How to Play 5 Cards Draw Poker Rules?

Despite its age, the 5 card draw remains a favoured variant among enthusiasts and is among the earliest iterations of the game. It’s the go-to choice for casual play amongst friends at parties and social gatherings.

Luckily for you, there’s a long list of casino free spins no deposit platforms which you can use to enjoy 5 card draw poker and also win cash prizes. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the essential information on how to play 5 card draw poker, including its rules and practical tips to elevate your gameplay.

What to Know About 5 Card Draw Poker

Five-card draw stands out as the most elementary form of the game. Each participant gets five cards at the outset of each round. Like other variations, the game utilizes a traditional 52-card deck with a hierarchical ranking system. The cards rank from the highest, which is the Ace, to the lowest, which is the Ace. Their choice is predetermined before the start of play.

In some games, there can be Wildcards like jokers, one-eyed jacks, or deuces. A wild card can stand for another card a player needs to complete his hand. There can also be restrictions, but these rules are agreed upon before the game starts. Also, to be aware of poker features or check the latest news in this game you can visit reputable sites, like Poker News.

Hand Ranks for 5 Card Draw Poker

Acquiring knowledge of hand ranks is important in mastering five card draw poker, particularly for beginners. Failing to understand the hand rankings could result in being ignorant of a winning hand. Here is the hierarchical order of hands, listed from most to least valuable:

  • Five of a kind: available when there’s a wildcard in the game;
  • Royal flush: a combination of ace, ten, queen, jack, and king. All of them must be the same suit;
  • Straight flush: a combination of 5 cards of the same suit in serial order;
  • Four of a kind: 4 cards with matching numbers;
  • Full house: a combination of 2 cards of one kind and 3 of another;
  • Flush: 5 cards of the same suit in no particular order;
  • Straight: 5 cards of any suit in serial order;
  • Three of a kind: 3 cards with the same number;
  • Two pair: 2 separate pairs in one hand;
  • One pair: 2 cards with the same number;
  • High card: no pairs and also not a flush or a straight. The worst possible winning hand in the game.

In five card draw, different suits don’t matter in the rankings. If two players have a flush in different suits, say clubs and spades, they both have equal ranks, and the pot would be divided equally among them. Now that we are done with the basics let’s go down to the tips and rules of five card draw.

How to Play 5 Card Draw Poker

In every variant of poker, the objective remains to attain the highest-ranked hand possible. Commencing the game demands a standard deck of cards and chips for betting. In the absence of chips, any substitute that allows for tracking of bets can suffice.

The game necessitates a minimum of five participants, yourself included, for optimal enjoyment. Although six players are acceptable, anything exceeding this number is infeasible owing to the game’s dynamics. A game starts with either a blind or an ante, both of which differ and impact the gameplay significantly.

5 Card Draw Blind Games

The individual occupying the leftmost seat adjacent to the dealer assumes the role of the “small blind”, whereby they place a nominal wager amounting to half that of the “big blind” to commence the game. This occurrence sets the tone for the game’s initiation. The individual situated on the immediate left of the small blind, known as the “big blind”, is mandated to wager an amount more substantial than the initial bet, usually twice the value of the small blind. Subsequently, all other participants are required to match the big blind’s stake to partake in the round, following the distribution of hands.

5 Card Draw Ante Games

There are no blinds, and every player has to put a pre-agreed amount in the pot before they can be dealt any card. This variant is preferred because it discourages players from folding at the initial stages of the game. Once a variant has been agreed on, the dealer starts by dealing players one card at a time. The game starts from the player to the dealer’s left and stops when each player has five cards.

Rules of 5 Card Draw Poker

Unlike more popular variants where players are dealt only two private cards, such as Texas Hold’em, five card draw players get a full hand before the start of the first betting round.

Once all participants have complete hands, the round starts from the player sitting left to the dealer; the game is played in a clockwise direction. When it gets to your turn, you can make four different moves, and they all depend on your hand rank.

