Badugi Simulator Guide



This tool serves two purposes:

  1. Determine relative equities of badugi hands against each other (given predetermined drawing strategies); and
  2. Determine the effects of varying drawing strategies on the likely outcome of badugi hands.

The tool serves a similar purpose to an "odds calculator". However it is not technically correct to call it that because to do so would imply that the relative odds (or equities) of hands against each other can be determined. This is not true because, unlike in hold'em or stud, the likely outcome at showdown in drawing games such as badugi is not predetermined. The human element present in an actual hand (i.e. the choice of what to keep and discard) necessitates making this decision in advance for purposes of the simulation.

In this simulation, by default, reasonable and identical default drawing strategies are used for each player. How to vary these strategies is explained below. You are encouraged to experiment with other strategies and, if you determine that the defaults are not optimal, please provide feedback. Either way, if you have cookies enabled, your drawing strategies will be retained between sessions.

The default drawing strategies are not currently optimized for number of hands over two. There are many cases where the optimal strategy for a hand will vary based on the number of players expected to play the hand. For instance, heads up it will always be best to keep a badugi of any value when not up against another badugi. Multi-way, however, a badugi such as A35K should usually be kept as a three card hand (i.e. discard the K), especially with more than one draw remaining. Of course, don't take my word for this, use the simulator to verify it.

The simulation is randomized and not deterministic. That is, it runs a sufficient number of drawing iterations to get a sense of the relative equities of the hands. For this reason, the results may vary slightly when running with the same hands and drawing strategies more than once. It will accumulate results in such cases until an upper limit is reached (in which case the results will be constant).

Step by step guide to entering hands to simulate

  1. Specify the Number of players (from 2 to 5)
  2. Specify the number of Draws left. For a full hand, leave it at the default of 3
  3. Enter Hands by selecting cards from the pallette.

    Note about random cards: If you leave one or more '?'s in any spot, those will be "filled in" at the start of each iteration of the simulation with a random card from those left in the deck. This is designed to answer questions like, "If I have at least an A, 2, ?, ?, how will I do against an A, 3, ?, ?". For some questions, though, it can lead to what might seem like unexpected results. Say you test a three-card A, 2, 3, ? against an A, 2, 3, 7 badugi. The A, 2, 3, has 3 "outs" (the 4, 5, and 6 of the remaining suit to win--for this discussion for simplicity we assume the other player has the 7 of the suit we are looking for, so a chop is not possible). Thus, with one draw remaining, you might expect to get an equity of (3 / 45), or 0.67% (3 outs divided by the 45 remaining unseen cards). This is not the correct result, though, because with the "?" in the 4th spot, the simulator will fill out the hand in each iteration BEFORE drawing. This effectively gives the player drawing two draws. So, for a calculation like this, to get the correct result you should always fill in the hand completely before starting the sim.

  4. The icons next to each hand perform the following functions:
    • : resets the hand so that each card will be randomly generated at the beginning of each iteration of the simulation (unless you enter different cards before starting the simulation).
    • : resets each card in the hand to a random card. In this case the hand will start the same in each iteration of the simulation.
    • : opens up the area where you can set the drawing strategy for this hand (if you do not want to use the defaults). See below for more information on drawing strategy.
  5. If you would like a transcript showing the details of the first ten iterations of the simulation, check the Show hand history of first 10 iterations box. The purpose of this is to get a better idea of how the simulation works and to verify that the drawing strategies are causing the expected behavior. This feature is not available on small screens such as most smart phones (in which case you will not see the box).
  6. Press to begin the simulation.

Drawing Strategies

Drawing strategies can optionally be different for each of the "players" (i.e. hands). If you change from the default, assuming your browser has cookies enabled, your specified strategies will be remembered on your next visit. A different strategy can also be specified for each of the drawing rounds. For each of the drawing rounds, there are four different drop downs that can be set. This is because there are four types of hands that a player can have(i.e. a badugi (4-card), a 3-card hand, a 2-card hand and a 1-card hand). The implications of the settings for the four drop downs for the first drawing round is as follows:
  1. (first drop down) "Keep ANY Badugi" - If this is set this way, no draws will be made if the player starts with a badugi of any value. If, say, you would rather not keep any badugi worse than a Jack badugi, you should change this value to Jack. In this case (i.e. where the player was dealt a Queen or King badugi), the values for the 3-card, 2-card or 1-card hands will be used (because in effect if you're not keeping a Queen or King badugi, you have at best a 3 card hand for this purpose).
  2. (second drop down) "Keep 9 3-card hand" - With this setting, if you can make a 3-card hand of value 9 or lower (assuming you haven't made a badugi that satisfies the first drop down), it will be kept and only the one remaining card will be discarded. If such a 3-card hand cannot be made, the value in the third or fourth drop down will then control.
  3. (third drop down) "Keep 8 2-card hand" - With this setting, if you can make a 2-card hand of value 8 or lower (assuming you cannot also make a badugi or 3-card hand of sufficient value to satify the first two drop downs), this 2-card hand will be kept and the remaining two cards will be discarded.
  4. (fourth drop down) "Keep 6 1-card hand" - With this setting (when none of the first 3 drop downs are satisfied), in order to keep even one card, you must have a card lower than a 7. If so, the remaining cards will be discarded and three cards will be drawn. Otherwise, four cards will be drawn.

For subsequent rounds the settings work similarly.

To get a better idea of the implications of each drawing strategy, you can run some simulations with the Show hand history of first 10 iterations box checked.

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Return to the simulator.