5 card draw rules – how to play 5 card draw

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

5 Card Draw Rules

Hey there! Have you ever wondered how to play 5-card draw poker? Well, let me break it down for you. Here are the basic rules you need to know:

First, each player receives five cards face down. Then, there’s a round of betting where you can bet, call, or fold.

After the betting round, you can choose to exchange up to three of your cards for new ones. This is your chance to improve your hand and get rid of any cards you don’t need.

Once everyone has chosen their new cards, there’s another round of betting. If there’s more than one player left, it’s time for the showdown. Each player reveals their hand and the player with the best hand wins the pot.

Now, let me explain the hand rankings. The strongest hand you can have is a royal flush, which is a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit. Next is a straight flush, which is five consecutive cards of the same suit. Then comes four of a kind, which is four cards of the same rank.

After that, we have a full house, which is three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. Then there’s a flush, which is five cards of the same suit, but not in consecutive order. Following that is a straight, which is five consecutive cards of any suit.

The second weakest hand is three of a kind, which is three cards of the same rank. Then there’s two pair, which is two pairs of cards of the same rank. And last but not least, the weakest hand is one pair, which is two cards of the same rank.

Now that you know the rules and hand rankings, you’re ready to dive into a game of 5-card draw poker. Remember, it’s all about making the best hand possible and outwitting your opponents. Good luck and have fun!

Hey there! Ready to dive into the world of Draw Poker?

Picture this: Draw Poker, also known as Five Card Draw, is one of the oldest and simplest forms of Poker. Believe it or not, it used to be the most well-known version of the game until Texas Hold’Em stole the limelight!

With Draw Poker, the catch is that you can’t see any of your opponent’s cards. This creates plenty of opportunities for bluffing, which adds an exciting twist to the game. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the five Card Draw rules and explore some popular variants and strategies to help you excel!

First things first, be sure to check out our guides on poker hand rankings and basic poker rules if you need an introduction to the basics. Here, we’ll assume that you already have a solid understanding of Poker.


5 card draw rules - how to play 5 card draw

Setting up a game of 5 Card Draw is pretty straightforward. First, the dealer shuffles the deck, and everyone puts in their antes. Each player is then dealt five cards, and the betting begins.

Now, let’s talk about the ante. Before the cards are dealt, each player has to pay an ante. Usually, the ante is the same as the minimum bet. For example, many people play with a 5-cent ante.

Once the antes are in, it’s time for the deal. The dealer shuffles the cards and cuts the deck. Then, one card is passed face-down to each player, one at a time, until everyone has 5 cards in their hand. After that, players take a look at their cards, and the first round of betting starts.

Now, let’s get into how to play 5 Card Draw. The game is played through several rounds of betting. Depending on the strength of their hand, players will have to bet, call, raise, or fold. It’s all about making the right moves based on what cards you’re holding.

Starting the Game

Once I have my cards, it’s time to begin the game! I’m sitting to the left of the dealer, so I get to go first. If nobody has made a bet or raised the stakes yet, I have the option to check or pass. If everyone else does the same, we start a new round with a new dealer. But if someone does bet, I have a choice to make.

This is the first betting round, and I have a maximum of four chances to raise the bet. Of course, if I don’t want to raise, I can simply match the current bet or fold my hand altogether. It all depends on how confident I feel about my cards and the other players at the table.

Improving My Hand

If there’s more than one player still in the game after the first round of betting, we move on to the exciting part – the draw! This is where I have the chance to get rid of some cards and replace them with new ones from the deck.

Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each person decides how many cards they want to discard. They place their unwanted cards face down and receive an equal number of new cards in return. It’s like a little fresh start to try and improve our hands and make them even stronger.

When we play a card game called poker, we sometimes have the option to get rid of some cards from our hand. This is known as discarding, and we can choose to discard anywhere from 0 to 3 cards. If we decide not to discard any cards, it’s called “standing pat” because our hand remains the same.

In games with six players, there might come a point where all the cards in the deck have been used up. When this happens, the dealer takes all the discarded cards, shuffles them, cuts the deck, and creates a brand-new deck for us to continue playing with.


Once everyone has had the opportunity to discard cards, we move on to the next round of betting. This round starts with the player who began the first round of betting. During this round, we can place bets that range between the minimum and maximum limits. Typically, in this round, the limits are doubled.


After the second round of betting, if no one has won the pot yet, it’s time for the showdown. All the players who are still active in the game reveal their hands, starting with the person who placed the last bet and going in a clockwise direction. The player with the best hand will be the winner and takes home the pot.


Let’s take a look at an example of how to play 5 Card Draw. In this game, we have three players: Player A (PA), Player B (PB), and Player C (PC).

