Beginners Strategy


In 5 Card Draw poker you don’t get to see any of your opponents cards, only your own. That means you need to know how to play your own cards that much better. Understanding your hand and how to play it is far more important than just plain luck. How your opponents play their draw can also be an indicator of what you are up against so don’t miss potential clues.

As with all poker your initial hand is going to direct your play for the whole round. You initial hand should be showing a pair of jacks or better in 5 Card Draw because you don’t have much a chance of improving any lower hands with only one draw. If you haven’t got a strong hand to start with then sit things out and wait for the next round. Most of the time you will fold before the draw and if you aren’t then you are playing too loosely.

The most common winning hand is three of a kind and this is what most players are aiming for when they draw cards, especially two cards. In fact, drawing two cards is the most common draw that you will see and can indicate to you what your opponents are holding. For instance, a player who draws two cards is not holding four to a flush or a straight, or two pair. If you have two pair yourself then you have a stronger hand now and most likely with have a stronger hand after the draw too. A player who draws just one card maybe be going for a flush or a straight or holding two pair. If you are holding three of a kind then you will beat two pair and the chances are they won’t make the straight or flush.

When it come to drawing cards you almost always want to draw your best hand. This means that you should keep the cards that make your best hand and get rid of the rest in the hope of improving the hand you have. You should never throw out a low hand in the hope of drawing a better one. So if you are holding a low pair you should draw three cards to try and get three of a kind or a full house but not draw five to try and get something else.

The only case when you might want to change your drawing method is if you are holding a high three of a kind. Rather than drawing two you can draw just one card giving the impression you only have a pair. You may still draw a full house or four of a kind and even if you don’t your high trips is still a strong hand.

Another tactic would be to stand pat with a high three of a kind or two high pairs. This can give the impression of having a very strong hand such as full house, straight or flush, and others will back down rather than taking you on.