Moves in 5 Card Draw Poker

CheckWhen you check, you bet zero. Basically, you pass the action on and keep your cards. However, this is only possible if no bets have been placed in that round. Once there’s an active bet, you must take any three of the other available options.
CallCalling is matching the bet that has been placed on the table. For instance, if the ongoing bet is 50 cents, and one decides to place 50 cents as well, that is precisely what calls signify.
RaiseUpon raising, the active bet on the table is increased. For instance, suppose the player adjacent to your left initiates a 50 cents bet, and you inject 75 cents, thereby raising the bet by 25 cents. Thereafter, each following player must either match their bet (call) or raise it.
FoldTo fold means to exit the round by placing your cards face down on the table. This choice precludes any possibility of winning money while incurring some loss. After all players, including yourself, have taken action, the betting round culminates, and the game proceeds to the draw phase.

After you and other members have taken action, the betting round is finished, and the game progresses to the draw phase.

The Drawing Phase

The commencement of this stage begins subsequent to the player who sits at the left of the dealer, and in the event that they are no longer participating in the game, it initiates with the next active player. The option is presented to this player to discard any quantity of cards they deem fit from their hand and substitute them with fresh ones from the deck.

In the event that the player thinks their hand to be sufficiently robust, or possesses personal motives, they have the liberty to abstain from exchanging any cards, which is referred to as standing pat. This stage provides players with the opportunity to enhance their hands. For instance, if a player requires a sole card to attain a flush, they may cast away the unsuited card and anticipate acquiring a card that would complete their flush.

The 2nd Betting Round

Just like in the first round, each participant has to take any of the four available actions we explained above. Once again, this round begins with the player who sits left to the dealer, the game is played clockwise. Players can also check in this round. We progress to the next round unless a player forces the other players to fold and win the pot. If not, we move to the final round, also called the showdown.

The Final Round

The final round is the most interesting phase of the game. In this round, all the active players show their cards, and the player with the strongest hand wins. Earlier, we explained the hierarchy of hands, and the dealer will count that of each player to determine who wins the pot. If more than one player keeps the same best hand, the bank will be shared equally among them.

Tips and Strategies for 5 Card Draw Poker

Just because it’s the easiest variant of poker to learn doesn’t mean you’ll win every time you play. Like other variants, you’ll need to practice and improve yourself if you want to be an expert at it. If you want to nail the game you should know about all pitfalls and variety of strategies. Here are some useful tips that can help you to improve your game in 5 card draw.

Pay Attention to Your Opponents

From the minute the cards are dealt, and the first bet is placed, monitor the other players and see their reactions to their hands. Any clue you see can help you to save your money during gambling and increase your chances to win the game. The more attentive you are, the more chances for win you have.


One thing to always pay attention to in 5 card draw is the number of cards exchanged in the second phase. This can tell you the quality of a player’s hands. If they only exchange a single card, it’s possible they only need one card to complete their flush, and you can further confirm this if they bet big in the next betting round.

If the player also stood pat, it might mean that they had a strong hand from the start, or at least, they want you to think that. The same applies to you, the cards you draw can tell a lot about your hands. If you want to look confident, don’t go exchanging four cards, it’ll make you look weak.

Drawing Cards

There are no set rules for drawing cards, but there are some tips that can help you make better decisions. If you have one pair of the same suit, you can keep it and exchange three other hands. Other tips you can try out include:

  • If you have three cards of a kind, exchange the two remaining cards.
  • Always keep a two pair hand and exchange only one card.
  • If you have four to a flush or a straight, only exchange the odd card.


Now, you should have a solid idea of how to play 5 card draw poker. Even if you’re just looking for a way to have a bit of fun in your home games, learning five card draw poker can be very beneficial. It enriches your gaming experience and adds more fun while playing poker. It can be an interesting and exciting activity. But, remember to only bet what you can afford to lose. Responsible gambling is very important as it allows to enjoy the game and play safely. Make sure you set up a time limit and avoid chasing losses.