  • First, each player pays an ante to start the hand.
  • The dealer then deals each player a starting hand consisting of 5 cards.
  • PA looks at their hand and decides to check. PB looks at their hand and places a bet of 50 cents. PC decides to call PB’s bet and adds 50 cents to the pot. Now, PA must make a decision – they can call, raise, or fold. PA chooses to call and adds 50 cents to the pot.
  • Once the betting is complete, all players discard some of their cards. PA discards 3 cards face down, while PB only discards 1 card and PC discards 2 cards.
  • The dealer then deals each player new cards, and a new round of betting begins.
  • I raise the bet and add a dollar to the pot.
  • You decide to call and place a dollar in the pot as well.
  • I fold and am removed from the hand.
  • Now the Showdown begins, and both of us reveal our hands.

My hand is a pair of 5’s and a three-of-a-kind of Jacks. Your hand is 5 cards of the heart suit, not in ranking order, a flush. I win the hand and collect the pot.


Here are a few ways to improve your game. Once you know the rules, you’ll have to start developing your own playstyle and strategies.


Bluffing is a super handy trick in poker. When I bluff, I can fool my opponent into thinking I have a better hand than I really do. This can make them fold or underestimate my hand. In 5 Card Draw poker, bluffing is even more important. Since we don’t share any cards, my opponents can only guess what I have based on what I say.


In 5 Card Draw, there’s a lot of hidden information. It’s best to keep my cards to myself, so I can win more and keep my opponents guessing. I should never show my hand after I fold, because that gives away more information than just the cards I had. Even when I’m bluffing, I need to be careful not to give away any specific details about my hand.


When it comes to playing poker, it’s important to switch up your style from time to time. Veteran players often find it challenging to go up against new players because they are unpredictable. Embrace this unpredictability and use it to your advantage. While having a clear strategy in mind is helpful, it’s equally important to not stick to it religiously. Being too predictable gives your opponents an edge by making it easier for them to read your moves.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Always stay alert and observant when playing poker. Even the most experienced players are prone to mistakes. By playing with the same group of people over time, you can start to pick up on their play styles and identify their tells. This knowledge will give you an advantage during gameplay.

Understanding the Hand Rankings in 5 Card Draw

5 card draw rules - how to play 5 card draw

Hey there! So, let’s talk about the hand rankings in this game of 5 Card Draw. They follow the same order as the standard poker hand rankings. Shall we dive in?

  • The highest-ranking hand is the Royal Flush. It’s when you have 5 cards of the same suit, ranging from ace down.
  • Next up, we have the Straight Flush. It’s when you have five cards of the same suit in consecutive order.
  • A pretty straightforward one is the Four-of-a-kind. You simply need four cards of the same rank.
  • A Full House is made up of a pair and a three-of-a-kind. They come together to form this hand.
  • An interesting one is the Flush. It consists of five cards of the same suit, regardless of their order.
  • Now, we have Straights. Here, you need five cards in consecutive order, regardless of their suit.
  • The Three-of-a-kind is pretty self-explanatory. It’s just three cards of the same rank.
  • When you have Two Pairs, it means you have two sets of two cards of the same rank.
  • And lastly, we have A Pair. It’s pretty simple, you just need two cards of the same rank.

So remember, when playing 5 Card Draw, these are the hands you’ll be looking out for. Good luck and have fun!

  • In Poker, a High Card refers to having the highest card in your hand.

Different Rules for 5 Card Draw

Poker has many versions, and one of them is 5 Card Draw. Here are a few more variations you can try:


Lowball changes a few things in the 5 Card Draw rules. It ranks aces as the lowest card and removes straights and flushes from the hand rankings.


If you want to spice things up and make the game fair, you can add or remove limits. There are usually three types. No limits allow you to bet any amount during the game. A pot limit means you can only bet as much as the pot contains. Alternatively, you can set limits on the maximum and minimum bets for players.


Let’s talk about a fun twist you can add to your game called the Wild Card. Some people like to include the joker, making a deck of 53 cards. Others may choose to use twos as wild cards or discard the top card before dealing, declaring that the remaining cards of that rank are wild. Having a wild card in your game can lead to the possibility of getting a 5-of-a-kind, which is the highest-ranking hand!


  • CELESTIAL: In Celestial, players get to create two separate hands for the showdown. One hand follows the rules of 5-card Draw, while the other is inspired by Omaha.
  • ROLL YOUR OWN POKER: Roll Your Own Poker is a form of stud poker where each player receives 7 cards and gets to choose which cards they want to reveal before the betting rounds begin.
  • AUCTION FLOP POKER:Auction Flop Poker is a unique twist on draw-style poker where players bid for flop cards.


Is Five Card Draw Based on Luck or Skill?

When you’re new to the game, it may seem like luck plays a big role. However, as you gain experience and develop strategies, you’ll realize that skill is just as important.

Why Isn’t Five Card Draw Played at Casinos?

The main reason why you won’t find Five Card Draw in most casinos is because it takes longer to play. Compared to popular casino games like Texas Hold’em, it requires dealing and re-dealing more cards.

Is Five Card Draw an Easy Game to Learn?

The rules of Five Card Draw are simple and easy to grasp. However, becoming a master of the game is challenging. Nevertheless, both beginners and seasoned players enjoy this game!

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