5 Card Draw Poker: Game Rules & Strategy
Object: The object of 5 Card Draw is to have the highest five-card poker hand at showdown, or to be the only player remaining in the hand after all other players have folded.
Hand Rankings: Hand rankings are as follows, with the highest hands first:
If two or more hands are the same ranking, the winner is the one having the higher cards. For example, a Flush with an Ace high beats a Flush with a King high. If the poker hands remain tied, then the highest card not being held in common (the kicker) determines the winner.
Should poker hands be absolutely identical in ranking, the pot will be split evenly between the two or more winning players. If there is an odd chip, then either the winning player to the left of the button will receive it, or the odd chip will remain in the pot for the next hand (depending on the card room).
The Play of the Game: The play of the game proceeds as follows:
Betting Structure and Rules
There are two possible betting rounds in a complete game of 5 Card Draw. Each bet and raise during the first round of betting is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $4/$8 game, all bets and raises are $4 for the first round. After the first betting round each player may discard and draw from zero to five cards.
Each bet and raise during the final round of betting is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $4/$8 game, all bets and raises are $8 for the last round.
The maximum allowable number of bets per player during any particular betting round is four. This would consist of (1) a bet, (2) a raise, (3) a re-raise, and (4) a cap. The term cap is used to describe the 3rd raise in a round since betting is then capped and can not be raised anymore. Once the pot is capped, players will have only the option of calling or folding.
Check-raising is (usually) allowed.
Button and Blinds
A flat disk is used at the poker table; this is called the dealer button to indicate the theoretical dealer of each hand.
After each hand has completed, the button moves clockwise to the next active player. This player will be considered to be playing "the button" for that hand. The player to the left of the button is first to receive a card and is required to post a small blind. The small blind is equal to half the lower limit bet rounded down to the nearest dollar. The player to the left of the small blind is required to post the big blind, equal to the lower limit bet.
Both blinds are considered live bets and therefore, according to poker rules, have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding when the betting action returns to their position. After the draw, the first active player left of the button is first to act.
When a player first sits at an active table they'll be required to post the equivalent of the big blind. Players have the option of sitting out and waiting for the actual big blind before starting to play in the game. By preventing players from constantly entering poker games in late position and leaving before they're required to post, these rules stop potential abuse.
Here are some basic tips.
Read, read, read! Then practice, practice, practice! Then, win, win win! :)
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