How To Play 5 Card Draw

5 Card Draw is the oldest form of true poker games, played notoriously throughout the ‘Old West’. Just about every poker variant in existence was derived from the game of 5 Card Draw, in one way or another.

5 Card Draw Game

5 Card Draw is perhaps the most simplistic of all poker variants, consisting of two betting rounds and a single draw phase. The object of 5 Card Draw is to develop the strongest ranking 5-card poker hand. The strong hand wins the pot. 5 Card Draw is a game for 2 to 10 players, using a single 52-card deck.

5 Card Draw Rules

Like most poker games today, 5 Card Draw is played with Blind Bets – the Small Blind and the Big Blind. These are forced bets placed before any cards are dealt. The Small Blind is placed by the player left of the Dealer Button. The Big Blind is placed b y the player left of the Small Blind.

5 Card Draw can be played in Fixed Limit, No Limit and Pot Limit stakes. The Blind Bets are determined by the stakes of the game.

For this “How to Play 5 Card Draw” tutorial, we’ll be using a Fixed Limit (FL) betting structure. As an example, in $2/$4 FL 5 Card Draw, the Small Blind would be $1 (half of the low-end stakes), with a Big Blind of $2 (equal to the low-end stakes). For the first betting round, all Bets/Raises must match the low-end stakes of $2, increasing to match the high-end stakes of $4 in the final betting round.

The game begins with each player being dealt 5 cards, face down. Each player looks at their hand, then the first betting round begins. The player left of the Big Blind is first to act. He must at least Call the Big Blind to stay in the hand. He may also Raise or Fold. Each player, in clockwise fashion, will do the same.

Note that the Small Blind Bettor need only add enough chips to his current bet to proceed in the hand. If no player has Raised, the Big Blind has the option to Check, as he has already bet the required amount.

Once all players have acted, the Draw Phase begins.

The rules of the Draw Phase in 5 Card Draw may vary by location, but in general, you may discard as many or as few cards as you wish. Some rules allow up to 4 max cards to be discard. The dealer will then replace all discarded cards, starting with the player to his left. Once all active players once again hold 5 cards, the final betting round will take place.

During the last betting round, all bets and raises increase to match the high-end stakes. The player left of the Dealer Button is first to act.

When the betting round ends, if two or more players remain in the hand (everyone hasn’t Folded), a Showdown occurs. All active players reveal their hands. The highest ranking 5-card poker hand wins the pot.