Five card draw poker is a popular game generally played amongst friends and close company in homes and bars. It isn’t the most popular of casino games, shadowed by the more popular Omaha and Texas Hold ‘Em. Learning to play is simple and can actually help grow your card gaming skills in other games. How exactly do you play, and what are some strategies to win? We’ve got the scoop coming right up.
5 Card Draw Poker hands
Before we get into the specifics, let’s take a look at the possible hands and how they compare to one another. This knowledge is useful not only for 5 card draw poker but also for other, more advanced card games. The order from lowest to highest looks like this:
- 3 of a kind
- Full House
- 4 of a kind
- Straight Flush
- Royal Flush
Draw poker rules
Now that you know the hands and how they stand up against one another, you can start digging a bit deeper into how to play and how to win. Normally, before beginning each round, players will place bets by paying an ante. While this is more likely the case in home games, casino games will have a small or big blind for placing bets. Cards will then be dealt. Keep in mind that the rules are fairly simple, but the gameplay is fast-paced, which is ideal for even rookies.
5 total cards are dealt to each player, all with faces down. From here, players take a look at their cards, attempting to make the highest combination they can from the cards in hand. A round of betting will then begin, where each player can decide to up the ante or fold.
At the end of the first betting round, the remaining players have a chance to discard cards and take new ones in their place. Here is where the decision process happens where you’ll want to pay the most attention. If you have a good hand here, you have the option to stand, or, if you think you have a shot at building a better hand, take a chance.
Another round of betting will happen after each remaining player receives their new cards. The same thing happens here, where players will have the chance to raise or fold. It is usually where most games end, keeping one player until the end. In the case that there is more than one player left in the game, a showdown will happen where players can reveal their cards going head to head to see who has the higher-ranking hand.
Draw Poker Strategies
The first thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that just like any other poker game, the key to playing better and smarter is practice. The more comfortable you feel around cards, the faster you’ll be able to make decisions and make better choices when betting. A good way to get some good practice in without feeling the pressure of other and more experienced players is to play in online casinos.
Something you’ll notice expert gamers do that you’ll want to adapt is playing hands conservatively. What we mean is sometimes, newbies get caught up in the excitement of the game and end up playing far too many hands. Unless you feel a streak of luck coming on, don’t risk your bankroll on bets that aren’t likely to get you anywhere.
Another thing to consider is your position at the table. The first in line for betting rounds is always the player closest to the button, which gives them a bit of a disadvantage. They are usually the first to set the tone of the round and are advised to play tight on their first go-around, keeping a close watch on the reactions of other players. As the position at the table changes, so should the way to bet, allowing players to bet a bit more loosely and freely.
No matter where players are positioned, it is always advised to play tight with all hands except aces and kings. As each round comes to an end and player’s position changes, other sets of cards can be added to the list to play, like queens and jacks. Take a step back and analyze your strategy overall to avoid being readable. Just like most poker games, player’s reactions can be a dead giveaway of how they will play giving experienced games a clue on how to bet.
Sharpen your Skills
Learning the five card draw poker hands is a good place to begin playing like the experts. Getting comfortable with cards and combinations along with working on your poker face are all great ways to start learning how to play all the best card games out there, starting with 5-card draw poker.