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A Beginner´s Guide to 5 Card Draw

5 Card Draw is a form of poker that is often played at home, and is often the first variation of poker that people learn to play. No community cards are used, which means that all cards in a round are concealed. To gather information about the other hands at a table, the player simply has to follow his or her opponents' betting pattern and the number of cards they choose to draw.

Here at PokerRoom.com, we offer 5 Card Draw at tables with up to five seats. The game is played with two blinds (forced bets) and is available in limit, pot-limit and no-limit.

The game

5 Card Draw is a draw poker game, which means that players that choose to remain in the game after the first betting round is given the choice of changing one to all five cards – this exchange is called the draw. A player who wishes to remain in the game may also choose to not draw any cards. In this latter case, the player stands pat.

If more than one player remains in the game when the betting is finished, the game enters a showdown phase. He or she wins who has the best high hand.

The Play

This is a description of the course of events during a round of 5 Card Draw, given that at least two players choose to stay in the game until after the last betting round:

1. The players after the dealer post a small blind and a big blind, respectively.

2. Each player is dealt five cards.

3. The first round of betting is carried out. The player after the big blind posts the first bet.

4. The draw round is carried out. Each player is given the opportunity of changing one to five cards, or to not change any cards at all.

5. The second round of betting is carried out. The player to the left of the dealer posts the first bet.

6. The game goes to showdown, and the player with the best high hand wins.


As is the case in all poker games, having a strategy is useful. Here are two basic things to consider:

1. Be careful when choosing what hands to play. One common advice in a game of 5 Card Draw is to not open a round of betting without a hand consisting of at least a high pair. The same advice concerning hand value is given when you are about to call someone else's bet.

2. Try to vary the number of cards that you draw. One may assume that a player who draws three cards has got a pair, and that a player who draws two cards has got three of a kind. Variation when it comes to drawing forces your opponents to guess!

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