How To Play 5 Card Draw
Monday, 26. April 2010

5 Card Draw is an extremely popular variant of poker and is generally the first poker game learned by the majority of players. The roots of 5 Card Draw reach back into the Middle Ages and continue on to the Wild West of America where the game of 5 Card Draw poker went hand in hand with the culture of the era.

While the game of Texas Hold’em has since usurped 5 Card Draw as the most popular poker game, 5 Card Draw was the most popular card game for a few hundred years. 5 Card Draw was a symbol of toughness and machismo, in particular amongst the outlaw crowd, just as much as physical prowess or fearlessness in the face of danger.

The object of 5 Card Draw is simple. Players must make the best possible hand consisting of five cards. Each hand of 5 Card Draw involves two rounds of betting which allows for plenty of bluffing and posturing.

Antes And Blinds
Before the beginning of a hand, a Dealer is designated. The player designated as the Dealer will receive an emblem that is marked appropriately and set in front of them at the table. With the passing of each hand, the dealer designation and emblem move clockwise to the next player. In the casino, a professional dealer is supplied; however, they do not participate in the game and a player is still designated as dealer even though they are not actually dealing any cards.

Before any cards are dealt, the antes and blinds are posted. An ante is an initial bet placed by all players at the table, regardless of whether they will actually participate in the hand. The purpose of the ante is to sweeten the pot and also push the more conservative players to be more active as the ante will begin to drain their bank rolls. Players will find that most games of 5 Card Draw won’t necessarily require an ante.

The blinds are an initial bet posted by the two players directly to the left of the dealer. The player to the immediate left of the dealer is known as the Small Blind and the player immediately to the left of the Small Blind is known as the Big Blind. The Small Blind is half the size of the Big Blind. The Big Blind represents the minimum bet that a player can make in order to participate in the hand once the cards are dealt. In a table with $2/$4 stakes, the small blind is $2 and the big blind is $4.

1st Betting Round
Once the antes and blinds have been posted, each player is dealt 5 cards and the 1st round of betting is underway. Betting opens with the player located to the immediate left of the Big Blind. Players may fold their cards, call the Big Blind or bet a greater amount of money dependent upon the betting limits of the table. The final player to act is the player that posted the Big Blind.

The Draw
Once all of the 1st round bets have been made, the players remaining in the hand may exchange up to 3 of their cards (4 cards if they are holding an ace and would like to only keep the ace).

Final Betting Round And The Showdown
Once the remaining players have exchanged whatever cards they wished to exchange, the final betting round begins. Again, betting begins from the first active player to the left of the Big Blind and continues in a clockwise fashion. Players may either check (if no bets were made), call a bet, raise or fold. Once the final betting round has concluded, it’s time for the Showdown. The player holding the best five card hand wins the pot. In the event that two players are holding the same hand then the pot is split amongst them.

Visit PokerStars and checkout their lineup of 5 Card Draw games.

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