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Five Card Draw Poker Rules

By Gary Steele

There are thousands of poker variations played around the world in homes, casinos, and online poker sites. There literally is no end to the game’s variations since one of the enjoyable aspects of the game is to see how badly you can destroy conventional poker rules while playing. Five Card Draw is one of the variations which typically spawns a lot of home-made variations due to its simple nature. Five Card Draw is one of the easiest poker games to learn. It is a poker game which requires a lot of luck to succeed since there is relatively little betting involved and hands can change so dramatically after the draw.

Before you learn how to play five card stud poker you need to review the one thing every poker game has in common: Hand Ranking. Check out the Poker Hand Rankings to see all of the possible poker hands in order from best to worst. At the end of each poker hand, the player with the five card combination ranked highest on the Poker Hand Ranking list wins.

Basic Description

Five Card Draw is a variation of poker where every player at the table receives five cards face down to start the hand. Players then bet on the strength of their initial hand. The players then can choose and discard any number of cards in their hand, and they receive an equal number of cards from the deck in return. A final round of betting follows the draw and the players still in the hand show cards. The player with the best five card hand according to the Hand Ranking Chart wins the money in the pot.

Betting and the Ante

Five Card Draw is typically played with an ante (a fixed amount of money each player puts in the pot before the cards are dealt), though since the game is not usually played in casinos the rules vary according to the players. Betting for all rounds typically starts with the player to the left of the dealer and works its way clockwise around the table.

Betting caps in each round for Five Card Stud vary depending where you play, so make sure you understand them before you sit down at a table. A typical $1/$2 table will allow each player to bet or raise $1 on the first round of betting, then $2 on the final round of betting. It is important to make sure you understand the betting and ante structure of the table you are sitting down at.

Example of Play

If you were involved in a typical hand of Five Card Draw at a $1/$2 table your experience may go something like this:

  1. Everyone at the table pays a Quarter ante;
  2. You are dealt the following five cards:

    3 of Diamonds;
    4 of Hearts;
    5 of Hearts;
    6 of Clubs;
    10 of Spades.

  3. Betting starts to the left of the dealer and the first player bets $1;
  4. You and 4 other players call the $1 bet;
  5. You choose to discard one card, the 10, hoping to make a straight;
  6. The dealer deals you one card, it is the 2 of Spades giving you a straight;
  7. The first player bets $2, and you raise it to $4 when betting reaches you;
  8. The other 4 players fold, the first player calls your raise with $2;

Now the two of you show your cards. Your opponent shows Three of a Kind, Kings. Since your Straight beats his Three of a Kind on the Hand Ranking Chart you win the money in the pot.

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