How to Play 5 Card Draw | 5-Card Draw Rules & Play

5 card draw

5-Card Draw is one of most basic forms of poker and it's the kind of poker you're used to seeing in movies and on TV.

Because 5-Card Draw has been around for such a long time - and been played in countless home games and card rooms across the nation - there are a couple different variations on the traditional rules.

Below you'll find all of the most commonly used rules for playing 5-Card Draw along with the standard rules and game play of 5-Card Stud.

Watch: How to Play 5-Card Draw Video

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:

  1. Ante
  2. Blinds

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 Texas Hold'em.

In a blind 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).

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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.

5 card draw rules


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: The Second Betting Round and 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.

rules of 5 card draw poker

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 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.

Play 5 Card Draw Poker on Tiger Gaming 

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.

rules of 5 card draw
Note: A completion is not a raise.

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.

5 Card Stud rules

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!

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Gary 2010-08-14 16:39:13

In 5 card draw, player one has an Ace high straight and player two also has a Ace high straight. When you have both players with identical hands, don't you then go to the suite to break any tie? Example, player one with Ace high straight but has an Ace of spades and player two has an Ace of diamonds. What happens when player one has a Ace high flush in spades and player two has an Ace high flush in diamonds. Doesn't player one win, since the spade is the higher ranking card?

Roy 2010-07-14 03:04:27

If dealing 5 card draw in a home game, and the cards are getting short, how many can be dealt before using the discards?I dont think the bottom card can be used but how about the second and third from the bottom? Thank you

Peter 2010-05-25 05:17:17

Hi Sean,

Please help me out here. Example,there's K,Q,8,6,5 in the table. Now,I have the pair of K and an ace,and the other person has a pair of K and a jack. Should we split the money?

Stephen 2010-05-17 13:05:13

A question, if 2 or more players are betting against each other, and one player doesn't have any more money to continue, what happens......who is the winner ?

Sean Lind 2010-04-30 19:00:36

Absolutely

-s

Tashi 2010-04-30 15:45:30

Sure.. but just a question ....
Once you read can you get it removed :-)

Sean Lind 2010-04-29 20:41:02

Tashi,

as a rule I don't post my email in comments, but if you want to post yours I'd be happy to email you.

Tashi 2010-04-29 15:49:37

Hi Sean,

Can I have youe mail Id?

Sean Lind 2010-04-28 23:45:25

Tashi,

If all players are all in, there is no more betting, but there will be the second round of draws. The players must keep their hands dark, and draw in order, regardless of all betting being finished. After the last player completes the draw, skip straight to the showdown.

Tashi 2010-04-28 15:34:09

Juts one clarification:

If all Players are all-in in the first round of betting then also do we have the draw and Second round of betting???

Thanks

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Poker Hand Ranking
  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Four of a Kind
  4. Full House
  5. Flush
  6. Straight
  7. Three of a kind
  8. Two Pair
  9. One Pair
  10. High Card

Complete Poker Hand Ranking

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