Five-Card Draw Poker

Five-Card Draw was once the most popular form of Poker played in the United States, and it’s one that most casual players are still the most familiar with, due to the fact that it’s among the simplest forms of poker. Although it has long since been upstaged by Texas Hold’em and Omaha in both casino play and many home games, it still has a loyal following in dealer’s-choice home games. Five-card draw was also used the basis for video poker machines, which were invented by IGT in 1979 and became a fixture on casino gaming floors in the 1980s.

Object of Five-Card Draw Poker

The object of Five-Card Draw Poker is to have the highest-rank poker hand at the time of the showdown.

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As with most forms of poker, Five-Card Draw uses the standard 52-card deck. As usual, it’s an excellent idea to choose Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, the most durable playing cards in the world. You will also need poker chips to bet with. Players should determine betting limits, if any, as well as if any cards are to be designated as wild.

All players ante. Shuffle and deal five cards, face down, to each player. The deck stub is set aside and becomes the stock.

Game play

After players have received their hands, a betting round ensues, following the usual norms for betting in poker.

Thereafter, the player to the dealer’s left is given the opportunity to discard any number of cards face-down from their hand, and are immediately dealt the same number of cards from the stock, restoring their hand to five cards. (Note: some players’ house rules state that the maximum number of cards that can be discarded is four, and the held card must be an ace; otherwise, a player may only discard three cards. This is to prevent the stock from depleting too rapidly and to discourage players from “sucking out” on the draw.) Should the stock be exhausted before all players have drawn, the discards are collected and shuffled, and further draws are dealt from the discards.

After the draw is completed, another betting round occurs. After this betting round, the hands are exposed, and the player with the highest hand, according to the standard rank of poker hands, takes the pot.


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