You may already know the basics of 5 Card Draw Poker, as this game was the most commonly played home poker game before Texas Hold ‘em became popular. It is also the game that most video poker machines are based on in both land-based and online casinos. If you don’t know anything about poker, 5 Card Draw is a very good game to start out in because it is very simple and will help you learn and memorize the poker hand rankings.
Due to the fact that 5 Card Draw Poker has been played in so many regions and settings, certain rules apply at some games that do not apply at others. A universal agreement on the way 5 Card Draw is played does not exist, so check out the specific rules of a game before you sit down at a table. For example, some 5 Card Draw games will designate a wild card that can represent any card needed in a hand to make a ranking hand combination.
There are also differences between the home version of 5 Card Draw and the game that you will play in a casino. One major difference is the ante vs. the blind. Five Card Draw games in land casinos begin with big and small blinds, while home Draw Poker is usually an ante game, meaning all players are required to ante up with an ante bet. The ante is not a blind because it isn’t part of any following bets. It serves the purpose of beefing up the pot and stimulating action.
After antes and/or blinds are met, the dealer deals each player a five-card hand, after which the initial betting round begins. Players then choose to either bet or fold. Once a player opens up the hand with a bet, all other players must call, raise, or fold. The following action is the draw in which players can trade cards form their hands for an equal number of new cards from the deck. The number of cards a player can swap differs from game to game, depending on where or with whom you are playing 5 Card Draw Poker.
In low-staked social games, to preserve the deck, a common rule states that a player can only draw and replace three cards of his hand. However, in casino play, this rule is not relevant. In casino 5 Card Draw, though, some establishments have a rule that prohibits players from drawing more than 4 subsequent cards from the deck. If a player wishes to trade out his entire five-card hand, he is dealt 4 cards but must wait until all other players have participated in the draw to receive his fifth card is. If no other player draws, one card is burned, and then he receives the fifth card.
Once all players have acted, a final round of betting occurs, called the “after draw.” Players who are still in the game must then reveal their cards. The highest ranking hand wins the entire pot. This simplistic form of poker is great for quick play and the learning purposes of beginners.