Five Card Draw Poker Rules
5 Card Draw is one of the oldest forms of poker and probably the simplest so it shouldn’t take you too long to pick up the rules. It used to be one of the most popular poker games but has now lost its crown to no limit holdem. Despite this, five card draw will always hold a special place in poker players hearts and can be found today at some online poker rooms.
Unlike Holdem and Omaha, Five Card Draw is a draw game not a flop game. It can be played with either blinds or antes (usually blinds online) and is a fixed limit game.
Basic Five Card Draw Poker Rules
These rules assume that a blinds structure is used which is the case in all online 5 card draw games.
1) A player is made dealer and takes the button, this can be decided by drawing for a high card at the beginning of the game.
2) The player who is to the immediate left of the dealer is the small blind and the player to the left of the small blind pays the big blind.
3) The dealer deals five cards to each player. All cards are dealt face down.
4) A first round of betting takes place. This starts with the player who is sitting to the left of the big blind who has the choice of checking, raising, folding or just calling the big blind. (If you are playing with antes then the first betting round starts with the player who is sitting to the left of the dealer )
5) Once the initial round of betting is complete and if there are still players in the game, the draw round now takes place. This starts with the player who started the first round of betting or whoever the nearest player remaining to the dealers left is.
6) In the draw round, players have the option of changing their cards. They can keep all five cards which is known as “stand pat”, they can change all of their cards or any other amount that they please. The cards used to replace the face down cards come from the top of the deck.
7) The second round of betting now takes place. This is the last betting round.
8) Showdown. The player with the best hand wins using normal poker hand rankings rules. If two or more players hold hands with the same value then the pot is split equally amongst them. Suit does not matter, one suit is not better than another.
Note that if there are enough players then during the draw round it is sometimes the case that the deck is finished and there are no more cards left to draw with. If this happens, then the mucked cards are shuffled and the game continues using the mucked cards to form a new deck.
Five Card Poker Variations
In some home games, but not online, there is a rule that players cannot change over three cards during the draw round. This makes the game more fun and easier for less skilled players. Another change to the draw round that is often made in home games is that the very last card of the deck cannot be used as a draw card and is instead mucked and shuffled to form a new deck.