How to Play 5-Card Draw
The object of 5-Card Draw is simple: make the best 5-card poker hand possible after one draw and bet accordingly. The player with the best hand after the second betting round takes the pot.
Watch our short instructional video to pick up the basics of 5-Card Draw in just a couple of minutes.
5-Card Draw - Blinds or Antes
There are two main ways to play 5-Card Draw:
The ante method is the original way the game was played and is most commonly the system used in home games around the world.
In this version each player must pay a predetermined ante before being dealt any cards. In the second system the game functions as a blinds game, similar to the rules of Texas Hold'em.Play 5 Card Draw Now!
In a blinds game only the two players to the left of the dealer must pay money before the cards are dealt. The player to the dealer's immediate left pays the small blind while the player to the left of the small blind pays the big blind.
Although the blind amounts can be set to any amount you like the small blind is typically half of the big blind (the big blind being approximately 1/100th of your total buy-in).
5-Card Draw - Rules of the Deal
Once all players have anted (or the blinds have been paid), the dealer deals every player (starting on his left) five cards face down. After all players receive their five cards, the first betting round ensues.
If you're playing with blinds the betting will start with the player to the left of the big blind (same as Hold'em). If you're playing with antes the betting must start with the player to the left of the dealer.
In an ante game like this the first player to act is allowed to check (meaning they are not forced to bet and can choose to stay in the hand for free). For more information on the rules and specifics of how a betting round functions, head to Texas Hold'em Rules and Game Play.
5-Card Draw - Rules of the Draw Round
When the betting round completes the draw round begins with the player closest to the dealer's left. Assuming this player hasn't already folded they have the option of changing any amount of cards they choose.
A player can "stand pat", meaning they keep all five cards, or they can throw away any amount from 1-5 cards and draw an equal number of cards from the top of the deck.
Note: In some poker home games a player may only exchange up to a maximum of three cards. This rule is typically used only in home games as it only benefits the weaker players.
It is almost never correct to call in the first betting round, only to throw away four or all five of your cards.
5-Card Draw: 2nd Betting Round & Showdown
Once all players have received their new cards, each player must evaluate their hand and proceed to the second (and final) betting round.
Once this betting round is completed it's time for the showdown (assuming more than one player still has a hand).
Just like almost every other form of poker the player with the best 5-card poker hand at showdown wins the pot. Head here for a complete list of poker hand rankings.
Once the showdown is complete the dealer collects all the cards and passes the deal on to the player to his left.
5-Card Draw: Winning Hands
If you've ever played Texas Holdem you're likely familiar with the standard Poker Hand Rankings.
Jumping over to 5-Card Draw shouldn't be tough as the same conditions apply - the best 5-Card poker hand wins.
Starting with the Royal Flush at the top and working its way down to just high card, winning 5-Card Draw hands are ranked exactly the same.
Basic 5-Card Draw Strategy
While you could literally spend thousands of hours studying optimal 5-Card Draw strategy most people just need s simple primer to jump in a game and do fairly well.
Here are a few takeaways to remember as you forge your own path in 5-Card Draw:
- Don't play too many hands. Much like Hold'em the biggest mistake beginners make is getting in over their heads playing small pairs and drawing hands
- Position is king. Again, much like Holdem position matters a lot in 5-Card Draw.
- Come into pots with a raise rather than a limp
- Avoid playing drawing hands unless you're in the blinds
- Drawing to straights and flushes late in a hand is troublesome as you rarely have the right odds.
- If you have a pair, draw three cards. Draw two when you have 3-of-a-kind. Draw one when you have two pair.
5 Card Draw is also one-half of the high-action, split pot game Drawmaha; learn how to play it right here:
5-Card Stud Rules & Game Play
Online poker has resurrected nearly every form of poker considered near extinction but one game that's still struggling to find a following, though, is Five-Card Stud.
While the game is still trying to find its niche online it is spread by a few sites and very much worth playing.
Here are the official rules to 5-Card Stud poker and a simple strategy guide so you can get started playing the game for free online with confidence.
5-Card Stud - Ante Up and Deal
Prior to the deal in Five-Card Stud every player posts an ante. The first two cards are then dealt - one face down and one up.
The player with the lowest up-card showing must make a forced bet known as "the bring-in." This bet is typically half the size of the small bet but sometimes is a custom amount based on the betting limits.
The bring-in player also has the option to complete the bet to the size of the small bet. After the bring-in player acts, action continues clockwise around the table.
If the bring-in player does not complete the bet the next player has the option to complete the bet.
Note: a completion is not a raise. Once the bet has been completed raises occur in the small bet amount. Action continues around the table until all bets are equal.
5-Card Stud: Third Street to the River
After action is completed on second street, a second upcard is dealt. Betting on third street begins with the player showing the highest hand and continues around the table.
In the event more than one player has the high hand action begins with the player closest to the stud button.
Betting action continues in the small bet amount on third street. Note: an open pair does not incur a double bet like in Seven-Card Stud High.
Once third-street betting is completed, a third upcard is dealt with action beginning with the high hand. Bets from fourth street forward are in the double bet amount.
After fourth-street betting is completed a final upcard is dealt and the final betting round begins with the high hand.
Once betting action is completed players showdown with the best five-card hand taking the pot.
General 5-Card Stud Strategy Tips
Five-Card Stud is a game of pairs and high cards. You want to make sure your starting hand strategy reflects this.
Some quick takeaways to remember:
- Any pair is going to be playable on second street.
- Two cards that are higher than your opponents upcards are strong starters
- A hole card that's higher than your opponents' upcards is good for seeing past second street
- If your upcard is higher than your opponent's upcards this is a great hand to complete with to try to take the pot down immediately.
- Hitting an open pair with this high card will likely result in you taking the hand right away.
- Pay attention to your opponents' hands and do your best to remember folded cards. This helps you track outs and put other players on hands.
- If a player has been checking or calling along and just started betting, odds are he's just paired his hole card. You will see this most often after someone spikes an ace or king on a later street.
- As in Stud High, beware the paired door card. A good percentage of the time your opponent just hit trips.
Still Looking for a New Following
Five-Card Stud is one of the last "dinosaur" games that has yet to catch a huge following online. While there are a few sites, like PokerStars, still spreading it operators have yet to find a way to popularize it like Five-Card Draw.
If you jump in a 5-Card Stud game online you'll find a strong but friendly community that will help you get the most from your playing time. You also stand a good chance of being the first in a new wave of players that love the game and bring it back to prominence!
If you like 5-Card Draw many popular casino table games draw on the basics of 5-Card Draw (see what we did there) so you might enjoy a punt or two playing games like Ultimate Hold'em, Pai Gow, Caribbean Stud or Video Poker.
More on Casino Poker Games:
- Casino Poker Games | Play Casino Poker Games Online
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- How to Play Pai Gow Poker
- How to Play Video Poker
- How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker
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