All about Badugi poker

Badugi Poker History

It is believed that the game of Badugi poker originated in the far eastern country of South Korea. The game is quite similar to the other low ball triple draw poker games and rose in popularity only after the advent of online poker games. The origins and history of Badugi poker has always been debatable and its actual origins have always been somewhat unclear. The game has been referred to by various names over the years and it’s only after it was introduced in online poker environments that it started getting actively referred to as Badugi. The name stuck ever since then.

As also mentioned above, Badugi originated in South Korea sometime during the 1960s and continues to be a highly popular game in that country. It’s commonly referred to as Padooki in South Korea. Going by the various online sources, the name Badugi may have been derived from the Korean word used for ‘spotted dog.’ However, there is one major issue with this theory. The issue is that there actually isn’t any particular Korean word that refers exactly to a ‘spotted dog,’ making this theory slightly unbelievable!

Another common perception is that Badugi poker was given its name after a popular spotted dog cartoon character during the 1970s in Korea. The Korean name for that spotted dog was ‘Paldugi.’ This theory turned out to be even far less founded compared to the first one as Badugi poker used to be played much before this character gained popularity during the 70s in South Korea. There’s a high likelihood that the character got its name from the Badugi poker game, rather than the other way round.

The origins of Badugi poker game continue to be unclear and all that we can possibly do is dispel the past theories associated with its origins.

What is definitely known about Badugi poker game is that it was introduced in the United States by a person known as Paul Eskimo Clark who claims to have invented Badugi version while serving in the United States military during the Veitnam war. He brought the game back to United States after his military service was over. Although it can’t be said whether he was the real inventor of the game or not, there’s a lot of truth in the fact that he’s the one who introduced the game to the USA, from where it travelled to other places of the world.

The online history of Badugi poker

The history of Badugi poker on the Internet is far clearer compared than its offline counterpart. Many people believe that one of the first online poker rooms to have incorporated Badugi poker was the Tribecca poker network. Poker rooms like Doyle’s room and VC Poker were where a good majority of the online Badugi poker action used to take place. Tribecca network was later on taken over by iPoker, and once that happened, Badugi poker was dropped from its roster.

The game was re-launched online at in the hope of winning back all the Badugi poker players who were regulars at Tribecca. In fact, many people believe that and some poker rooms featured on the Merge network were the only few places where one could play Badugi poker on the Internet until 2008 when Pokerstars decided to introduce the game.