Stud Slang: each betting round is often refered to as a 'street.' The street you're on corresponds to the number of cards in your hand. For example, the prior betting round is usually called 4th street ( you have four cards in your hand.)

5th street - A fifth card is dealt face up to every player. Play proceeds as in the previous round, with the highest hand betting first. If you're playing a 'limit' stud game all bets and raises increase on 5th street & must be equal to the high limit bet size.

6th street - A sixth card is dealt face up to every player. Play proceeds as in the previous round (all bets and raises must be equal to the high limit bet size.)

7th street - A seventh and final card is dealt face down to every player. After all the cards are out (2 down, 4 up, 1 down) a fifth betting round takes place; final bets/raises and/or calls are made and the remaining players showdown their hands. Upon showdown, each player makes the best five-card poker hand out of the seven cards he was dealt. Anyone who has not folded prior to and/or on the last round of betting will have the option of showing their hand in hopes of taking down the pot.

General Strategy:

Seven Card Stud is a high card game. More winning hands are decided by the highest pair of two pair or just the highest pair, than by straights, flushes and other big hands. Any time your high hand is beaten by what you see on the board (in other peoples hand) fold, unless you think you still have the best drawing hand. Fast play early high hands ( that could win without improvement) to thin out the competition.

When you start with a high pair, fast play to eliminate as many players as possible.

The first four cards are the major key to winning at Seven Card Stud . If your starting hands develop according to plan, you can be a strong favorite to win. If they don't, you get out early.

Slow play starting draw hands like three to a straight or a flush. You want to keep other players in to build the pot odds.

Don't play three to a low straight or a low flush.

Watch the board closely for key cards that can seriously diminish your chances of making a good hand and for opponents hands that look dangerous. Play cautiously and fold out early if it looks like the tide is turning against you.

The BEST way to learn/experience any poker game is to get in the ring and mix-it up. The beauty of online play is you can do that for free... or VERY cheap. We suggest avoiding the free tables, the gameplay is riduculous (and teaches bad habits.) If you want a 'real' poker experience with very little risk: you can play for as little as 2cents on many sites... These cheap tables offer a MUCH better poker experience.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Shark Poker Tour August Events

I am proud to say August is good to go :

Join our forum and get on Board. Join us crazy chip tossin loonies and have a blast playing online poker. All this months events are money added or freerolls.

If you need an Absolute Poker account then sign up here so you are ensured to get 100% up to $500 signup bonus. Make sure you clear cookies before signing up. Get Absolute Poker account and join the SharkPokerTour.

1. Shark's Home Game 08/07/08 9:00pm E NLHE $5 buyin $100 added - password - hippy

2. Shark's Home Game 08/14/08 9:00pm E NLHE $5 buyin $100 added - password - dippy

3. Shark's OFC freeroll 08/19/08 8:30pm E NLHE buyin $50 added - password - only open to Shark's who play in the Online Forum Challenge under our banner. It would be really great if the home gamers joined us for this. Check it out here.viewtopic.php?f=16&t=5816

4. Shark's Home Game 08/21/08 9:00pm E NLHE $5 buyin $100 added - password - weather

5. $100 Shark's Freeroll Fest 08/23/08 1:00 pm E NLHE password - to be announced - Shark Army and Forum welcome. You will be emailed password if you sign up.

6. Shark's Home Game 08/28/08 9:00pm E NLHE $5 buyin $100 added - password - man

We are now running satellites for forum members only. Get into high cash tournaments through sng's as low as $5. Join the forum, make some posts and get on board. I would sure love to see more of the vets and home gamers get involved in these. We can have alot of fun with these tourneys and keep the forum buzzing. If you want to play poker any night at 9:00 eastern please join us for these sng's. Read up on the satellites under Shark Events. Also check out the satellite rules post.

Da Shark