The goal of this poker type is simple: to make the best five-card hand.
With this poker version, it’s mostly about the cards you’re dealt but with a little room for strategy too! The goal is simple: to make the best five-card hand. To start, everyone is dealt five cards and the first round of betting takes place.
Place your bet, then you can exchange up to three cards and move on to the next round of betting. After this, the player with the best hand wins.
It’s straightforward, but players often look to gauge their opponents in this game and see if they can find an advantage. For example, the number of cards your opponent chooses to draw after the first round of betting could be an indicator to their hand.
Or they could be bluffing in the hope that you will fold – all in the game!
How to Play
If you have played any other form of poker, 5-card draw rules are similar in that the aim of the game is to make the best five-card poker hand.
Like Texas hold’em, the poker hand rankings, from weakest to strongest, are as follows:
- High card
- One pair
- Two pair
- Full house
- Straight flush
- Royal Flush
When it comes to preflop betting, there are two different methods used in 5-card draw.
Either all players pay an ante before receiving their cards (this is more common in home games), or there is a small blind and big blind similar to hold’em and Omaha games (this is the most common on online poker sites and in casinos).
Three different betting structures exist for 5-card draw, too.
You can play 5-card draw poker as:
While all three formats play to the same poker rules, the different betting structures mean your strategy needs to be adapted.
For example, some hands that you wouldn’t play in fixed-limit 5-card draw become playable in no-limit 5-card draw because in the latter you can bet enough to force your opponent to fold.
Regardless of the betting structure, this is how to play 5-card draw.
Five-Card Draw Basics
Once everyone has paid the ante or the blinds, each player receives five cards face down.
A round of betting then occurs.
If more than one player remains after that first round of betting, there follows a first round of drawing.
Each active player specifies how many cards he or she wishes to discard and replace with new cards from the deck.
If you are happy with your holding and do not want to draw any cards, you “stand pat.”
Once the drawing round is completed, there is another round of betting.
After that if there is more than one player remaining, a showdown occurs in which the player with the best five-card poker hand wins.
As you can see, the rules for 5-card draw are simple and make for a fast-paced game, which is why the game is popular with new, less experienced players.