Five Card Draw

Five Card Draw is the most popular poker game from the ‘draw’ format. Unlike other poker games with community cards like, Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker, poker players possess draw cards which are exclusively for them alone during the remainder of the hand. In Five card draw none of the player sees his opponents´ cards, so that the quality to ‘read’ your opponents is a crucial matter for success in this game. In Five Card Draw the order of betting is determined by the dealer button, which moves in a clockwise order around the table after each hand. Although the actual dealing is done by an employee of the casino, or a computer, the player plays the hand at the button as if the cards are dealt by himself.

The beginning of the game

The first two players on the left side of the dealer place the small blind and big blind, after which the action can begin. These forced bets are called blinds because players are obligated to use these bets, regardless of the strength of their hand (which they do not know at that moment). The big blind is usually equal to the amount of the minimum bet and the small blind is half of the minimum bet amount. For instance, in a $2/$4, the small blind would be $1 and big blind would be $2.

Dealing the cards

After the blinds are placed each player gets five cards dealt by the dealer. These cards are dealt one by one, starting with the player on the left of the dealer. The player on the left of the big blind, may start acting in the first round of betting. Players have the option to fold, call or raise. If a player decides to fold, he or she avoids the risk of losing money during the hand but then again there is also no chance anymore to win the pot. If a player decides to call, then he puts in an amount equally to the highest bet and when a player decides to raise, then he raises the amount by one unit.

Betting in Five Card Draw

In a 2/4 game the small blind is 1 and the big blind is 2. The first player to move has the option to fold, to call the $2 or to raise to $4 or more. After the player has had his turn the other players at the table follow, all having the same opportunities. Fixed Limit games have a maximum of three raises per betting round. In Pot Limit games, the games can reach up to the amount of the pot at that time.
When the action returns to the blinds, they have the option to remain in the hand by betting an amount equal to the highest bet of that moment. The chips that they have already put in (the blind bets) count for this bet in order to remain in the hand. If no one has raised, then the small blind can stay in the hand by putting in an extra chip. The big blind can stay in the hand by simply checking. The game continues with the drawing rounds, once each player has made his move.

The exchange rounds

The first player on the left of the button, who is still in the game, can exchange one or more cards in an attempt to improve his hand. A player can also stand pat, which means that the player is satisfied with the five cards he has received from the dealer. Each player at the table, then gets the chance to improve his hand by drawing new cards.

After each player has decided whether or not to draw new cards, the final betting round starts. The player to the left of the dealer is the first to move. The minimum bet is doubled in this round. The first player may bet or check. “To check” simply means that a player decides to pass the turn without placing a bet. It is possible that every player decides to check during the final betting round and no bets are placed.


After each player has had his turn in the last round, this is followed up by a showdown. All players reveal their hands, after which the player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. Hereby the standard poker hand values are taken into account.