Draw Poker

A classic poker game has always attracted large crowds, whether in a casino or during casual home games. In this article, we will overview one such classic game called Draw Poker.

This poker variant was very popular until Texas Holdem started gaining recognition.


What is Draw Poker?

Draw Poker is a type of poker game where players have the opportunity to discard a certain number of cards from their hand and draw new cards from the deck to try to make a stronger hand.

There are different variants of draw poker, including Five-Card Draw, Triple Draw Lowball, and Badugi, among others. Five-Card Draw is considered the simplest variant of draw poker and is the game that most players are introduced to at first.

How to play 5-card Draw poker?

Although there are many variations of draw poker, the gameplay is the same for all.

Step 1: Before the cards are dealt, the player sitting to the left of the dealer button places the small blind, and the next player to the left posts the big blind (which is double the size of the small blind).

Step 2: After the ante, each player is dealt the same number of cards face down on the table. In most draw poker games, players will start with five cards.

Step 3: After the cards are dealt, the betting round starts, where the player to the left of the big blind acts first. They can fold, raise the bet or call the big blind. The betting round continues clockwise until all players call or fold.

Step 4: After the first betting round, if more than one player remains active, then drawing cards takes place. All the remaining players have to specify the number of cards they want to discard and replace them by picking new cards from the deck.

Players can refrain from discarding cards if they are satisfied with their poker hands. When this is done, yet another round of betting takes place.

After this, if there is still more than one player remaining, then we move to showdown, where the player with the best five-card hand wins the pot.

Note in some poker variants, the drawing of cards takes place three times. In that case, steps 4 and 5 will be repeated three times. This type of game is called 2-7 triple draw poker.

The order of hand rankings in 5-card draw poker is similar to any other poker variant.

  • Royal Flush (strongest hand)
  • Straight flush
  • Four-of-a-kind
  • Full house
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three-of-a-kind
  • Two pair
  • One pair
  • High Card (weakest hand)

5-card draw strategy

  • In a 5-card draw, the position of the player in relation to the dealer or button is very important. The closer you are to the dealer, the wider your range of hands to play which means more profit.
  • Always enter the pot with a raise. If you start limping, others will follow suit. In such a situation, you will need a much stronger hand to win the pot.
  • Don’t play too many hands. Similar to Hold’em, one of the common mistakes made by beginners is overestimating the value of small pairs and drawing hands. An example of this is when players are tempted to pay for the opportunity to draw two cards to complete a flush. However, the chances of successfully completing this hand are less than one in 40 attempts.
  • While bluffing, keep in mind two things – The number of cards that were exchanged and the behaviour of your opponent.
  • Knowing which cards to discard during the drawing round is a basic strategy in draw poker. For example, when you hold one pair, you should draw three cards. Similarly, when you are holding two pairs, you must draw one card.

2-7 Single Draw poker

Another popular form of draw poker is a 2-7 single draw, which is also known as lowball poker. In this poker game, the drawing of cards happens only once. Players are allowed to discard any number of cards and draw different cards only one time. In most of the games, players can discard up to 4 cards at once.

In 2-7 single-draw poker, the objective is to achieve the lowest possible hand, such as 2-3-4-5-7. Hand combinations, including straights, flushes, three-of-a-kind, and pairs, will work against you. Another key distinction in this game compared to other lowball games is that any type of straight is considered a high hand.


5-card draw poker is a game that is both straightforward and quick, making it a popular choice for beginners in the poker world. It is a great option for those who feel nostalgic or want to have a fun time with friends. Hosting a 5-card draw poker game can be a delightful way to indulge in the game and enjoy the experience.

Also Read: 

How to Play Poker

Poker Tips and Tricks

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