Five Card Draw – How to Play

Five Card Draw

Even a few decades ago, Five Card Draw used to be one of the most popular poker games around the world. Now, with the introduction of more attractive games, it has taken quite a backseat. However, for most first-time players, it still happens to be the main calling card. It makes sense, as it is one of the easiest games to learn and play. 

Thankfully, there are still some casinos and online websites that offer this iconic game. This is why, to make the new players aware of the ins and outs of this game, we are going to discuss how to play it. Please go through the whole article to learn more about it, and for the veterans, this can be a nice chance to revise the rules as well.

What is the game about?

The only thing you need in this game is the standard 52-card deck and chips to keep track of the bets, and that’s it. However, as the game cannot begin until all the players are dealt 5 cards each, it would be a little difficult for more than 6 players to play at once. Each game is usually played with a 5 or 6-round format. 

It is also a little similar to Texas Holdem as each of the rounds starts with players posting blinds. Players that are left of the dealers are allowed to post blinds. After the blinds posting and card shuffling, the game finally starts with the players in the small blind position getting the first card off the deck and then moving clockwise. Each player is dealt one face-down card at a time until each of them has five cards in their hands. After this, the first round begins with the player in the UTG position.

As this game is of a draw poker variant, it has no community cards and is usually a fixed or pot-limit game. Although no-limit games exist, they are very rare.

The rules 

The first active player can fold, call and raise in this round as they see fit. It then moves to the next player on the left and continues until all the players have had a chance to do the same. The rules are very simple and similar to most popular variants, which makes the game quite easy to follow even for new players. Once, the betting part is wrapped, the game moves to the draw round.

The draw

The draw round begins with the player in the small blind position or the first active participant on the left of them. Like the previous round it again moves clockwise, and each player has the chance to discard and exchange as many cards they want from their hands. All they have to do is place their cards on the table and the dealer will exchange them with new ones from the deck. 

This round is meant for the players to improve their hands. For example, if you have two cards less than a perfect flush, you can exchange them in hopes of completing your hand. Players also have the option of not exchanging their hands, which is called a standing pat. After this stage, the final betting round commences.

The second round

This one also begins with the beginners of the previous rounds. A good thing is, that a player can decide to use ‘check’ if they do not feel like participating actively in this. And so, the action moves to the player on the left and continues clockwise until all the players have completed their action. If a player manages to make the others fold in this round, they win by default, otherwise, it moves to the showdown round.

The showdown round

In this round, the winner is the one with the best hand. For example, the weakest hand is a high card and the strongest one is a royal flush. In the case of two or more players having the same best hand, it is split between them. However, one thing new players need to remember is that suits do not matter in this game. A royal flush can contain different suits and will still be considered the best one. In the case of different hands, though, the rules are the same as other variants.


Although this is a pretty simple game, there are a few things you need to do first. Such as, learning a good draw strategy, and bluffing tactics. To learn the game properly, acquaint yourself with the strategies, and practice hard and you will be almost unbeatable in no time.

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