Menu Close

How to Play Five-Card Draw Poker

5 Card Poker

How to Play Five-Card Draw Poker

Five-Card Draw is one of the most basic variations of poker and many players’ first exposure to the game. In this article, we will go through a few tips on how to play 5-Card Draw Poker like a pro.

How to Play 5-Card Draw Poker

The objective of the game is to create the finest five-card poker hand, so if you’ve played any other types of poker, the 5-card draw rules will be familiar to you.

The poker hand positions, from weakest to strongest, are the following:

  • High card
  • One pair
  • Two pair
  • Three-of-a-kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Full house
  • Four-of-a-kind
  • Straight flush
  • Royal Flush

In a 5-card draw, there are two different approaches to preflop betting. Either there is a small blind and huge blind comparable to Hold’em and Omaha games, or all players must pay an ante before getting their cards (this is more prevalent in home games).

For the 5-card draw, there are three distinct betting arrangements available.

5-card draw poker can be played as:

  • Fixed-limit
  • Pot-limit
  • No-limit

Although all three formats adhere to the same poker rules, your strategy must be modified according to the various betting structures.

For instance, in a no-limit 5-card draw, you can play some hands that you wouldn’t in a fixed-limit 5-card draw because you can wager enough to get your opponent to fold.

This is how a 5-card draw is played, regardless of the betting arrangement.

Five-Card Draw Basics

Each player is dealt five cards face down after paying the ante or the blinds. Then, there is a betting round. After that first round of betting, if there are still more than one participant left, there is a first round of drawing.

Each active player declares the number of cards they desire to remove from play and replace with fresh cards drawn from the deck. You “stand pat” if you are satisfied with your holding and do not want to draw any more cards. Following the drawing round, there is another round of wagering.

The person with the greatest five-card poker hand wins the showdown if there are still more than one player left. As you can see, 5-card draw has straightforward rules and moves quickly, which accounts for its popularity with novice and less experienced players.

Basic 5-Card Draw Strategy

Five-card draw poker is simple to master, but it doesn’t mean you won’t need to practice to advance from a beginner to a pro. Online practice is the ideal method to achieve that, perhaps with some free games.

Playing an excessive number of hands, particularly those drawing to a straight or flush, is a trap that less experienced 5-card draw players frequently fall into. When choosing a starting hand in a 5-card draw, the adage “tight is right” frequently holds true. Your location in relation to the button is significant in 5-card draw poker, just like it is in games with communal cards. The variety of hands you can play economically increases as you get closer to the button.

No matter where you stand in the hand, you should almost always raise when entering the pot since limping in frequently leads to multiple other players also limping in, which makes it necessary for you to have a much stronger hand to win the pot.

From early situations, keep it tight and raise it with hands like aces or kings. If the nines have a strong kicker to support them, you can add further high pairs as your position strengthens, such as queens, jacks, tens, and nines.

No matter whether you are on the button or under the gun, those of you who were dealt two pairs or three of a kind should always come out raising. Watch out for holdings like four to a straight or flush, as these are hands that some players use to quickly deplete their bankroll.

With one card remaining, your chances of hitting your hand are about 4-to-1, and you frequently won’t have the right pot odds to try to complete your straight or flush, especially in a game with a small number of players.


After going over the fundamentals and learning the hands and regulations of 5 Card Poker, it’s time to put your abilities to use and plan your way to the top of the leaderboard in no time.