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Draw-poker rules

draw-poker rules

Draw-poker is one of the oldest types of poker. This kind of poker suits the home games more, as it’s famous for its simplicity, fast game and it is simple enough to learn.

The main task of the game is to get the opponent's chips. In cash games, chips have cash value and can be exchanged for real money. The goal of the tournament is to become the last remaining player with all the chips.

Often a 5-card draw is played with a small number of participants due to the number of cards in the deck. An attempt to play a game for 10 players with only 52 cards can cause difficulties. If no one folds and one player wants to exchange 5 cards, the game simply will not go through. You can face the same difficulties even with 6 participants. So in this article, we will get acquainted with the rules of the draw-poker game, its combinations and also with the varieties of the game.

Draw-poker is divided into several types:

  • 5-card draw poker
  • 2-7 triple draw
  • 2-7 single draw lowball

So let’s consider the rules of 5 card draw-poker. Let’s start from positions, which are basically the same as in no-limit hold’em. There is a “button” that moves clockwise round the table and points to the player’s spot. Button is the strongest position where the decisions are made in the last turn. Also, there are blinds (small and big) in the game, which make the forced bets. The small blind always bets first and the button is the last to make a bet.

The cards dealing. Each player at the table gets 5 cards facedown. Then the first betting round starts from the first active player to the left of the big blind. The players can fold, call the big blind and make a raise. After the bets are made the players remaining in the hand (i.e who didn’t fold) have the possibility to exchange any of their cards (from 0 to 5) for other ones in order to improve their hand. The exchange in 5 card draw-poker is free of charge.

The exchange occurs clockwise based on the positions at the table. If the player wants to keep all of his cards, he has the “stand pat” option, i.e not to change his cards to other ones.

Then the last betting round begins. After the exchange stage, the players have an extra possibility to make a bet based on the strength of their hand. Showdown comes after the end of the betting round. The player with the best combination wins the pot. However, there is one feature: the suit is not taken into account in determining the winner, i.e all suits are equal. If two or more hands have identical combinations, the pot is split equally.

Let's summarize the sequence of actions once more:

  • Dealing the cards facedown
  • First betting round
  • The exchange
  • Second betting round
  • Showdown

The combinations in draw-poker are the same as in Hold’em.

Suppose that there are 4 players in the game – “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”.

So all the players post an ante of 1$. Dealer “A” deals 5 cards facedown to each player.

Let’s consider the play of participant “D”, who has got the following cards – Q 9 8 5 of diamonds and 2 of hearts (he needs to exchange 2 of hearts in order to get a card of diamonds).

Player “B” starts the betting round and makes a bet of 5$. Player “C” folds, player “D” calls, player “A” also makes a call hereby completing the betting round.

“B” decides to exchange 3 cards and gives them away. Dealer “A” deals 3 cards to player “B” and he adds them to his hand. “D” gives one card away and gets 3 of diamonds from a dealer. Now it is player’s “A” turn to act, he exchanges 3 of his cards.

The second betting round comes. "B" checks, "D" also checks, "A" bets 10$ and "B" folds. "D" makes a raise 16$, "A" calls and completes the betting round.

On the showdown: "D" demonstrates the flush, player "A" has 2 pairs.

Therefore, the participant "D" wins the pot.

As well as in 5 card draw poker, in this game 5 cards are dealt facedown, blinds are posted, a betting round is held and the cards are exchanged.

But there are some distinctions: the exchange of cards occurs 3 times and the weakest hands win.

For instance, a straight or flush will be a losing hand, since its power doesn’t fit this game. In 2-7 triple-draw, 23457 (unsuited) is the strongest combination, because the hand 23456 forms a straight. Also, Aces are high cards, that’s why the one cannot collect an A2345 straight. Therefore, the weaker your cards are, the better. High cards are always compared in combinations, i.e 86532 beats 95432, a pair of triples are stronger than a pair of fours, a set beats a straight, and straight is stronger than flush.

The principle of playing 2-7 single-draw lowball is the same, but the main distinction of this type is that participants can make only one exchange of cards. More detailed information about the game, its rules and combinations you can read on our website in the article about the rules of the 2-7 lowball game.

As you saw, the game itself and the rules of draw-poker are not complicated. That’s why we wish you good luck in mastering the game and success at the tables.

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Cardmates journalist, news editor and translator since 2018. Specialization: poker news and review of events.
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