Five Card Draw
Introduction to Five Card Draw
Five Card Draw has throughout history been one of the most popular games and is also the game that most of us grew up learning how to play first. Five Card Draw is the first card game to be played in modern times, going all the way back to the Wild West and the American civil war. The original version of Five Card Draw only had 20 cards in the deck, using only the 10's until the Ace. Later on the entire deck was used instead so more players would play and to add more action to the game.
Five Card Draw is well known as being a very masculine game, as it was the game that all the bad guys played against the good guys in old western movies, but also the primary game played in casinos and home games until the Texas Hold'em boom in the early 00's.
In Five Card Draw players receive five cards face down, so that the other players cannot see the cards. Players will then bet on their hands and after the first round swap the cards that they didn't want in their hand, in hopes of getting something better. After the swap another round of betting emerges and then there will a showdown if more than one player is left. Five Card Draw uses the same high ranking system as Texas Hold'em, Omaha High and the Stud games uses, making it easy for players familiar with poker to learn.
Even for players that have never played poker before in their life, Five Card Draw is very easy to learn how to play, with its simple game play and betting rounds. Even when you play it live instead of online where the software takes care of everything for you, the game is easy to play as the only thing that has to be done is to deal five cards to each player and then swap the amount of cards the players want to swap from the deck.
Basic Game Play
When you want to learn how to play Five Card Draw, the first step is to learn the basic game play rules.
First the dealer button has to be assigned to a player, who will virtually deal and swap the cards for the players. The player assigned to the button will deal the five cards face down to each player, starting with the player on his immediate left and then dealing clockwise. When the dealer has dealt each player five cards, the game will begin.
The first thing to be done when the game begins is to have the two players to the left of the dealer post blinds. The first player on the dealers left side has to post a small blind and the second player on the dealers left has to post a big blind. The blinds are basically the first bets in the game and they are posted to ensure that there is something to play for in each hand and generate action. When the players have posted their blinds, the player right after the big blind will be the first to act. This position is also known as Under The Gun (UTG) because he has to act first. The action will then continue clockwise until all players have made their decision.
The players will then be able to swap as many of their five cards as they want, to try and improve their hand. When the players have swapped their cards, a new betting round begins with the player who was small blind in the first round as the first to act. The players left after this betting round will then show their cards and the player with the best five card hand will win the pot.
Sometimes while playing Five Card Draw, there will not be enough cards in the deck to cover all the card swaps. In that case, the cards that have been discarded by the players will be shuffled and be used to swap the remaining cards.
Five Card Draw can be played with 2-6 players at the table, making it a shorthanded game. It is not possible to play with more players due to the amount of cards players are dealt and can swap.
The Button and Posting Blinds
When you play Five Card Draw all hands have and needs to have a dealer assigned. The dealer button shows who has to pay the blinds at each hand as well as shows who is last to act post-flop. When you start up a new table of Five Card Draw the software will deal all players one card face up and the player with the highest card will be assigned to the button in the first hand. The button will then rotate around the table clockwise, so that all players will be the dealer and have its advantages for every round of Five Card Draw played at the table.
When the button placement has been decided, the two players on the left of the dealer will have to post the first bets known as blinds. The player on the direct left of the dealer will post a small blind and the second player on the left of the dealer will be posting the big blind. Blinds are posted to create action in the game, so that players have money to win each hand. The blinds are automatically posted by the software when you play poker online, so you just need to focus on playing your cards right.
First Betting Round
In the first betting round, the dealer deals each player five cards face down, giving each player one card at a time clockwise around the table until they all have five in total. The players to the left of the dealer will then post the blinds and the player right after the blinds has to act first.
The players will then have different options on how to proceed with their hands:
Fold: If the hand is not good enough to put any money in the pot, the player can choose to fold the hand
Call: When the players have a decent hand that they think they can improve by swapping cards in the draw round, can choose to call the big blind amount or if a player has raised before them they have to call the amount raised to
Raise: If a player has a good hand already in the first hand, that doesn't need improvement or just a small improvement, he can choose to raise the hand to get as much money as possible in the pot from the beginning
When the first player has made his decision, the action goes around the table clockwise until all players have made their move. When all players have made their decision, the hand will continue to the next round, the draw round.
Between the two betting rounds, players have the option to swap the cards they want, to try and improve their hand. All players have five cards and can't swap more than the five cards and can't swap more than once. The player that was the small blind in the first betting round is now first to act and is the first to be able to swap his cards. After he has swapped his cards, the dealer swaps the other players cards going clockwise around the table until everybody in the hand has swapped the cards they want to. When that is done, the game moves on to the second and final betting round.
Second & Final Betting Round
After all players in the hand have swapped the cards they wanted to swap, the second and final betting round begins. The first player to act is the player who was in the small blind in the first betting round and not the third player to the left of the dealer.
The players will have the options to check, call, bet, raise or fold depending on the action happening prior to them. Once all players have made their decision, we have to find out who is the winner by going to showdown.
When players have finished the last betting round, the winner of the hand has to be found if more than one player is left. The players will all show their hand and the player with the best five card hand combination will be awarded the entire prize pool by the dealer. After the winner of the hand has been found, a new round of Five Card Draw will begin immediately after.