5 Card Draw


Five Card Draw is the classic game of poker that many are familiar with from tense scenes in movies as desperate gamblers clutch their cards and try to bluff their opponents through the cigar smoke. Each player must make the best poker hand from five cards after taking one opportunity to replace some of their cards. The game is played with a standard 52 deck pack without jokers and standard hand ranking is used.

Here is rundown of what to expect at a 5 card draw game in a casino.

A round starts with the dealer button passed to the player to the left of the house dealer. This white plastic button is used to indicate the dealer position. The dealer position only signifies the betting order and does not require any of the players to deal any cards. The dealer button is rotated clockwise around the table following each round so that all players take a turn at being the dealer.

Each player is dealt five cards face down. When all players have received their cars they check their hands without revealing any cards to their opponents.

A round of betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer laying down the mandatory small blind. This is a bet that is half the table minimum. The next player to the left of the small blind must lay down the big blind a bet that is equal to the table minimum. These bets are used instead of antes and ensure that there is always something in the pot. For simplicity, amateur gamblers playing at home often prefer to have each player lay down a small ante before each round instead however this is not done in casinos.

Each player must decide whether to fold, call previous bets, or raise. To raise a bet a player must first match the previous bets. Betting begins with the player to the left of the big blind and continues clockwise around the table. Often in casinos the number of raises per round is limited to three unless there are only two players still in the round.

When all bets are called players have an opportunity to replace as many of their cards as they want by discarding cards and drawing fresh cards from the pack. The discarded cards are placed to one side and are not replaced in the pack. In some casinos there is a house rule that a player may not be dealt five consecutive cards for their draw. If a player does wish to replace all five cards then they are only dealt initial four cards and the final fifth card is only dealt out after all other players have received their replacement cards.

Another round of betting follows beginning with the player to the left of the dealer. If this player has folded then the next available player to the left begins the betting. When all bets are called comes the showdown and players compare cards to determine the winner. The highest ranking hand wins.