When it comes to developing poker skills or being introduced to the game, 5 Card Draw can be an effective way to start. This is because this game is considered to be the simplest form of poker that can be found. It is a game that is regularly played at home or in social situations but it rarely features in casinos. The emergence of online poker has provided a number of outlets where the game can be played but it is not a game that is commonly featured.
The introduction of Texas Holdem was one of the main reasons why the game has taken a back seat within the current industry. Whilst still a popular game, and one that is available online, there’s no doubt the numbers playing 5 Card Draw have dwindled over recent years. But it can be a great way for new poker players to develop their skills, however, it’s not generally a game that provides a lot of opportunities to make money or play against a large pool of players.
How to Play 5 Card Draw Poker
The 5 Card Draw game begins with every player in the game placing a minimal ante into the pot. The dealer will then provide every with five cards that are facing down. The player sat at the left of the dealer receives the first card and then the remaining players receive a card each. The fact that all of the cards in the game are delivered face down provides a unique feel and set-up compared to the vast majority of the other more popular poker games.
Once players have received all of their cards, they have the opportunity to examine what they have. A betting round begins with the player that is sat to the left of the dealer and then continues around the table. The players that are still in the game at this point have the opportunity to trade one, two or even three cards from their existing hand for new cards.
If a player is fortunate enough to hold an ace, they have the opportunity to trade the four cards that remain in their hand but they will generally have to display the ace that they hold. There is no requirement for poker players to trade any of their cards if they do not want to. Players have the option to “stand pat”, which means sticking with the cards you were initially dealt with.
Once every player has traded or stayed with the cards that they have, there is another round of betting that takes place. Again, this round of betting begins with the player that is located to the left of the dealer.
Once this round of betting has been concluded, the players that remain in the game enter the showdown, where they reveal their cards. At this point, the player with the best hand takes the pot.
The standard ranking of poker hands is applicable with 5 Card Draw. This means that a Royal Flush defeats a Straight Flush which defeats a Four of a Kind which defeats a Full House and so on, working its way down the traditional poker hand rankings.
Tips & Strategies
Given that the game features just two betting rounds and one drawing round, it is important to employ a strong starting hand strategy. One of the most important things to remember about 5 Card Draw is that it is a game where pairs are of great value and if you hold a strong opening pair, you should be looking to raise or make a strong bet. There is an acceptance that a pair of aces will provide players with the backbone that they need to make a good start to a hand.
Other tips that are generally recognised as being of benefit to players in 5 Card Draw include not trying to draw to straights or flushes unless there are a large amount of payers involved which will then result in a large pay off. When you have a strong initial pair, you shouldn’t just be calling, you should be looking to raise. This is a game where players can benefit from taking an aggressive attitude. Players that hold a strong hand should raise and re-raise whenever possible. With a strong opening pair, a player should feel confident about being ahead of many of their opponents.
It can be of benefit to add elements of bluff or deception to your playing style if possible. This also means that you should vary your style if you regularly play with the same players. The nature of 5 Card Draw is fairly different to the majority of poker games that are available at the moment, so it often means that, even though the initial concept is relatively simple, the games are generally much softer than say, Texas Holdem, for example.