5 Card Draw Poker

5 Card Draw is one of the most simple variations of poker that is commonly played today. It is often popular with beginning poker players due to the simplicity of rules and large number of players that can participate in a single game when compared to 7 Card Stud. However, 5 Card Draw is not as common as other poker varieties at online poker sites and in tournaments for precisely the same reason. For players that wish to play a draw variety of poker, 5 Card Draw is one of their only options as 7 Card Draw does not typically exist. 5 Card Draw is particularly popular in home games as it is easy to teach and learn and can be picked up with only a basic knowledge of poker hand values and betting procedures.

5 Card Draw Rules

One of the most frequently used rules in home 5 Card Draw games is not typically present in 5 Card Draw games at poker sites or brick and mortar casinos. This rule sets a maximum amount of cards that each player is allowed to request at 3 unless they have an Ace or wild card - they can keep that card and draw 4 cards. More common in serious 5 Card Draw play is the rule that players may not receive 5 cards in a row during a draw. If they would like to replace their entire hand, they may receive 4 cards, wait for the rest of the players around the table to receive their draws, and then receive a 5th card. Of course, the fifth card must be the single held card from the original hand.

An additional 5 Card Draw rule often used in casual games but never in serious games is the rule that the card on the bottom of the deck can never be dealt to a player at the table as it may have been seen by a player when the deck was shuffled. If the deck runs down to the bottom card during play, players still needing cards instead draw them at random from the pile of discards resulting in the game. In some 5 Card Draw games, a stripped deck is used where cards are removed to make a smaller deck. Often called A-7, this stripped deck version often affects the hand rankings. For example, this type of deck results in a flush that is more valuable than a full house.

How to Play 5 Card Draw

During serious 5 Card Draw play, the first round of betting starts with the person seated to the immediate left of the player that posted the big blind. However, further betting rounds start at the person seated to the immediate left of the dealer. It is common in casual games for an ante to be used and for the opening betting round to begin with the player to the immediate left of the dealer. The 2nd round then starts on the player who also made the first betting decision in the opening betting round. All cards dealt to 5 Card Draw players are dealt face down. In other words, there are no face up cards or community cards involved in the poker variety.

After the ante has been posted, each player receives five cards, one at a time. As soon as they have received their cards, they may view them and a betting round begins. Following the first round of betting, any remaining players are permitted to request however many cards they would like to receive and trade in their cards to receive them. A final betting round takes place after all of the players around the table have either traded in their cards for their desired amount of decided to keep all of their cards. Following this betting round, the remaining players show their cards and a winner is determined. Standard hand rankings apply unless a variety is being played with different rankings.