Draw poker is any poker game in which you can choose to throw away your original cards in exchange for new ones. This is why it is called “draw” poker, because you can draw or ask for new cards to refine your hand. 5 Card Draw is the basic draw poker game.
5 Card Draw Poker Rules
The game begins with the two players closest to the dealer’s making the blind wagers. These are the small and big blinds. As usual in poker, they post small and big bets respectively to ensure that there is money in the pot from the start. There may or may not be an ante or required bet from all players.
After the blinds are posted, the dealer deals five cards to each player. Five cards make a complete hand. The players then take turns acting on the posted blinds. They can call, raise or fold. A call signifies the player is making the same bet as the big blind. A raise means making a bigger bet and challenging the other players to do the same. A fold means the player refuses to play any further in the hand.
Once everyone has acted on the bet(s), the drawing begins. You can now discard one or more cards and ask the dealer for new ones. You do this hoping the new cards you get will improve your hand. For instance, if you have three aces – a three of a kind – you can discard the two unmatched cards, hoping for a four of a kind or a full house.
Usually you can replace up to five – that is, all – of your cards. Some houses rule that you can only replace up to three cards to avoid depleting the stack of unused cards.
After players are done replacing their cards, another betting phase is next. As with many other poker games, the hand ends in a showdown if more than one player is left. The highest ranking hand wins.
NOTE: If there are many players and the dealer runs out of fresh cards for drawing, they can “recycle” the discarded cards. A player who wants to draw will receive new card(s) from those previously thrown away by their opponents (but not their own).
5 Card Draw Poker has spawned slot machine versions of itself, such as Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. In video poker, you play alone with a machine. Each time you play, the machine turns up five cards for you. You decide which to retain and which to discard. When you get a hand, you are paid according to the machine’s payout schedule.
In Jacks or Better, a pair of Jacks or higher will get you your bet back. It is the minimum “good” hand in the game.
In Deuces Wild, the two’s cards act as wildcards and can be used to make any hand you need. For instance, if you get three queens, a king and a two, the wild deuce can be turned into a queen for a four of a kind. Deuces Wild is attractive because it can yield a profit to the player, depending on the payout schedule. But this would need optimal strategy and many hours of play.
These are the Draw Poker rules.